It’s Saturday morning, so you and your cousins are going to play ball in the yard. Your uncle gets the football out of the hall closet and yells, “Who’s ready to toss around the ol’ pigskin?”
Pigskin? You stop in your tracks. Why’d he call the football a pigskin? That sounds disgusting. You don’t want to toss around someone’s skin!
While modern footballs aren’t made from pig’s skin, many ARE made from cow’s skin or other kinds of animal leather. Lots of sports equipment is actually not very animal-friendly. We call foul on that! But there are companies that offer vegan options for all your sporting goods needs. If you do a simple search on Amazon’s website with your parents for “synthetic” (this means man-made) or vegan versions of whatever you need, you’ll see that it’s possible to keep all your after-school activities cruelty-free.
More and more, footballs are being made with synthetic materials and not leather. Even Wilson, which is the brand that creates the official ball of the NFL, makes synthetic footballs. Try: Franklin Sports Grip-Rite Junior Football and Tachikara footballs.
In baseball, two of the main pieces of gear—the ball and the glove—are sometimes made of leather. Luckily, manufacturers of these items are getting with the times and jumping on the synthetic trend. Synthetic baseballs are actually easier to keep clean and more durable than those made of leather. Try: Gopher Impact Zone All-Synthetic Baseball Gloves, Rawlings All-Synthetic Gloves, DICK’S Sporting Goods Synthetic Baseballs
When you’re playing HORSE with your friends, you definitely don’t want to be using a ball made of COW. Rubber basketballs are just as common as leather ones, though, so bounce on over to your local sporting goods store and you’ll find a huge selection. Try: Spalding NBA Varsity Outdoor Rubber Basketball
Almost all modern soccer balls are made with synthetic leather. Synthetic materials are more water-resilient than leather made from animals and are very durable. Although it’s very outdated to make a soccer ball with cow’s leather, check the label just to be on the safe side. Try Nike Strike Soccer Ball.
Ballet is a beautiful way to express yourself, and everyone knows there’s nothing beautiful about wearing dead animals on your feet. We love Cynthia King–brand shoes, because the company is proud to be 100 percent vegan. Try: all Cynthia King Dance shoes and Capezio Child “Tic Tap Toe” Lace-Up Tap Shoes
Because so many athletes are going vegan, it totally makes sense that more and more sports equipment companies are ditching leather and going vegan, too!