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feminine_earth
02-14-2007, 12:10 PM
Disclaimer: This is not meant to be a debate about working with animal fibers or cruelty to animals. It's simply the thoughts and concerns of a vegetarian who loves to knit with animal fibers, but sometimes can't get past the guilt. Also, this discussion is mainly aimed at vegetarians...I don't want to offend any meat-eaters here. I have no problem with meat-eaters...my husband eats meat and so do my cats and my dog (in fact, they eat a homemade, mainly raw meat diet...that I prepare for them!), so please don't misunderstand my intentions. Thank you. :hug:

I'm not sure how many fellow vegetarian knitters are here on KH...but for those here who are knitters and vegetarians...what are your views on working with silk?

Now...I'm not a vegan. I do eat dairy, eggs, and honey...and I primarily knit with wool yarns. But...somehow I just can't seem to force myself to buy silk yarn. :pout: I'll touch it, pet it, sniff it...dream of all the pretty things I could make with it...but when it comes time to make a decision, I simply can't buy it. I know where silk comes from...I know there is no way to get silk without the silkworm dying...and that one issue loses to my morals. *sigh*

A similar mind-game situation happened to me a couple weeks ago when I was reading an Interweave Knits magazine gifted to me by a lovely KH'er. There was an article about buffalo yarn. I immediately thought, "Hey, cool!!" and was all excited about trying it out until I finished the article and read that there is no way to get fiber from a live buffalo. The fiber is only cultivated from slaughtered (for meat) animals. Now, again, I do realize that most wool yarns I can buy commercially probably come from slaughtered sheep...but I've been trying to buy my wool from more economical sources, or second-hand. I don't like supporting slaughter houses.

I just wish there was a way to get these wonderful, natural fibers without any harm coming to the animal it came from. I suppose, though, until my husband and I can afford our 5-10 acres of land and adopt our own sheep and alpacas, I will have to make do with what I can get and just hope that the animal it came from did not suffer much.

Any thoughts from my fellow veg knitters? Thanks for reading. :heart:

Julie
02-14-2007, 12:20 PM
Have you done any reading about Peace Silk?

http://www.aurorasilk.com/info/peacesilk.shtml

feminine_earth
02-14-2007, 12:21 PM
Have you done any reading about Peace Silk?

http://www.aurorasilk.com/info/peacesilk.shtml
No, I've never heard of it. Thank you for the link, I'm checking it out now! :hug:

Stiney
02-14-2007, 12:28 PM
I highly doubt that "most" yarn comes from slaughtered sheep. It's more profitable to raise the sheep and get wool every year. I think sheepskin is more likely to come from slaughtered sheep, especially since Ugg boots have become so popular lately.

I'm not a vegetarian, but I can see where you're coming from with silk. But it's so soft. :pout:

feminine_earth
02-14-2007, 12:30 PM
I highly doubt that "most" yarn comes from slaughtered sheep. It's more profitable to raise the sheep and get wool every year. I think sheepskin is more likely to come from slaughtered sheep, especially since Ugg boots have become so popular lately.

I'm not a vegetarian, but I can see where you're coming from with silk. But it's so soft. :pout:
See now, that's what I originally thought. That wool comes from sheep that are being raised just for their wool. But then somebody told me that they only raise them for their wool for a couple of years, and then they are sent to slaughter! This person seems to like shattering my dreams though, so perhaps she only said this to hurt my feelings. Who knows... :shrug:

brendajos
02-14-2007, 12:32 PM
I am not vegetarian though most people think I am. I eat very little meat and am very conscious of where my meat comes from.

One thing I would have to consider is that I would prefer that if they are already killing the animals for their meat, isn't it better to use as much of the animal as possible? (there was no way of asking that question without me shuddering a little bit) In my mind I think of all the time that animals have been killed strictly for their pelts while leaving the carcass to rot. It is sort of the same thing to me. It seems better to use the whole animal rather than to just discard the pelt. (I really don't feel like I am being clear about my thinking here!)

I do have some curiousity about why they have to be killed for the fur but not enough that I actually want to know the answer because i am about 99% positive i will NOT like the answer.

Kirochka
02-14-2007, 12:33 PM
I struggle with these kinds of issues myself, and tend to see myself as wildly hypocritical, to be honest... I'm not a vegetarian (yet?), but won't eat anything from a mammal and haven't for 12 years now (except that sometimes gelatin sneaks in with vitamins, because I've been unable to find vegetarian alternatives for some of them) ... I do wear leather shoes... I do eat poultry and fish (for now), and can't see giving up eggs or dairy (for now) ... I won't wear fur... so I'm kind of all over the map. I do have and use silk yarn.

I have no answers. I feel very conflicted.

Kirochka
02-14-2007, 12:35 PM
See now, that's what I originally thought. That wool comes from sheep that are being raised just for their wool. But then somebody told me that they only raise them for their wool for a couple of years, and then they are sent to slaughter! This person seems to like shattering my dreams though, so perhaps she only said this to hurt my feelings. Who knows... :shrug:

I'm pretty sure your friend is right, based on the fact that dairy cattle are eventually usually slaughtered for meat as well, as are layer hens.

niffer
02-14-2007, 12:36 PM
I believe killing the worm is the commercial way to do it but not the only way - The other way is longer and more expensive but the wormy gets to live!

Something that concerns me and I would Never by this is the yarn called Tufutsies by SWTC (I think) it contains Chitin which is made from
shrimp and crab shells. I don't eat meat or seafood, so why should I wear it.

I've had the discussion on numerous occasions that the shells are a bi-product of someone else eating it and it would go to waste otherwise, but in my opinion the 'waste' should be put back into the ecosystem it came from to allow for some kind of balance.

I've heard that some Yarns use Lanolin in the making too, although that's not from a reliable source and I haven't managed to find a lot of info about it - yet.

I think we should all be careful about where our yarn was sourced and how it was fabricated though, there is so much natter about the clothes dying industry polluting the earth I'm sure Yarn falls into there somewhere.

Its just so expensive to buy the more ethical yarns though
:pout:

I'm gonna git that kitty and shave it and knit it!

feminine_earth
02-14-2007, 12:41 PM
I am not vegetarian though most people think I am. I eat very little meat and am very conscious of where my meat comes from.

One thing I would have to consider is that I would prefer that if they are already killing the animals for their meat, isn't it better to use as much of the animal as possible? (there was no way of asking that question without me shuddering a little bit) In my mind I think of all the time that animals have been killed strictly for their pelts while leaving the carcass to rot. It is sort of the same thing to me. It seems better to use the whole animal rather than to just discard the pelt. (I really don't feel like I am being clear about my thinking here!)

I do have some curiousity about why they have to be killed for the fur but not enough that I actually want to know the answer because i am about 99% positive i will NOT like the answer.
I know where you're coming from. Many people have that way of thinking...and it makes perfect sense to use the whole animal so none of it gets wasted. However, I'm of the frame of mind that if I give my money to a company slaughtering animals, even if my money does not go towards their meat, I am still contributing to their slaughter. The guilt becomes overwhelming at times. :pout:

Kirochka, the life of a vegetarian is a very conflicting one. It seems as though no matter how hard we try to be kind to our furry friends, our kindness doesn't even begin to make a dent in the cruelty that is many times forced on them.

Stiney
02-14-2007, 12:47 PM
Well, I poked around on Wiki after reading your response, Feminine Earth. It is not, obviously, a particularly reliable source, but the impression I got was that there are farmers who raise lambs for slaughter, and farmers who raise sheep for wool. I'm sure that once the sheep are past breeding, they are slaughtered. :pout:

But at least in the US, where mutton isn't eaten much, sheep are raised primarily for wool. (Can't speak for mutton consumption in other countries.)

Kirochka
02-14-2007, 12:55 PM
Stine, just throwing this out, but what about the pet food industry? I'd guess lots of sheep end up there... :pout:

zkimom
02-14-2007, 01:00 PM
I did a little poking around on the web about wool from slaughtered sheep and from what I can tell, you are more likely to have "pulled yarn" in your wool carpeting than in your Cascade 220.

The yarn from slaughtered sheep produces an inferior wool than what is harvested after shearing live sheep. I don't think it finds it's way into the higher priced yarns at our local LYS.

If you are upset about how the live sheep are treated when they are sheared maybe you could look for yarn that comes from sheep who are humanely raised and treated. In my area there is a farm that raises their own sheep, has it cleaned, carded and dyed, and then sells it. It is a non-profit working farm that serves as an educational center for the area and I know that they treat their animals kindly.

While you may not get a name brand fancy yarn, you can find some very nice wool to work with and feel good about it, too.

Best,
Susan

Stiney
02-14-2007, 01:04 PM
:pout:

Yeah, probably.

If you look at it from a business perspective, though, I can't really blame the farmers. They are doing this as a livelihood. People want wool--it's used on piano hammers, it's felted, it's made into clothes, and it's made into yarn for knitters. When a sheep gets old and sick, and is no longer providing wool, or even a sheep dies of natural causes, what can the farmer do? Bury it and move on? While that would eventually make for one really fertile field, it's not profitable. If they're selling to pet food companies, well, cats and dogs are naturally carnivores, and I think it's unnatural to feed them vegetarian diets. I think it's equally unnatural when farmers "recycle" their cattle or sheep by feeding it back to their livestock--cows and sheep are naturally vegetarian, and they should be fed vegetable matter. (But sheep can't eat clover, or else they bloat and die. The things you learn from reading Thomas Hardy novels. :teehee:)

Humans, on the other hand, are naturally omnivores who came from vegetarian roots...and we have an individual choice about what we decide to put into our bodies, and there are no wrong choices (unless you are a cannibal. :ick:)

Anyway, if anyone decides to stop using wool or other animal fibers for personal reasons, I respect that decision, and the reasons why you made it. :hug:

feminine_earth
02-14-2007, 01:15 PM
Thanks for all the responses, everyone! I appreciate each and every one of them. :hug:

iza
02-14-2007, 01:25 PM
:pout: These issues are always difficult. I do think it's important to at least get the information and then take the decision that's right for you. But I find I'm trapped in that kind of debate. Everybody have an agenda: the farmers, the industry, the animal rights organizations... All of them have lied to people at some point, so it's hard to really get the truth in all this.

I have heard of a big controversy regarding PETA who were actively fighting the wool industry. It seemed pretty clear they were distorting some of the facts. Of course, the industry uses the same technique all the time... :wall:

I totally understand your concerns. :hug:

hellokitty165
02-14-2007, 01:35 PM
if i m not wrong...silk is produce by the vomit of a worm... correct me if i m wrong

jolenel
02-14-2007, 01:43 PM
I'm not a vegetarian but I try to buy humanely raised meat and fish that's not endangered or being raised in a way that hurts the environment.

I'm also in that conflicted category...I agree that killing animals for food and not using all of their resources is wasteful; people in my immediate family were literally nearly starving less than 50 years ago, so I believe pretty strongly in this. However, I won't buy leather (and certainly won't buy fur).

Also, I think I have sort of a Buddhist view on life in that I feel that animals should be viewed equally. If

My other half and I talk about this sometimes. On one hand, many animals are being raised cruelly. On the other hand, raising and selling these animals is a matter of livelihood for many people. You can't blame them if they have to support their families--the demand is out there in the market. And also, there are many, many people in the world who are going hungry and would

feminine_earth
02-14-2007, 01:48 PM
if i m not wrong...silk is produce by the vomit of a worm... correct me if i m wrong
Commercial silk is harvested from boiling silk worms in their cocoons. :pout:

Jan in CA
02-14-2007, 01:57 PM
Commercial silk is harvested from boiling silk worms in their cocoons. :pout:

:shock: :ick:

cookworm
02-14-2007, 02:02 PM
I understand 100% where you're coming from, both on a dietary level and on a crafter's level about awareness of how things that we use come to be. I too suffer with guilt with things that I eat as well as fibers. Would you consider utilizing recycled silk as an alternative? I realize that the initial process to make the yarn has already been carried out, but it also offers an opportunity for recycling, which helps our world--I hope it's not offensive to suggest this. I think generally, it's key for every person to just be aware of the things they use and try to take only what you need, and to be as gentle about it as possible, and recycle whenever possible; basically, trying to replenish what we use. I don't know if there are any good solutions to your quandry.

feminine_earth
02-14-2007, 02:08 PM
I understand 100% where you're coming from, both on a dietary level and on a crafter's level about awareness of how things that we use come to be. I too suffer with guilt with things that I eat as well as fibers. Would you consider utilizing recycled silk as an alternative? I realize that the initial process to make the yarn has already been carried out, but it also offers an opportunity for recycling, which helps our world--I hope it's not offensive to suggest this. I think generally, it's key for every person to just be aware of the things they use and try to take only what you need, and to be as gentle about it as possible, and recycle whenever possible; basically, trying to replenish what we use. I don't know if there are any good solutions to your quandry.
Your suggestion is not offensive at all! It is actually a pretty good solution to my problem. I do wear second-hand leather that I buy from thrift stores. As my money is going to a charity organization, and not toward the meat industry, I don't have objections to it. I suppose silk would be the same. The only recycled silk I've seen is recycled sari silk. Do you know of any other types of recycled silk yarn?

Thanks for your response! :hug:

Friskums
02-14-2007, 02:37 PM
Wow, feminine_earth, I really wished we lived closer together. I think we would get along really really well. (Er...not that we don't/can't here. Just that it'd be really great to be able to sit and knit with you in person.)

I've never really had a desire to knit with silk, and though I've felt it at the yarn stores, it just doesn't do much for me, so I haven't ever looked into alternatives for silk. I don't know who, but I do know there's at least one company that gets the silk through non-violent means.

The recycled silk is a good suggestion too.

Whenever I am buying yarn online, I email the company to find out where they get their wool from. I try to be very aware and conscious of where the wool is coming from. I have no desire to support slaughterhouses either.

I've read/heard the cows that are used to make leather are different than the cows that are used for meat or dairy, but I don't know if they use the wool of the slaughtered sheep.

feminine_earth
02-14-2007, 02:45 PM
Friskums, are you guys for sure meeting on February 23rd for the Altamonte Knit Night? I really want to go, and I have a couple friends who might be interested, as well. Do you mind if I post it on my LiveJournal? It's friends only, so nobody that's not on my friends list can read it.

And I never thought about emailing the company to see where their yarn comes from!! Do you have any vendor recommendations?

Thanks for the advice! :hug:

Friskums
02-14-2007, 02:57 PM
Yep, we're meeting for sure. No one showed up last time, but it was the first official night and I didn't really think anyone would.
But, I'm going to keep having it every other friday, and would really be thrilled for you and your friends to come! (And yeah, feel free to tell anyone you want about it. The more the merrier.)

I can't think of any vendors off the top of my head, but I'm sure I have something written down at home. I'll try to remember to post it tonight after work.

Sarahc409
02-14-2007, 03:21 PM
maybe you can try the alternative...soy silk :shrug:

http://www.knittersreview.com/article_yarn.asp?article=/review/product/031009_a.asp

edited to add a link to recycled silk
http://www.knittersreview.com/article_yarn.asp?article=/review/product/010517_a.asp

Friskums
02-14-2007, 03:26 PM
I made my Simple Knitted Bodice in soysilk and I really really love it.
I enjoyed working with the yarn.

jolenel
02-14-2007, 03:27 PM
I'm not vegetarian but also have a conflicted feeling about this sort of thing. I do definitely agree that if animals are going to be killed, people might as well make the most of all their resources; mostly I think this is from being raised in a family that has had members who were nearly starving less than 50 years ago. On the other hand, I don't buy leather but occasionally eat beef. (No, I've never claimed that I wasn't a hypocrite.) And most of the nonprofits my better half and I support are pro-animal ones. :shrug:

I have trouble with the agenda of some organizations like PETA though. They are pretty propagandist as people mentioned, and they are also way too extreme IMHO. Many people I've met think that all "environmentalists" and "animal lovers" are as extremist as people like the PETA folks, and they have trouble taking us "moderate but quite concerned" folks seriously because of it. :( Every big organization or business will spin propaganda in their favor though, so it's hard to get close to the truth.

It is nice to see though that there seems to be a lot more awareness of where meat and produce comes from & how it was treated, at least around here. But I've only returned to knitting somewhat recently so I'm really not sure at all about where to go for cruelty-free yarns. Friskums, great idea with e-mailing companies and asking where their wool comes from! I second the request for recommendations if you have a chance. :teehee:

Friskums
02-14-2007, 03:40 PM
I haven't bought wool for a while, but I emailed malabrigo before buying them to make sure the sheep weren't mulesed and were treated ok.

fakesheep (http://nutmeg.gen.nz/fakesheep/vegan-yarns/) is a pretty good resource for non-animal fibers.

There's also a veggie knitters webring (http://veggieknitters.blogspot.com/) though I don't know how active it is and I haven't joined it myself yet.

I keep meaning to get a big comprehensive list of wools/yarns that the animals are treated decently, but I keep forgetting. :oops: :shifty:

hellokitty165
02-14-2007, 04:10 PM
if i m not wrong...silk is produce by the vomit of a worm... correct me if i m wrong
Commercial silk is harvested from boiling silk worms in their cocoons. :pout:

what ????? wow that is murder ! they boiled them alive ??? gosh that is so awful !

syndactylus
02-14-2007, 04:41 PM
One of the main reasons I wanted to learn to knit was to get more green, and animal-friendly too. According to my organic farmer friend (who's in the future of food doc) soy production is extremely bad for the environment, and sheep are better for the land than industrial scale farming. (Right after I bought a couple balls of soysilk.)

I'm trying to find out more about it.

There is also banana silk and seasilk (seaweed), I need to learn more about those... And lots of people sell silk made from cocoons after the moth has emerged, this article is very interesting.

http://www.knitty.com/issuespring06/FEATbombyx.html

I was disappointed to find out that most of the places that sell qiviut (?) take the fur/hair from dead animals too. And a little shocked that none of the magazines that advertise it seem to think it's even a consideration.

But I didn't think they killed wool producing sheep. If they do, I will have to think more about that... Vintage is a very good idea though, glad to be reminded of that! Seems like there's a lot of competition for it on ebay.

mum2caden
02-14-2007, 04:58 PM
I am a vegetarian and now a brand new vegan.

I am also a relatively new knitter. I just finished my first wool scarf (wool anything actually) a couple of weeks ago.. and then it occurred to me that since there seems to be cruelty in every form when it comes to animals, that I would look into how we get wool.

I knew it wasn't all happy sheep playing in perfectly green fields.

I was right. Even though they need them alive to get the wool, they still do horrible things to them.

Here is a website: http://www.savethesheep.com/f-intletters4.asp

and here is a video to prove it (yes it is gross, so be warned)

http://www.petatv.com/tvpopup/Prefs.asp?video=save_the_sheep

So, I just won't take my chances any longer. If I am not sure that these things aren't happening then I won't be buying...

feminine_earth
02-14-2007, 05:21 PM
I am a vegetarian and now a brand new vegan.

I am also a relatively new knitter. I just finished my first wool scarf (wool anything actually) a couple of weeks ago.. and then it occurred to me that since there seems to be cruelty in every form when it comes to animals, that I would look into how we get wool.

I knew it wasn't all happy sheep playing in perfectly green fields.

I was right. Even though they need them alive to get the wool, they still do horrible things to them.

Here is a website: http://www.savethesheep.com/f-intletters4.asp

and here is a video to prove it (yes it is gross, so be warned)

http://www.petatv.com/tvpopup/Prefs.asp?video=save_the_sheep

So, I just won't take my chances any longer. If I am not sure that these things aren't happening then I won't be buying...
I've seen many PETA videos before, but somehow never saw that one. People can say what they want about PETA, and I do agree, they are pretty whack, and I don't agree with how they operate. But the truth is, the things happening in those videos ARE happening. Those who care can't simply pretend it's not happening.

That said...I really wish I wouldn't have watched that video at work...I'm starting to think I can't handle things as well as I used to.

I'll definitely make sure never to buy wool from Australia. Does anyone know what brands sell Australian wool?

brendajos
02-14-2007, 05:27 PM
The problem, as I see it, with organizations like PETA is that they like to take videos like that (only making an assumption about the video since I won't watch their stuff) and say that they are representative about the whole industry (whichever industry that may be, in this case wool obviously.) That isn't to indicate that it isn't happening and the people who do it should be put out of business as far as I am concerned. However it isn't industry wide and while I think that PETA's intentions are mostly good they are also mostly irresponsible in how they are trying to effect change.

Meanwhile... I sit back and envision my farm someday with happy little sheep and cows and whatever other animal i feel like raising running freely. oooh how my farmer neighbors would be mad... :teehee: And at least one of my farms will be organic! :cheering:

feminine_earth
02-14-2007, 05:33 PM
The problem, as I see it, with organizations like PETA is that they like to take videos like that (only making an assumption about the video since I won't watch their stuff) and say that they are representative about the whole industry (whichever industry that may be, in this case wool obviously.) That isn't to indicate that it isn't happening and the people who do it should be put out of business as far as I am concerned. However it isn't industry wide and while I think that PETA's intentions are mostly good they are also mostly irresponsible in how they are trying to effect change.

Meanwhile... I sit back and envision my farm someday with happy little sheep and cows and whatever other animal i feel like raising running freely. oooh how my farmer neighbors would be mad... :teehee: And at least one of my farms will be organic! :cheering:
Ditto, Brenda! On all counts!! :)

jolenel
02-14-2007, 05:45 PM
The problem, as I see it, with organizations like PETA is that they like to take videos like that (only making an assumption about the video since I won't watch their stuff) and say that they are representative about the whole industry (whichever industry that may be, in this case wool obviously.) That isn't to indicate that it isn't happening and the people who do it should be put out of business as far as I am concerned. However it isn't industry wide and while I think that PETA's intentions are mostly good they are also mostly irresponsible in how they are trying to effect change.

Meanwhile... I sit back and envision my farm someday with happy little sheep and cows and whatever other animal i feel like raising running freely. oooh how my farmer neighbors would be mad... :teehee: And at least one of my farms will be organic! :cheering:

Also ditto here!

Well, honestly, it would be alpacas and fish here instead of sheep and cows. My other half's dream is to raise alpacas and grow organic fruits & veggies. Think he's a keeper? :teehee:

brendajos
02-14-2007, 05:55 PM
well my half of the farms is about 250 acres so come on over to Iowa... there's room for fishies, alpacas, sheeps, and cows! We would have to build some new buildings though since it is all land now though... we tore down all the buildings a few years ago. :verysad:


:teehee: and my mother thinks that her kids are never coming back to live there!


ummm... should I unhijack this thread now?...lol

Friskums
02-14-2007, 06:02 PM
Honestly, I don't think it's a reflection on the entire industry as a whole, but I do think mistreatment is more of an industry standard than not.
(I don't know about that video specifically, though, because I didn't watch it. After Earthlings, I can't handle anymore anymore animal abuse videos for a while.)

cookworm
02-14-2007, 07:18 PM
Do you know of any other types of recycled silk yarn?

Unfortunately, I've only ever seen recycled sari silk--not that there's anything wrong with recycled sari...it's just that this means that only offering recycled saris means there isn't much variety in selecting recycled silk. I do know that the recycled saris are a "thick/thin" yarn, and the colors aren't consistently the same throughout the skein. While these factors can lend a BEAUTIFUL effect to some knitted projects, these factors may not be desired for other projects. Also, I think the yarn can yield some "fuzzy" ends that give a "feathery" appearance, too from pictures I've seen, but nothing that I've personally experienced.

mwedzi
02-14-2007, 07:44 PM
There is some recycled silk sold on Ebay that isn't sari, though I doubt it's going into a nonprofit. Just people recycling sweaters and what not.

mum2caden
02-14-2007, 08:41 PM
People can say what they want about PETA, and I do agree, they are pretty whack, and I don't agree with how they operate. But the truth is, the things happening in those videos ARE happening. Those who care can't simply pretend it's not happening.


That's how I feel too. Peta is over the top.. but they aren't faking this footage.. it really is happening.

I can't remember the percentage of the worlds wool that comes from Australia and NZ- but it is most of it.. so there you go.

** and I am sorry I grossed you out with it.. I know, you put a warning and it doesn't help.. curiosity and all that. I always wish I hadn't watched them too, but at the same time, I think every one needs to know the truth.

mum2caden
02-14-2007, 08:45 PM
The problem, as I see it, with organizations like PETA is that they like to take videos like that (only making an assumption about the video since I won't watch their stuff) and say that they are representative about the whole industry (whichever industry that may be, in this case wool obviously.) That isn't to indicate that it isn't happening and the people who do it should be put out of business as far as I am concerned.

Well, that's the thing with Peta. They believe by supporting wool, you are supporting that. And you are b/c it is a supply and demand thing and you have no idea where the wool you bought from Michael's actually came from. So to stop it, you just don't purchase.

Honestly, I have no problem with wool since the animal doesn't need to be killed. If I knew and was %100 sure that the wool I had was from happy, happy sheep- I would use wool. If I come across some from a little farm somewhere, I would probably buy some, but I will not purchase wool when I don't know for sure.

mwedzi
02-14-2007, 09:45 PM
I think there is some movement for disallowing this legally. I read about it somewhere, so if you're really concerned, you might look it up. The way people talked about it, it was a done deal in the not-too-distant future

feminine_earth
02-14-2007, 11:32 PM
I think there is some movement for disallowing this legally. I read about it somewhere, so if you're really concerned, you might look it up. The way people talked about it, it was a done deal in the not-too-distant future
Oh, I sure hope so! That would be wonderful!!

syndactylus
02-15-2007, 12:48 PM
I just thought I would bring up angora - I think lots of people sell it on the web who keep the rabbits as pets, so they are probably treated very nicely?

although it's expensive... but so warm and fluffy.

Friskums
02-15-2007, 02:44 PM
I've been buying lots of alpaca, not only because it's soooo warm and soft, but also because I haven't really ever heard of anyone not treating their alpaca nicely.

mwedzi
02-15-2007, 07:23 PM
Continuing with what Rebecca and Friskums said, there are actually many small farms where the animals are more likely to be treated nicely and they sell their yarn over the net. I wish I could remember this one that had all sorts of animals, including angora bunnies, and it had pics of all the animals and the bunny was resting on a cushion in the home. He looked very comfortable. In fact, he looked a lot like my spoiled bunny. Does anyone know that site?

feminine_earth
02-15-2007, 10:48 PM
I've been buying lots of alpaca, not only because it's soooo warm and soft, but also because I haven't really ever heard of anyone not treating their alpaca nicely.
I just bought my first alpaca yarn the other day at my LYS. They're two little tiny skeins, 109 yds each, and sooooo soft. I don't know what to make with them yet, though. Maybe a nice hat? Or some gloves...I'd love to try gloves, but I'm not sure I'm ready yet. Or maybe wrist warmers! Those are supposed to be easy, I think. Hmm...decisions decisions. :teehee:

Friskums
02-15-2007, 10:52 PM
I used mine to make what I said I would never make...

...a garter stitch scarf. :rofl: :rofl:

But, I'm doing it lengthwise, and the look of the lengthwise garter stitch doesn't bug me as much as if I did it normal.


Wrist warmers would be a great idea. Or, fingerless gloves. Anything that can keep the softness close to your skin. :happydance: :happydance:

landolphe
02-16-2007, 08:48 PM
Hello Missy:

I appreciate your thoughtful question. I have been a vegetarian since 1966 and, like you, continue to struggle with these moral questions. I was not aware of the silkworms' plight. Fortunately for me, I do not particularly like to wear silk, and I have never knitted with it. Were I interested in using silk yarn I would feel obliged to investigate the sources in search of a life-conscious silk farmer.

I have been raising alpacas and llamas since the mid-80s; we have never delivered an animal unto slaughter regardless of age or productivity. I do enjoy the luxury of not having to earn a profit from my small herds, so it is easier for me to be life-conscious.

The problems with sheep wool is a serious one. I buy nearly all my wool yarns from small breeders in Uruguay and Argentina, folks who I know personally and know to be life-conscious.

In Peru, alpaca & other camelid fiber production is supervised and regulated. Those efforts largely ensure against poaching, but do nothing to prevent final slaughter. In the Andean regions where camelids thrive, use of the fiber and meat is part of the indigineous cultures, and I have made the decision to stand mute and let the local folks enact and live their own decisions. Kinda like allowing my dogs to eat meat products.

Such awareness, considerations, and decisions are part of the lifestyle we have chosen as life-conscious beings. In today's insane system of global endstage predatory capitalism and market-derived values, our best and often only means of influence is expressed in acts of self-conscious consumer decision-making.

Grace and Peace and united in the struggle,

Landolphe :hug: