Still on holiday in Fiji and it is absolutely amazing! Last night we went to the resort's New Years celebration which did involve watching a Pig get roasted on a spit. Lovely. But I did manage to rumage together an AMAZING vegan meal from the buffet. I'll put a pic below.
My brilliant friend Christy has been reading Bill Bryson. Now, if you haven't ever read a Bill Bryson book, you really should. He's full of brilliant and interesting facts, often about things you never knew or thought to know about. But they are always relevant. For example: two of the best ones Christy has read out to us thus far; firstly: Juliet actually WAS getting married pretty young, even by the standards of her time. I distinctly remember in English class being told that it was pretty expected for a fourteen year old to be married off. But no, Bill tells us that the average age of a woman getting married even then was twenty-two! Thank you Bill. Second awesome bit of info: lawns! Who knew that lawns and keeping a nice lawn would be a problem? Well, Bill knows. Americans use an excess water, land mass and chemicals keeping the perfect mowed lawn, to a point where it is hugely bad for the environment! Who knew? I haven't done much googling on that, but it totally makes sense in my head.
Anyway: I have a point to all this. Christy and I had a discussion a few days ago (whilst in the pool of course) about wool. I said that I had a wool dress and wasn't sure if I should get rid of it, or keep it because I had it before I turned Vegan. She thinks I should keep it and then asked why wool was bad when sheep have to be sheared. I admitted I hadn't done a lot of research on the topic, but of course it all comes under the bracket of "animal exploitation" in my eyes. I can live perfectly happily without wool, so why would I take advantage of sheep to use their wool? She made the argument (which is true) that sheep do actually have to be sheared and yes, by human hand. The discussion didn't go on much longer; I think we needed a cocktail, but yesterday, whilst stuck in Bill Bryson, Christy had another interesting paragraph to read to me: about WOOL! Go Bill. Bill talks about how after decades of mutilating their natural breeding: sheep NOW have to be sheared by human hand because (of course) we have made it so. Humans saw wool: decided they wanted more of it: fucked with nature and now sheep have to be sheared. Another great chapter for man and our damn ego. The problem now of course: is that sheep DO HAVE TO BE SHORN. Unless we start now and try to reverse the damage we have done. Of course I don't even know if that's possible.
So why not use the wool? Time to do some research methinks::
Here's what Vegan Peace have to say:"Vegans avoiding wool products isn't understood by many people. Since sheep need to be shorn to remove their excess wool, people don't really see anything wrong with the wool industry. One simple reason vegans avoid wool is because it involves the exploitation of sheep. What most people don't realize however, is that the wool industry also involves a lot of cruelty..... People have selectively bred our modern sheep with the thick heavy coats. About 30% of all wool used worldwide comes from Australia. The most commonly raised sheep there is the Merino. Merinos have been specifically bred to have wrinkly skin to produce more wool. Their coats are so thick that some die of heat exhaustion during hot months. Unlike wild sheep, Merinos cannot shed their fleece.
Since domesticated sheep can not shed their fleece themselves, their wool will grow longer and longer while flies lay eggs in the moist folds of their skin. The hatched maggots can eat the sheep alive. To prevent this from happening, ranchers will perform an operation called mulesing. Without anesthesia large strips of flesh are cut of the backs of lambs and around their tails. Other procedures performed without anesthesia include punching a hole in the ears of lambs several weeks after birth, docking their tails and castrating the males. The castrations are done when the male lambs are between 2 and 8 weeks old, with the use of a rubber ring to cut off their blood supply."
There's a lot more in that article if you want to go on reading. So, once again it all comes down to personal choice: as I said above, I can happily live without wool in my life. I don't think that's a big deal to me. Also, I am a hundred per-center. If I'm going vegan, than I am GOING VEGAN. I have no need for animal products in my life and if people don't understand that; that's okay. My one wool dress will remain on the debate table as I have only had it for a little over the year and worn it once. Am I ready to give it up? We will see.
(I suspect the answer will be yes)
And here is the amazing dinner I managed to shove together from the meat-centric buffet. Sooooo delicious!
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