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« 365 Days #289 - Outtakes from the 2003 365 Days Project - Part IV (mp3s) | Main | "Fuck Everything But tATu" »

October 16, 2007

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Dale Hazelton

When I was a younger man my parents bought a lamb for my mildly-retarded brother that he promptly named "Mike." My father converted the old chicken coop (that had held a heifer calf after the chickens and ducks left, but long prior to Mikes arrival) into a place for him to while away his time eating clover and hay. There was no plan to sell wool or have a nice stew, he was just a pet for my brother to tend to. As Mike grew larger and his butting instincts became more finely defined, he knocked the coop door off the hinges one morning when he wanted to get out for some fresh air. A while later the whole front wall was subject to his very hard head, and the wall lost. The North wall came down sometime after that and my father propped up the roof with a few old 2X4s and rusty nails (made easier to hammer in by poking them into a worn bar of cake soap). Come winter Mike sure was pretty with a huge coat of wool, covered in snow, but admittedly he probably wasn't very happy, being the only sheep around for miles. That next year he finally was given to a farm family that spun and sold wool from their own lamb-baas. I still think about how nice it felt to stick a hand deep into Mikes coat when I see a skein of yarn, even the acrylic stuff. I'm sure he is enjoying himself eating Birdsfoot and Timothy and knocking down chicken coops in heaven as I write.

Ivy

I took up knitting two years ago and I attend several knitting and crafts shows. I'm always happy to see spinning demonstrations and "tops" (pieces of high quality wool, straight from the sheep) set out on stalls. A few months ago a knitting magazine here in the Uk published a poster of pictures of sheep of various breeds and captions stating what types of wool were manufactured from their fleece. My husband and I couldn't stop laughing when we saw it, as it looked like a combination of a wanted poster and personal ads for the sheep. I'm currently knitting a coat made with 13 skeins of a slub wool called Marshmallow from Collinette, which is hand dyed with various colours that come out as stripes when knitted up. By the way, there used to be a TV programme here called "One Man and his Dog" which featured filmed trials of dogs herding sheep.

illlich

I had this same argument with a vegan while hiking on the Appalachian Trail. She was opposed to milk and cheese because some cows are mistreated. "So. . . if the dairy industry were to slowly (or suddenly) disappear, then what? The cows would run wild and free? I don't think so." I have a certain amount of respect for vegetarians and vegans, but the danger is losing ones rationality in pursuit of some ideological perfection; if you are opposed to cows (or sheep) being mistreated, then work to stop the mistreatment, not the entire industry. Besides-- how is artificial wool really better? Things like polar-fleece or polar-tech which substitute for wool are made from plastics. . . so you are hurting a natural and ancient process like rearing sheep, and favoring the chemical industry, who have done far more damage to the environment than sheep farmers.

Steve PMX

GUILTY...OF BEING SHEEP

Denise

I noticed no Save the Sheep protesters at the Sheep and Wool extravaganza, but as I walked around I was disturbed at the growing trend to dress up animals in human clothing. This is the kind of animal mistreatment information they should have pamphlets about at Whole Paycheck.

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