Knit by Night

Thursday, November 17, 2005

I found something I just have to rant on.

People. (Wow, that narrowed it down, didn't it?) People who are completely against using animal fibres in knitting, because of the harm that comes to the animals. People who do this, and then call other people misinformed for having differing opinions.

Aside from the general stupidity of the human race in general, let me go into specifics on why this bothers me.

Yes, I'm sure we've all heard about The horrible images they show. The bad stories they tell, about how cruel it is to hold the sheep down and shear them of their precious precious wool. Why, if God (or insert appropriate deity here) intended sheep to not have fleece, (S)He would have made them that way! (Please read appropriate sarcasm in that.)

Yes, I'm sure the sheep aren't too fond of being held down and sheared. Little kids put up a huge fuss when you have to bathe them. That doesn't mean we should let them run around and be dirty. And have you ever tried to bathe a dog, or a cat? It's like going through clawed hell in some cases, but it's better in the long run if it's done.

Know why sheep, typically, are sheared in the springtime? Because the winter's over, the weather's turning warmer, and if they keep all that heavy fleece on them, they're going to overheat. Possibly die from it. So is this a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation? Save the Sheep even states that the 'unnatural overload' of wool on Merinos can cause them to pass out and die in the hotter months of the year, because of heat stroke. (But shearing them is bad, mmkay?)

Yeah, when animals are treated like factory commodities, there's a problem. I disagree with that kind of treatment. Myself, I'll buy free-range eggs at the grocery store, even if they're a little more expensive than the ones bought from companies where the chickens are kept in small cages all day. But I won't go out and say, "Don't eat eggs, because most companies are immoral! Save a chicken today!" What people are missing is the fact that there's *gaspshock* another option.

Save the Sheep claims that Anyone who buys wool helps foot the bill for a cruel and bloody industry that no amount of fluff can hide. Except for the cases where people, I dunno, buy from small local fibre farms where the sheep are treated better. Which, with the growing interest of knitting and other such crafts, more people are doing.

Save the Sheep tries very hard to convince people that wool is a Bad Bad Thing, starting such facts as "It causes allergies and/or extreme itching for many people" and "It's very water-absorbent, and doesn't dry quickly." It doesn't state, however, that wool can retain 30-50% of its heating capability when wet, which no other fibre, I believe, does. Have two wool blankets that are completely soaked through, and you're out in the middle of the woods? You may be wet, but at least with wool, you won't die of hypothermia. Acrylic sure as heck won't do that for you.

The sad fact of the matter is that people, if you'll excuse the awful pun, are sheep. They latch onto a cause and blindly follow it, conveniently overlooking any alternatives, never thinking that there might be more to the story than what they're hearing. They talk about how cruel it is for a sheep to be sheared, how they're treated, how anyone who buys wool is supporting cruel practices (loaded issues . . . how I'm sick of them), and accusing everyone who doesn't think that way of being misinformed. Some people (and it's usually the zealots) treat their cause as a crusade, bashing down everyone that comes in contact with them that has a differing opinion.

Animal cruelty is out there. It sucks. Hardcore suckage. I agree. I try to do what I can to cut back on it. But I also know that rather than ban something, I can seek alternative. I can still eat eggs, because I support free-range chickens, and the farmers that make it happen. I don't have to avoid wool like the plague, because there are plenty of places that treat their sheep with kindness and respect, that are willing to sell that wool to me. The majority does not make up the whole. And lumping everyone who likes animals fibres (not flesh, as some people seem to think) with those who pollute the waters with sheep-dip and who treat the animals inhumanely is a VERY unfair generalization.

it's time to open your eyes, people. Your opinion isn't neccessarily the right one. It isn't even the only opinion that matters. It is an opinion. When you only look at one side of the coin, you completely miss the fact that there's another side. Sometimes you even forget that it's a coin you're looking at. If you don't want to do something, that's fine. Your choice. Everyone can make them. But don't force the world into doing what you want, just because you want it. Don't treat everyone who disgrees with you like an idiot. And don't, for the love of all that is pure, go around saying that you're right, and only you, because you found some facts on a minority of cases, and someone's friend's friend told you that that's how it's done everywhere.

It may turn out that you're just as misinformed as the people you're bashing. And that, my dear friends, is called hypocrisy.


Anonymous Eilene said...

You go girl!!!

10:39 AM  
Blogger yahaira said...

tell me about it!!

12:24 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home