View Full Version : Ethical Wool?
12-02-2005, 08:31 PM
I was chatting with a friend today and I asked if she had gotten her KP catty and how I was drooling over everything. She tells me that she is boycotting wool because of the unethical treatment of sheep and she sends me to the PETA website that talks about Australian sheep sent to the Middle East. Nothing about American (North and South) sheep, Spanish sheep, English sheep, Irish sheep, etc etc etc. So I did some googling and almost everything I could find pertaining to unethical shepherding practices seem to revolve around Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East. So it got me to thinking (a dangerous thing) and I wondered if anyone had any information about the sheep from other countries. It just seemed to me one of those "well if one does it then they all do it."
Now having said all that, this is coming from someone who shops at Walmart because "it's just easier" and drives a mini-van with the worst gas mileage on the road (and she only has one child, so it truly is a preference than a need) and she knows how I feel about both those issues. She also isn't a PETA member (wears leather, eats meat, etc.) So I'm finding this very odd.
12-02-2005, 09:11 PM
Granted, I'm not saying that this sort of stuff isn't done to animals, but...PETA in the past have sometimes been FAR from truthful about what they post on their site. They also tend to exaggerate.
In my opinion, if she wants to boycott wool, just boycott wool that comes from those areas of the world...
Do some research, ask the companies where they get their wool, and then try and make a statement.
Just because it's happening in the Middle East and Austrailia doesn't mean that it's happening in the US or England, etc...
Why boycott the places that are nice to their animals?
I knew a sheep farmer when I still lived in the boonies of Rhode Island, and he treated his sheep better then his kids. The sheep were always fed well, they were always clean, and when it came to shaving them, it saved the poor things from the sweltering heat of the summer...
I also tend to agree with you along the whole Gas guzzling car and such...if you're gonna go noble about one thing, there are other things that need attention too...but that's just me.
If she's so worried about the treatment of the sheep, tell her to buy her wool from a local farmer. I guarantee he treats his sheep like royalty. :D
12-02-2005, 10:50 PM
Well, what I do know is that some places are humane, and some are not. You have to research each individual farm, from what I understand.
Many of the organic farms, of course, treat their animals humanely (Treliske, etc.).
Other than that, I think they have to be researched individually.
I'm glad for this thread, as I was just thinking of this topic today - I would prefer to buy wool from sheep that are humanely treated. But, I'm not sure how to find that info out exactly...
12-02-2005, 11:37 PM
there were a coupla discussions about this at some point, but I can only find this one at the moment! here (http://www.knittinghelp.com/knitting/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5330&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=sheep)
edit: and here (http://www.knittinghelp.com/knitting/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5018&start=15&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=mulesing)
12-03-2005, 12:28 AM
Here's (http://www.savewool.com/index.html) the other side of the story.
I'm not taking sides, but we must be fair.
I will say that PETA lost some of my respect when it spent it's members' money trying to change the name of a nearby town. The town is called Fishkill, which means fish stream. They thought it sounded cruel. :rollseyes:
So people who donated money to eliminate cruel practices against animals may have paid toward the publicity and attention paid to this nonsense.
12-03-2005, 12:55 AM
Yah, PETA are nuts. I wish there was a more objective source of information on animal issues.
12-03-2005, 10:40 AM
Yes; I agree about PETA being extremists sometimes. They've petitioned for the Packers to change their name because of the meat packing industry. :rollseyes: I also found this topic to be very odd from my friend as she has situational ethics.
I lived in Oregon through the 80's and early 90's and there were quite a few sheep farms in my area. When I think of sheep farms, I think of these. Large fields with happy little sheep frollicking in the grass and munching away, sheared every spring and lambs playing. I'd never heard of muesling and if I had ever heard the word I probably would have thought of some kind of cereal :roflhard:
Thanks for the links to previous threads. I guess I am sort of a wool snob. I use very little acrylic. And I can't imagine what one would make diaper soakers out of if not wool (not that my kids need diaper soakers anymore - thank you thank you thank you!) or doggy sweaters for a rainy climate.
12-03-2005, 11:50 AM
Here's (http://www.savewool.com/index.html) the other side of the story.
I'm not taking sides, but we must be fair..
12-03-2005, 12:32 PM
Wow. That article about having to do muesling (sp?) to prevent maggots (EEEWWW!!) sounds like a catch 22 for Aussy sheep farmers. Rather than boy/girlcott them there should be ways to help them figure out this problem. PETA doesn't seem to be doing anything to helpthe problem (except promote sexism in their advertising :rollseyes: ) I mean if we spent money on that wool so the farmers would have money to fix the problem I would do that. But yeah its a very tricky issue. We as consumers need to just educate ourselves and ask lots of questions. (and stop driving SUVs and going to Wal Mart :shock: )
12-03-2005, 12:55 PM
:inlove: with femmy!
12-03-2005, 01:07 PM
Fem. I'm giggling at girlcotting. Boycott was taken from Charles Boycott, an Irishman. I was curious as to the etymology of the word so went and looked it up http://www.bartleby.com/61/50/B0435000.html
12-03-2005, 04:12 PM
Reading about what Mulsing is and stuff, I dunno...I almost have to side with the Austraillians with this. Yeah, it seems cruel, but it's something that prevents the sheep from going through something even more painful and keeping them from dying a slow death.
I mean, people go through surgeries, which hurt quite alot, to prevent other things from hurting and putting a damper on their health. Sometimes things like this are an neccisary evil.
I remember when I had a long haired guinea pig...and he would constantly get clumps on his butt from his pee and poop and the wood shavings. I didn't realize how serious something like that was until he died from an infection that originated from that. I learned with my second long haired guinea pig, and took scissors to his hair, and had to cut it real short around his bottom. He looked funky(his name was Spunky anyway XD), but he was healthy.
Granted, I didn't surgically remove the skin, but when you're a farmer who has maybe a min of 200 sheep to take care of, you can't spend everyday sheering your sheep's butts. And they are looking for alternatives, but if this is the way they gotta go to prevent it...I dunno.
It doesn't seem like the sheep are dying over it and it seems like they heal over and such.
Pardon being a little graphic but it's better then having maggots eating out their insides if you ask me.