“Not responding is a response – we are equally responsible for what we don’t do.”
Jonathan Safran Foer
I will not talk at length about this in my podcast, just because English is not my mother tongue, and when it comes to topics as this one, I find that it´s hard to find the right words on camera. Just because I have to use some time to find the right ones. Trust me. I tried. So I will refer to this post in my podcast, and if you are curious, you are probably reading this right now.
If you have been following my podcast since the beginning, you will probably have noticed that animal welfare and life is very important to me. I started out as a half-way vegetarian when I was 11, and since then I´ve been excluding more and more animal based food from my diet. I´m 35 years old, now, so it´s been a process for sure. I tried out a vegan diet this January, and I was surprised by how easy it was. And how good I felt doing it. So I just continued eating vegan. 95%. I have eaten a few meals with milk and eggs when visiting Thomas´ family. But I´m gradually avoiding animal based products outside of my home as well.
So. Why is this relevant for my knitting you ask? I´ll tell you. It all started with me wanting to find out how one made silk… or… you don´t make silk. Silk worms do. And to make sure to get the best quality silk as possible the worms are cooked inside the cocoon. I was quite upset to read this. I thought for some reason that the cocoons they used for silk was abandoned “houses”. But alas. I don´t need silk in my life if it means killing a bunch of worms. And I´ve had problems even looking at my pink sweater project since. Not knowing what to do with it. It might be up for adoption. Because I´m not trowing it away. Worms died to make that yarn! But I feel no pleasure knitting on it anymore…
All of this got me thinking. I´ve been telling myself for years that I could use wool, because no harm comes to animals when taking their wool. That wool is just a by-product and all that. But after my silk discovery, I couldn´t just assume that it was all good. After a few weeks I´ve come to the conclution that my shopping habbits as far as wool and yarn goes, will change a lot in the future. I will use or sell what I have in stash. And once that yarn is gone my stash will look a bit different. I will use my woollies, and if I´m gifted woolies I´ll most likely wear them. But I will not support the industry with my own money.
Most vegans I know of will not use any product from animals. I will however use wool, if it´s the right one. Acrylic yarn will never find a home in this house. Plastic yarn is not an option. Not all plant based fibers are good for the environment. Research is needed. I´m on it.
I´ve found a few web shops in Great Britain that sells slaughter free yarn from happy sheep. I´ve also looked into a few plant based yarn blends. Which I of course will talk more about in my podcast. This is not an easy thing to do mind you. I feel like I´m missing out on a lot of fun yarn. But my mind will be at ease. And the patterns are mine for grabs hot yarn or not. And I´ve decided to enjoy my new journey to the fullest, proving that one can be a happy knitter without all the latest trend yarns. And I hope you´ll keep following my adventure in the future.
Needless to say that unless I find a slaughter free way to get my hands on yarn for dyeing, I will not dye more yarn for sale. So no updates with yarn in my etsy shop for a long time, if ever. As I said, I will be knitting with stash yarn for quite a while, so the change of mind will be gradually introduced in the podcast.
What are your thoughts about this? I´ve made up my mind, but I´d like to hear your thoughts if you have any. Are any of you vegetarians or vegans, and what are your thoughts? And one last thing: If you know of any slaughter free wool or alpaca yarn shops online, I hope you will tell me. They are few and far apart as far as I can tell.