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carmabelle1191
04-19-2007, 06:38 PM
I just found out, from a thread at knithappens.com forum (under "Everything Else", for all of you who want to take a look) that a brand of yarn called Fur Yarn (http://www.furyarn.com/main/index.php) is made by killing animals.
Paula Lishman's exclusive, patented yarn is made from genuine fur pelts -- sheared beaver,fox , mink, and muskrat. The pelts are hand cut into a narrow, 1/8 " (2.5 mm) wide strip.
This strip is re-enforced with colour-matched cotton and twisted, so the leather is on the inside covering the cotton, with the fur radiating outwards from the centre.
People at that forum have tried to contact the magazines that have ads for yarn made out of fur and to protest against it. One member got back a response that the animals were killed humanely. Humanely how?! If you want to help out, everyone who opposes this (and I hope all of you do) please send e-mails ect. to the magazines that have these ads, and maybe even the company itself. Killing animals for a no reason at all is wrong. Please try to prevent this!
www.vogueknitting.com
Editor@CreativeKnittingmagazine.com
editors@knitnstyle.com
http://www.knittinguniverse.com/flash/contact.php

redwitch
04-19-2007, 09:37 PM
How is that different from killing animals for food? If you were told that meat animals were killed humanely, would you say 'humanely how?'? They're not being killed for no reason, just like cows... nobody needs to eat as much meat as we have in Western diets, the beef is not crucial, but that doesn't mean we are killing the cows for no reason.
Sarah

RiverDaughter
04-19-2007, 09:52 PM
I thought beaver were an endangered species. How would that be legal?

I like the feel of fur (my grandparents have a rabbit farm), but I prefer wools personally. At least then the sheep has a cool summer.

carmabelle1191
04-19-2007, 09:55 PM
I'm a vegetarian (by no means a vegan), so I think that killing animals is wrong, no matter what the purpose. You're right, though, if you think about how much meat people eat. I guess there is a reason for killing animals for yarn, I just don't think it's a valid reason at all, especially since, as RiverDaughter said, some of the animals are nearly endangered.

Hildegard_von_Knittin
04-19-2007, 10:01 PM
Hi guys! Thanks for keeping this conversation open and respecful of all opinions.

I think it is important for all of use to research our yarn sources and use our own best judgement when we choose yarn for ourselves. Luckily, we are under no obligation to make decisions for others or judge their decisions.

suzeeq
04-19-2007, 10:31 PM
I thought beaver were an endangered species.

Depends where the beaver are. Where I used to live some years ago, the beaver were such a nuisance that Fish and Game was offering a bounty on them. Trappers would trap them, sell the hides and notify F&G of how many they took.

sue

Susan P.
04-20-2007, 10:08 AM
Paula Lishman's site talks about the sourcing of the pelts. Now I wondered why pelts and not just shearing (as one does sheep) but two species they talked about are farmed or ranched meaning they are really another agricultural industry as per sheep farming, cattle ranching and so on.

The other two, including beaver are said to be trapped. Most trappers who are allowed to trap legally do so under government licence (I should say I'm now talking about the Australian scenario but I would think the process transferable to overseas) and their cull (or bounty limit) is generally set by a govt dept (natural resources or parks and wildlife) who have undertaken a census and based on that information determine how many animals the licenced people can take. Usually what is trapped is taken to a govt or govt registered business for noting down and payment so that records are kept of what is taken and trappers are advised when to stop.

You should check the process with your relevant govt dept if you are unsure.

In Australia certain rarer species are ONLY allowed to be taken by Indigenous peoples (who use the same for food and the hides etc for clothing and item making).

The issue re fur farming is how well the animals are cared for and housed etc. I've seen images of minks etc kept closely in cages like battery hens. I have seen people say that if dogs and cats were kept in similar conditions the farmers would be charged with cruelty etc.

So, one needs to investigate this and govt policy about how these farms operate.

The animals are killed by various means. Minks are often killed by gas and indeed a rapid high concentration of say carbon dioxide can kill very quickly but I've read reports about animals being obviously alive for some time after gas is introduced and running around trying to keep their head above the gas levels. Electric shocks may be applied in other animals; they're sometimes applied in the beef et al industries. They are sometimes applied to humans of course.

I consider prolonged, agonising or fearful deaths a terrible thing.

If animals were in plentiful supply, had lived natural or relatively natural lives and were killed quickly and cleanly then I think it reasonable that individuals who choose to, utilise the meat and pelts etc. I don't support industries that create totally unnatural, crowded, caged environments for animals.

I think all these issues come down to personal conscience and values etc. It would actually be quite hard to live a life these days without using any animal based product although we can try to minimise as much as possible.

Would I buy their yarn? No, because I question some of the industry practices but I may buy yarn made from pelts under different circumstances where I knew the 'industry' was differently run and so on.

At the end of the day I would prefer to buy yarn from various animals (like angora rabbits) that are shorn and not killed. I think knitters can demand this and say no to pelted products. Businesses run on the issue of making money. I think a lot more can be achieved by saying "we will NOT buy your yarn under the circumstances it is created BUT when you can convince us the yarn is from shorn minks and so on then we will buy. Get back to us". Obviously in the meantime if you are so moved to fight animal cruelty you can do that.

redwitch
04-20-2007, 11:49 AM
Battery hens and pigs are kept in bad conditions too, but I've never seen posts urging people to avoid the products as a result... each person decides for himself whether it's acceptable to consume non-essential products that require the death of an animal, but I don't see how within that category wool is any worse than food.
Sarah

Susan P.
04-20-2007, 07:24 PM
redwitch. I understand your point because I could have made one about wool . But, I think it's important to raise awareness about products that may be considered fairly new on the market.

Not that I buy from overseas but if carmabelle1191 hadn't posted the issue I guess I may never have really thought about where some yarn products may come from.

I actually don't buy pork and I spend more money to buy eggs from farm or RSPCA established poultry farms etc. I rarely buy beef but if I do I know it may come from a feedlot. I buy fish quite a lot but I worry about drag netting practices. Tough issues but good, again I think, to consider them anew from time to time.