the intersection of crafting and killing

This is not usually what we think of when the topic of humane fiber art is raised (i.e. using plant based fibers instead of wool or silk), but I found it interesting:

Knitted Frog Dissection – as long as you don’t use wool (as this crafter did), you’re not hurting any animals with this dissection kit. Of course it still flies in the face of a purist animal rights argument b/c we are still positioning animals within a scientific hierarchy where humans dominate…


5 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Heather Thompson said,

    I have to say… with regard to wool. What happens to the sheep that is left with its coat in its natural state? Is this not a waste of a great natural resource? I may have misunderstood your comment about wool here.

    I have assisted in shearing sheep and found the event to be very educational. I assumed that sheep were severely injured or maltreated in the course of growing and then giving up their wooly coats. I was pleased and surprised to see the care with which a small heard (+200 Sheep) were dealt with in the course of the Shearing last year. I intend to help again this year.

    Honestly, with grass fed meadow raised sheep.. what is the issue with harvesting their coats that would otherwise be wasted? I seek education on this topic.

  2. 2

    alethafaye said,

    Thanks for your comment, Heather – yes, sheep raised by humans need to have their coats sheared for health reasons, and certainly small operations are more humane than large ones. I recently was part of a discussion on ravelry about humane wool (over the practice of museling in Australia for Merino wool) and my ideas about harm caused to wool sheep have shifted – b/c honestly I didn’t know much about it except that museling is done without anesthesia, but apparently the alternative fly infestation is much more painful for the animal . . . so it is the lesser of two evils, if you are supporting animal welfare.
    I am posting some links that explain the difference between an animal rights and an animal welfare position. I tend to align myself more with the animal rights position, which says that animals are not ours to use for ANY purpose as their interests should be accorded the same consideration as humans. In that vein, I aim to refrain from using animal fibers. (This hasn’t been an easy transition, and there is a line – for example, I have wool and wool items that I purchased in the past before making the decision to boycott animal fiber and I will use those and I may use recycled wool/silk from old garments.)

    If you google “the difference between animal rights and animal welfare” however, you come up with a wide range of views ranging from well meaning misconceptions to disparaging comments. Please take it from the ‘horse’s mouth’ so to speak, from PeTA – the activists themselves know what they stand for.

  3. 3

    Heather Thompson said,

    I have heard of some HORRIBLE methods used in providing wool to designers and woolen mills. Many small designers from what I understand do not use these products for exactly the reasons you mention. This abuse I think falls along the lines of “major” designers and fabric mills for “fine” clothing. This is not related to the indies that so many of us absolutely love and can afford.

    I think the choice here (with wool and wool products) is really supporting ethical treatment. This entails knowing where product comes from. Boycotting ALL products from any company or designer that utilizes ill gotten wool. This again may be wool that many of us could afford particularly if demand grows because of our support of ethical farmers.

    I have been doing a great deal of research on what wool is good for this or that etc and so forth. I have found that here in NY we live in a grand area for warm wool fleece and shearing is much needed for our beloved wool providing flocks. Down in Texas or Mexico etc the fleece might be harvested for fine warm weather garments but not for cold weather garments which is the purpose of harvesting a fleece.

    If I had a sheep, alpaca and or angora rabbit I would love them, care for them, harvest and knit their fibers with far more love than I have knitted anything in my life. I know the value of well gotten fiber… priceless.

  4. 4

    cathy schilling said,

    I am trying to find some humane wool farmers in the US. Any suggestions?


  5. 5

    what a great site and informative posts, I will add a backlink and bookmark your site. Keep up the good work!

    I’m Out! 🙂

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