Natalie Portman, the actress playing in an upcoming film called Black Swan, lives a compassionate lifestyle. She has been vegetarian since childhood and recently took the necessary steps to become a vegan. When she took on the role of Nina Sayers in Black Swan she must have come across the same challenges we face as dancers every day such as, "What am I trying to communicate? Not only with the movement but by the tools used to express the movement?" When looking for ballet slippers, she did her research and found Cynthia King Vegan Ballet Slippers. These shoes remain cruelty-free and cause less environmental harm by using man-made synthetic materials. The cost is only $24.95 a pair! VOGUE magazine recently requested Cynthia King Vegan Ballet Slippers for Natalie Portman to wear in their January cover shoot!
You might be asking yourself why there is a need for Vegan Ballet Slippers.
The truth is that we are stepping into someone else's skin every time we slip on our ballet shoes. Beneath our slippers we have leather padding that provides friction and gives us the control needed to move with grace. Sounds splendid when only seen from this perspective but who's skin or shoes are we wearing? What other perspectives are involved?
Young male calves are used for leather production. The dairy industry has no need for them so they have found a way to make a profit off of these "useless offspring." They're sold to veal farms where they are removed from their mothers within 24-48 hours after birth, fed an anemic diet, and kept in a cage so small that they cannot turn around or lie down comfortably, preventing them from developing muscle tissue. They live their lives standing in their own excrement and are slaughtered at approximately 4 months of age. All of this is done so that the calves taste tender. Then the skin is separated and shipped out to a Tannery. Preserving the skin involves harsh chemicals such as mineral salts, formaldehyde, coal-tar derivatives, and various oils, dyes, and finishes, some of which are cyanide-based. These chemicals are tough on the environment and many of these facilities are located on rooftops causing water pollution and bad odours for families living nearby. All of this in the name of "leather." This word certainly sounds better next to clothing titles such as ballet slippers or jackets or whips. Unfortunately that only exists after the damage has already been done.
When we dance in these ballet slippers we support this type of cruelty and it doesn't stop with calves, other animals are used in leather production; horses, sheep, lambs, goats, pigs, zebras, bison, water buffaloes, boars, kangaroos, elephants, eels, sharks, dolphins, seals, walruses, frogs, turtles, crocodiles, lizards, snakes. Now this can certainly be overwhelming to hear initially but there are alternatives to leather soled ballet slippers
You can get yourself a pair of these cruelty free vegan ballet slippers at the following web address: http://cynthiakingdance.com/vegan-ballet-slippers/
Other cruelty free dance shoe alternatives are being researched and will be featured on future posts!