May 28, 2013 by Living Girl Living Foods
The people in my life, those even who felt like they were just strangers or acquaintances at first inspire me with the questions they ask. Of course there are the typically questions, “Where do you get your protein?,” “Aren’t you deficient in anything?” and so on! But overtime I am sensing an opening in people’s awareness, compassion, a hunger for knowledge and letting go of some of those unwritten laws or assumptions we originally had.
Here are just a few of the questions I have been asked recently. I find this to all be a little more out of the box than normal, as I meet more people I am seeing that there is truly a yearning to understand.
Q: Why do vegans not use or wear animal fur or skins? Why is using wool not okay? How about recycled animal product clothing? Do you wear any?
A: There are people out there that consider themselves vegan but do not connect with this idea of not using animal products in clothing. I personally find this to be the aspect where it is important to focus on the compassion that those living a vegan, vegetarian or plant based life. This is a way of spreading compassion, to not feel the need to own an animal, their skin, fur, teeth and etc. The want or need to own an animal is very much the ego speaking. No living creature truly owns another, we are meant to live a free, loving, peaceful, compassionate life. Oppression is still oppression, even if it is a shark tooth, leather boots or wool socks.
In a not so fluffy way of putting it, vegheads do not wear wool since every purchase is a way of support something. Plant based lifestyles do not support any kind of animal exploitation, breeding, keeping and shearing sheep for their wool is a form of exploitation. It is an animal rights concern and the fact that animals are being harmed, used, and abused does effect all living creatures.
Many images of sheep having their wool removed make it seem like a very harmless process. Sheep, like many mammals, do not produce as much fur when they get older. When the sheep are no longer profitable for their wool, they are sent to a slaughter house.
This is very similar to the milk and egg industries. When a cow’s milk production drops or a chicken’s egg production gets too low to be profitable, they are sent to a slaughter house.
The fur is removed by mulesing. This is a painfully cruel practice where pieces of skin and flesh are cut off of a sheep’s hindquarters in order to prevent flystrike. The procedure is typically done with the sheep restrained and without anesthesia. The resulting scar tissue is smooth and grows less wool, so it is less likely to become dirty and attract flies.
Flystrike is a condition where fly eggs hatch on an animal, and the emerging maggots eat the host animal alive. Maggots are the larval stage of flies, and can kill the host animal if the condition goes untreated.
The reason sheep are so susceptible to flystrike is because they have been selectively bred to have wrinkled skin, which gives them more skin and allows them to produce more wool. They have also been bred to have unnaturally thick wool that can become soiled, and wrinkled, dirty skin and wool attract flies. Sheep are extremely susceptible to flystrike because breeders have selected the traits that are profitable and pleasing to them, not the traits that are the healthiest or most beneficial for the animals.
All animals used for clothing, fashion, accessories, consumption and so on have been modified in one way or another for the sake of profit.
Some vegans believe it is okay to wear/use used, recycled, thrifted or home farmed wool, leather and etc. This way the item is not going to waste.
I personally do not wear any because I don’t like how I feel looking at these products. I do not want to wear something dead, to feel dead, to support the agony of a creature by wearing it on my body as if I am “better” or “smarter.” I want to cry when I touch them and my skin does not feel comfortable in them. I do not own these animals, I do not want to support harming animals or manipulating them. They were once someone’s mother, sister, friend, this animal had its own life, soul, emotions, fears, joys.
❤ This is a matter of compassion ❤
Q: What is whey protein?
A: Whey protein is a derivative of milk, it is the liquid that is left behind after the first stages of the cheese-making process. It is used in many store-bought protein shakes, smoothie bars and even in mock meats & cheeses. Please be careful when purchasing items for a vegan, just because an item is a rice cheese does not mean it is free of whey or is vegan. Products by the company Quorn are mostly made of eggs and milk.
Peta has a long list of vegan mock products if that is something you are interested in.
Whey protein I think is truly overrated. There are more than enough ways of getting protein through plant-based foods.
Protein breakdown is performed primarily by the liver and the excess waste is excreted via the kidneys. Excess protein might overly tax these organs. Whey protein supplementation is associated with digestive issues related to excess protein intake, such as abdominal pain, gas, bloating and diarrhea.