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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
is wool vegan? and what’s the big deal about it anyways? isn’t it just like shaving your legs or trimming your beard? this is a common question about veganism and a really important topic to address. let’s look at the practices of the wool industry and whether or not they align with vegan ideals.

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Thank you so much for posting this. I have been wondering myself about wool and many of my friends have asked me specifically about wool too. I knew the basics as to why wool was not vegan but I had no idea just how brutal it was.

Jen
 

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I would add that not only is it perfectly acceptable and humane but it would in fact be inhumane to not use wool and not sheer sheep..

i.e. If you do not sheer sheep for the summer they die from overheating and exhaustion in many parts of the world.

It's a perfect symbiotic relationship and has been for millennia + one would never use adult sheep reared for wool for meat, as the meat is too hard. Many sheep have perfectly good lives all over the UK for this reason and die naturally of old age.
 

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Good vid Emily. Thanks. I have read in various places about the same issues that you have presented. I have also read about the invasive and forceful artificial incemination used to breed more sheep. Just as all the other animal industries.

From what I have read wild sheep's wool only grows as long as needed and does molt. It's the un-natural breeding of sheep that has caused issues with too much wool production and the associated ailments.
 

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I have avoided the use of wool for years for these very purposes. Also, some sheep are used for meat and milk as welll, not just wool. I remember watching a YouTube video some time ago where a small farm was raising sheep for wool. They showed a demonstration of sheering the sheep and the sheep was held down and roughly manipulated and did not seem the least bit comfortable. To imagine that sheep had to endure this over and over. So someone could make a profit from it. I was infuriated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm going to have a wee look for you on facebook... not in a stalkerish way though!
oh stalk away! i'm all over social media now! it's not my nature but i'm trying to get the videos out as much as i can so as to spread veganism…so i'm facing my fears and becoming a social media whore! woot!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you so much for posting this. I have been wondering myself about wool and many of my friends have asked me specifically about wool too. I knew the basics as to why wool was not vegan but I had no idea just how brutal it was.

Jen
you are very welcome! i'm happy to have provided some clarification. i think it's an area that a lot of vans aren't totally sure of.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I watched it, it was very interesting- I have been avoiding wool since becoming Vegan, but without having a strong opinion on it until now.
well i'm glad i was able to help you come to the "strong opinion" side ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I would add that not only is it perfectly acceptable and humane but it would in fact be inhumane to not use wool and not sheer sheep..

i.e. If you do not sheer sheep for the summer they die from overheating and exhaustion in many parts of the world.

It's a perfect symbiotic relationship and has been for millennia + one would never use adult sheep reared for wool for meat, as the meat is too hard. Many sheep have perfectly good lives all over the UK for this reason and die naturally of old age.
Verbatim, this is a false argument. the only reason sheep "need" shearing is because they've been artificially bred by humans to have excessive wool. think about it- in nature they wouldn't step into the barber for a trim.

we created the problem and then want to look noble by "fixing" our own mess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have avoided the use of wool for years for these very purposes. Also, some sheep are used for meat and milk as welll, not just wool. I remember watching a YouTube video some time ago where a small farm was raising sheep for wool. They showed a demonstration of sheering the sheep and the sheep was held down and roughly manipulated and did not seem the least bit comfortable. To imagine that sheep had to endure this over and over. So someone could make a profit from it. I was infuriated.
yes it's quite maddening, Naturebound!

Good vid Emily. Thanks. I have read in various places about the same issues that you have presented. I have also read about the invasive and forceful artificial incemination used to breed more sheep. Just as all the other animal industries.

From what I have read wild sheep's wool only grows as long as needed and does molt. It's the un-natural breeding of sheep that has caused issues with too much wool production and the associated ailments.
thanks Vanilla Gorilla. and yes, left alone, they are fine in nature. it's our crazy breeding that messes everything up.
 

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Hi I'm new around here and I've been experimenting with shades of veganism. I'm just wondering what your thoughts are on small farmers who try to be as humane as possible while raising sheep. I ask because my family has been vegetarian for a year now, but I just can't get them to stop buying milk, butter, and cheese especially. I have a farm, and have been thinking about raising sheep myself to get entirely away from commercially raised animal products. Obviously, we would never send them to slaughter, or sell them. Since I don't trust anyone else to do it, I plan on shearing them myself and have been trying to educate myself in the most humane practices possible and only after I've gained their trust, since that can make a huge difference in the shearing process or interaction with any prey animal. Thoughts? Concerns? I want to get all angles before I go ahead and purchase a flock of sheep.
 

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Hi I'm new around here and I've been experimenting with shades of veganism. I'm just wondering what your thoughts are on small farmers who try to be as humane as possible while raising sheep. I ask because my family has been vegetarian for a year now, but I just can't get them to stop buying milk, butter, and cheese especially. I have a farm, and have been thinking about raising sheep myself to get entirely away from commercially raised animal products. Obviously, we would never send them to slaughter, or sell them. Since I don't trust anyone else to do it, I plan on shearing them myself and have been trying to educate myself in the most humane practices possible and only after I've gained their trust, since that can make a huge difference in the shearing process or interaction with any prey animal. Thoughts? Concerns? I want to get all angles before I go ahead and purchase a flock of sheep.
Maybe grow some plants instead? :)
 

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Loved this video - when I first learned about mulesing a couple years ago I was so disgusted. I had no idea a practice like that existed, and I think that's probably true for a lot of people who think that shearing wool doesn't cause any harm to the sheep.

I'm huge into fiber arts, especially crochet, and especially in the fall I sell a lot of things like scarves and afghans to friends and family. People often get confused or even defensive when I tell them I refuse to work with wool yarn, even if they buy it instead of me (I don't know why, but for some reason people think its ok if someone else does it). I'm going to bookmark this video to share with people this year - it's short, to the point, and very honest. Thank you!
 

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Maybe grow some plants instead? :)
I do! Tons of of them, but sadly none of it will take the place of dairy for some in my household. (I myself use Soy Milk and Earth Balance butters, but it's been a much harder transition for them and I don't want them to give up entirely.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Loved this video - when I first learned about mulesing a couple years ago I was so disgusted. I had no idea a practice like that existed, and I think that's probably true for a lot of people who think that shearing wool doesn't cause any harm to the sheep.

I'm huge into fiber arts, especially crochet, and especially in the fall I sell a lot of things like scarves and afghans to friends and family. People often get confused or even defensive when I tell them I refuse to work with wool yarn, even if they buy it instead of me (I don't know why, but for some reason people think its ok if someone else does it). I'm going to bookmark this video to share with people this year - it's short, to the point, and very honest. Thank you!
so glad you liked the video! :) and i too think it's to weird when people are offended at MY personal choices…especially when those choices are about NOT harming others! crazy, no? really, what they are choosing to do is what is offensive.

sorry, that topic gets me all riled up! but thank you so much for sharing the video! i hope it helps with answering that concern for people :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi I'm new around here and I've been experimenting with shades of veganism. I'm just wondering what your thoughts are on small farmers who try to be as humane as possible while raising sheep. I ask because my family has been vegetarian for a year now, but I just can't get them to stop buying milk, butter, and cheese especially. I have a farm, and have been thinking about raising sheep myself to get entirely away from commercially raised animal products. Obviously, we would never send them to slaughter, or sell them. Since I don't trust anyone else to do it, I plan on shearing them myself and have been trying to educate myself in the most humane practices possible and only after I've gained their trust, since that can make a huge difference in the shearing process or interaction with any prey animal. Thoughts? Concerns? I want to get all angles before I go ahead and purchase a flock of sheep.
thank you for this inquiry and i appreciate you reaching out for input on this! once more i'd have to emphasize that there is no way to use other beings for our benefit without exploiting them. the idea of humanely harvesting a part of another being is oxymoronic.

this is the same thought process and argument that was used for slavery: that we are giving the slaves a home, food and water, and work, which they would not find elsewhere. that we treat them humanely and give them a better life than they would have on their own.

now i'm not comparing you to a slave owner by any means, just trying to illuminate my point. buying and owning animals is treating them as property. and attempting to do it humanely only lends support to the idea that the practice can possibly be humane.

the way to be humane is to not do this. there are so many alternatives to wool, to dairy, to all animal products. simply shifting to "humane" and "free-range" type options is buying into a myth. please watch this video for more on that: http://goo.gl/YWmeki
 

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Well, I don't see what shearing sheep for wool has to do with dairy. Maybe along with your plants, you could raise ahimsa cows (dairy without cruelty). Or goats and use their milk.
 

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It never even occurred to me that people would think wool is vegan, odd.

Only once did I see animal fiber clothing that seemed vegan (or veganesque, at least).
I knew a guy who married a russian girl who, every year, would brush their dogs while they were shedding, process it into yarn, and make scarves, shirts, etc. They were reportedly warmer and softer than wool and the dogs simply got a good brushing. Just a thought for vegans with half a dozen dogs (or one dog and a long way until retirement).
 
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