A video about vegan knitting…

by Shannon on November 4, 2011

See it here. I can’t say I agree with everything in it (in fact, I don’t!), but if you’re looking for vegan yarn options, this may give you some ideas.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Margaret November 5, 2011 at 2:41 am

Nothing can replace Cashmere. no-thing.

Marnie November 7, 2011 at 10:53 am

Oof, I’m all for people following their own moral compass and working with materials they feel comfortable with but jeeze, wool does not need to be “inherently cruel” to the animal and cotton can be pretty tough on the environment and pretty tough on the humans (also animals) who have to harvest and grow the product as wall as all the wasted water and harmful chemicals used to clean, bleach and dye the materials. Almost any yarn you choose will have its environmental pros and cons.

I had to stop watching after that statement. I’m totally in support of people working with materials other than wool and silk if they want to, but I’m totally against making alarmist and factually incorrect statements to justify it.

Moondancer5 November 7, 2011 at 6:08 pm

I completely agree, Marnie. I almost fell down the first time I heard wool referred to as “cruel.” Now lamb chops, I can see…

Shannon November 8, 2011 at 11:46 am

I’m with you, Marnie, and I wrote the person who sent me this with my usual diatribe about the Aral Sea and cotton farming in Uzbekistan (what, you mean I’m the only person with a stock diatribe about cotton farming in Uzbekistan?)…not to mention that every sheep farmer I have ever, ever met has a deep and abiding love for their animals that extends to making sure they are cared for appropriately.

I’m all in favor for people trying new things, and some of the plant yarns out there are crazy fun — heck, I wrote a book on them, did I not? — but this wool = cruel nonsense is just…….. I have not the words.

Kristen November 8, 2011 at 1:39 pm

Wait…wool is cruel? Don’t these people know that wool is one of the great sustainable resources? The sheep are not harmed by shearing, quite the contrary, they suffer more from not being shorn. And the cotton industry is no great shakes, as you well know.
I’m all for people living by their own moral code, and there are some lovely vegan yarns out there, I’m not knocking them. I just find the dissemination of erroneous info abhorrent, and I’m a little surprised that you would post this on your blog, knowing it to be false.

Shannon November 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Seriously, I had to stop watching after the wool being cruel nonsense. The problem is that I do like a lot of plant fiber yarns, and I’d like to see more people trying them. I think it’s a pity that all the info about plant yarns that are currently out there tend to take this tack, and I think it says a lot more about the speakers than it does about the yarns.

I really wrestled with whether I wanted to post this video or not, since I have a lot of issues with misinformed animal rights people. I also had a really long conversation about all of the above via email with the people who sent it to me. In the end, I thought it might be more interesting to talk about it than not to post it at all.

I know so many people (like you, Kristen!) who have fiber animals and treasure them. If we talk about that here, and make it clear that they are loved and cared for and discuss how fantastic their fiber is compared to other fibers (see the next post on Wovember — yay), maybe WE can educate some of the opposition.

I know shearing isn’t cruel, you know it isn’t…but these urban vegan types who’ve never been on a farm in their life just DON’T know. It’s sad. Let’s turn the tables and educate them, give them some insight into the things they don’t know about.

Christine November 21, 2011 at 9:54 pm

This is very interesting! I guess I’m coming into this conversion a bit late but as a vegetarian I have always wondered about wool. Isn’t a lot of wool from Australia? I’ve heard of some questionable practices there, like mulesing and the selling off of older sheep to the meat industry in the middle east. That doesn’t really sit well with me…what do you guys think? Unfortunately, I can’t really afford the higher end wool from smaller, ethical producers so I just try to avoid wool yarn in general.

I know there are problems with cotton and other plant fibers too and honestly, it makes knitting a lot less fun when you have to consider the ethics behind every. single. source. My mind is swirling trying to find the most socially and environmentally responsible products and it is just so complicated! (I recently found out about child slavery in the cocoa industry and have had to seek out new sources for my chocolate addiction, too. I’m full of first world guilt in every aspect of my life!)

Anyway, I’d appreciate your input! Thanks! :)

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