Monday, 23 September 2013

This vegan thing

I'm not a vegan, okay? I'm a vegetarian who tries to avoid dairy products as far as possible. I eat eggs because, as far as I can see, if they're unfertilised, they're a waste product. If we're out and the place everyone else wants to eat at only goes so far down the no-meat route as to offer vegetarian food in a creamy sauce, well, I'll eat it. I think animals should be treated nicely, but me starving myself and making the rest of my family feel awkward isn't going to help a single newborn calf. And while I wouldn't wear fur - you have to kill the animal to use it, for goodness sake - I don't have a problem with wool; I don't believe sheep are usually distressed by being shorn.

Is using wool really exploitation of the sheep as some - true vegans - would have us believe? Or is the fleece a happy by-product of the shearing that's necessary to keep the sheep comfortable through the warmer months? Would it be exploitation if you just gathered the wool left behind on fences and tree trunks? Is it exploitation to use a cocker spaniel as a companion? Or a collie as a working farm dog?

It makes my head hurt a bit, but -  allowing that anyone else's, possibly opposing, views are just as valid as mine - it seems to me that a vegetarian-who-tries-to-avoid-dairy running a wool shop is fine and dandy, ethically-speaking. Not conflicting in any way.

Glad we sorted that out.

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