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Old 11-11-2005, 06:54 PM   #1
TheRealPamela
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Vegan,not vegan
I came across this pattern for a "vegan fox".
http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEfall02/PATTveganfox.html
Although it is definitely not fur, which is great...it is certainly not vegan.


If I am reading it correctly, then it contains merino wool. Now I am going to get a lot of flak for this, but calling something vegan when it isn't just seems off. It could be calld "fox-free fox" or something. I am not playing "vegan nazi" (lovely term coined by people who compare us to Hitler), I am simply pointing something out.

I am not sure if anyone is aware of what a vegan really is...vegans are people who do not consume, use, or wear anything that comes from an animal (meat, milk, wool, silk, leather, eggs, etc), usually for ethical reasons. It is almost impossible to be 100% vegan but the basic premise is to be as non-violent and to reduce suffering as much as possible.

I am sure many sheep farmers do not hurt their sheep. However, (and many people are unaware of this) that there is a barbaric practice known as "museling" in which large chunks of a sheep's backside are just sliced off. No anesthetic, nothing. Just mass mutilation. This practice is used so insect larvae don't breed on the bottoms of the sheep, where it is wet. Also, sheep get sold and killed for food. This is why vegans do not use wool.

If you have your own sheep, fine. I am not telling everyone here, a bunch of knitters who have welcomed me in a friendly manner, what to do. Nor do I think people are "bad" for using wool. It is just something I wanted to point out.

I do like the septum ring though (on the girl in the picture)

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Old 11-11-2005, 07:14 PM   #2
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Well, luckily, Knittinghelp.com is a "flak-free" community. But, I wonder if your point would be more productively directed at knitty.com, or even the designer of the pattern? There's nothing wrong with coming here simply to VENT....we've ALL done that in this welcoming and friendly community! In any case, I cant imagine the designer meant to offend anyone....
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Old 11-11-2005, 07:49 PM   #3
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Knitty tries to be lighthearted and clever with their descriptions, I'm sure that's why they called the stole "vegan". You could point it out to them, but it has been on the site for quite a while under that name.

There have been discussions on this board about mulesing, you should check them out. The Australian wool producers are more likely to use this practice. My grandfather was a sheepfarmer in Iowa and I had NEVER heard of this before.

Many of us here at KH are concerned with the environment, and we are interested in cruelty free products. But when you purchase any kind of fiber, you are making some kind of decision. Acrylic yarn is made from polyacrilates, which derive from petrochemicals, which pollute the environment. If you're buying yarn made overseas, it could come from mills where the laborers are underpaid and working in unsafe conditions. The electricity that we use to keep the lights on and refrigerators going comes from power plants that are coal fired, nuclear energy, or obstruct natural waterways taking away wildlife habitat. We make these choices every day in every way, hopefully we make the best ones we can.

Thanks for the input. The folks here always seem interested in new information. You could pop over to the blogs, post your own thread (with a clever name of course!) and start your own dialogue about things that interest you. Welcome to KH!
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Old 11-12-2005, 04:35 PM   #4
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Thanks Pamela. You have given me some good insight into Vegan practices.
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Old 11-16-2005, 06:25 AM   #5
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shearing necessary?
along a similar line, i have been told by a wool farmer that shearing the sheep is something that is actually beneficial to their health, comfort, and well-being. I realize that still doesn't make it a vegan product, even if they do like it, but does anyone know if this is true? i was invited to this farm in the spring for shearing season and i told them there was absolutely no way i was going to be a part of it, but in trying to convice me, they shared the health and well being bit. i'm considering going and just doing the pre-bathing. my logic is that if you have to hold them down and they try to escape, they must not like it. i remember horseback riding one time and i wouldn't kick the horse to make it gallop because i didn't want to hurt it. the instructor insisted it didn't hurt the animal, to which i replied, then why does it run? <teehee> anecdote over. point of the story is, is the farmer pulling my chain? thanks all! :-)
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Old 11-16-2005, 08:52 AM   #6
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I recently read an article in the new Vogue that if you don't shear Merino sheep, they wouldn't be able to stand under the weight of all he fleece. I imagine other sheep would be quite hot, as well. We bred them over the years to produce fleece to be sheared, I don't think they'd fare well without having it done.

The mulesing is done to prevent a parasite that will kill the lamb, so it's a raw deal either way. Australian farmers, however, have committed to ending the practice in the next few years.

Now how about that tail/ear cropping we do for looks?

No I don't want to get into a big discussion on it, but everything's relative. I don't live on a farm, and never have, but some things are necessary, even if we don't agree.
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Old 11-16-2005, 10:05 AM   #7
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A family member and a family we know are vegan. They will wear wool if it comes from a humanely raised sheep. There are quite a few sheep farmers who treat their amimals with alot of respect and are not cruel to them in any way.
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Old 11-16-2005, 11:23 AM   #8
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As I said before, you are correct. I am sure many farmers raise their sheep well.
Mentioning the ear cropping- who is defending that? I surely hope people have enough information now to know that that is completely unneccessary and painful. If a dog was born with long ears and didn't ask you to get them, then leave them alone. Tail docking, too. And declawing could be added to that list. The ears, tails, and claws all came on animals, they need them. It is called "mutilation" but vets still do it because it makes money. No one is defending those practices here, and it is barbaric to go hack up animals, especially for asthetics.

I disagree that cruelty is a necessity. And yes, the museling is done mostly in Australia. Just because someone promises something doesn't make it true. Hopefully, their word wil be kept. Peta has done work to stop this cruelty
http://savethesheep.com/

If you have a pet sheep and treat it humanely, then I personally don't see anything wrong with that. But people use the term "humane" to describe almost anything when indeed, the practices done are anything but. There are probably many kind sheep farmers around but I was referring to the original post about the wool in the "vegan fox" pattern not being vegan and why it wasn't vegan. Maybe one day I will be able t make the "vegan fox" myself. I wrote the pattern designer. It really is a cute piece.
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Old 11-16-2005, 01:32 PM   #9
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Let's be careful here, friends....we've never had an argument on KH! It would break my heart to see one. FEEL THE FUZZY LUVVVV ...whether it is made from acrylic OR wool fiber!!
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Old 11-16-2005, 01:42 PM   #10
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thank you all for your information!

I did completely stray from the original post and I'm sorry! I really do appreciate all the valuable info on sheep, and that tidbit on them falling over from Vogue is really interesting!

TheRealPamela, I think I would look for something like Lion Brand's Jiffy that is 100% acrylic, but has a mohair look so it has the fuzzing and "fur" the pattern is looking for. It's a light bulky, so you might need to go up to a 17 instead of 15, but I think it would work for a luxurious 100% vegan product! :-) I'm sure they're not the only ones to have an acrylic wool-look acrylic either, so you might even be able to find one of the appropriate weight. Red Heart Symphony comes to mind and I think that would actually be a dazzling substitution!
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