i8beefy2
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

i8beefy2

addict
Location: Ohio, USA

Total posts: 674
Posted:So I used to always be about avoiding killing animals and all that. I eat vegetarian most of the time, and used to be very adamanet about being so... I still eat meat once in a while for health reasons, and because I love sushi, which Im sure will get all kinds of evil looks from actual vegetarians who eat so on moral grounds.

But a friend of mine who is native american made a point to me. There is a tradeoff involved in giving up animal products for synthetic products. That being anything made of plastic involves the use of petrochemicals in their construction. So essentially, you are giving up using the life of a single organism in order to get another material that has a worse cost: environmental pollution.

I figured this kind of discussion might be very pertinent to those of us who try to be consciencious about our habits (and since leather / kevlar / fuels are all involved in a lot of spinning stuff...). I can see strong points for either side, but they seem to revolve around two viewpoints, for lack of better terms: the small-scale viewpoint and the large-scale viewpoint. The small-scale viewpoint says "What about the individual animal's feelings" while the large-scale viewpoint says "What about the long-term survivability of ecosystem as a whole".

And since I recently posted something about finding leather and got berated instead for using animal products, I figured this way I could dodge the bullet in that thread while making my point here. biggrin

Sooo.... thoughts?


Delete Topic

KaelGotRice
GOLD Member since Jul 2003

KaelGotRice

Basu gasu bakuhatsu - because sometimes buses explode
Location: Angel's Landing, USA

Total posts: 1584
Posted:But what about the fluffy furry animals???

Yes, I'm apt to agree that while stealing the skin of animals is wrong, so is polluting the environment.

In most cases, your average consumer doesn't give a damn about either, except the joys the product will give. There needs to be more consciencious consumer choices in order not to screw up this beautiful planet we live on, or perhaps we ought not to be consumers, but our own producers. biggrin (hint hint) Quite a few friends of mine make their own clothes.

So I suppose in real answer to your question, don't go leather or synthetic handles - Real hippies spin socks.

wink


To do: More Firedrums 08 video?
Wildfire/US East coast fire footage
LA/EDC glow/fire footage
Fresno fire

<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ubbrollsmile.gif" alt="" />

Delete

thelost
SILVER Member since Aug 2005

thelost

mmm...i feel all warm and fuzzy... 'no dude, that's your hair on fire'
Location: Birmingham, Australia

Total posts: 355
Posted:Written by: i8beefy2

and because I love sushi, which Im sure will get all kinds of evil looks from actual vegetarians who eat so on moral grounds.



I'm just stuck thinking about that because i eat sushi/sashimi...
How does eating raw fish/seafood qualify as worse than eating cooked meat?... not as if we're eating it alive...

On the meat vs. synthetic front, i reckon that the meat 'industry' has become sustainable, as we're breeding animals for food. It's not as if we're just eating them without letting them breed again, so the numbers are stable. It's cruel, yes, but because it has become part of our culture to breed livestock etc for their meat, I don't have a problem with it. I have a problem with people killing other animals in the world which can't sustain numbers at the rate at which they're killed.

Synthetic materials, as you said before like plastics, use relatively unrenewable resources i.e. crude oil. I say 'relatively' because it IS renewable, just that it takes however million years for our bones etc to decompose and eventually end up as crude oil.
I'm all for a better long-term ecosystem, but that will involve a lot of change and like most humans, change is difficult. I don't think much will be done until the levels of crude oil hit critical, THEN people will start injecting huge amounts into research funding for alternative fuels.

Sorry if I went off the rails with the topic there, but that's just how I feel frown

Now...a situation far far worse that i must attend to...cooking dinner ubbcrying biggrin


It's better to burn out than to fade away

Delete

NOn


activist for HoPper liberation.
Location: ffidrac

Total posts: 1643
Posted:one question relating to this topic - considering that as modern tanning processes are also pretty harmful to the environment, does anyone know if patent (shiny) leather is worse than suede, or vice versa?

Generally i am of the opinion that leather is better, although is mainly in the context of shoes, because i find they are more hardwearing, and if they are durable, there is less need to replace them so often... besides that a lot of synthetic plasticy shoes make my feet sweaty and minging... so i would go for leather, although i wouldn't buy leather in excess, like for a coat, or sofa or something....

In fabrics, i think most day to day fabrics in clothes (nice clothes i mean) tend to be mostly natural, with a small percentage of synthetic, so compared to some areas of industry the synthetic thing may be relatively low impact.... but then there's the problem of the natural fibres like cotton, and all those trade issues..... ay yai yai...

I think like a lot of topics re. sustainability of the environment, there is not one right way, i think individuals sometimes need to make indiividual decisions based on their individual experience and need... so long as you think about it biggrin


Aurinko freedom agreement reached 10th Sept 2006

if it makes no sense that's because it's NOn-sense.

Delete

Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:I think leather could be a lot more sustainable than plastics every will be. And, when treated well, is a lot more durable... making it an even better choice. When I was growing up there still weren't synthetic bridles for horses in any real sense, so I has some accustoming to leather despite growing up in a VERY animal right active household. I've made several of my own discoveries over the years and one of them is that properly done leather beats the crap out of synthetics in quality (but you do pay for it, in america anyway. maybe not in germany....)

And eating something thats been alive isn't whats "wrong." Nor is using it- (I'd love to be useful after my death. Doubt it'll happen tho tongue)
Whats wrong is the torturing of the animals that goes on around it.


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

Delete

KaelGotRice
GOLD Member since Jul 2003

KaelGotRice

Basu gasu bakuhatsu - because sometimes buses explode
Location: Angel's Landing, USA

Total posts: 1584
Posted:Slightly OT:

Kyrian - Instead of taking up space when you die, get cremated and your ashes let loose into the wind.

That way you'll find yourself becoming the soil and sustaining life on earth.

smile


To do: More Firedrums 08 video?
Wildfire/US East coast fire footage
LA/EDC glow/fire footage
Fresno fire

<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ubbrollsmile.gif" alt="" />

Delete

JauntyJames
SILVER Member since Dec 2004

JauntyJames

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Hampshire College, MA, USA

Total posts: 3533
Posted:How much do you suppose kevlar production pollutes?

-James

"How do you know if you're happy or sad without a mask? Or angry? Or ready for dessert?"

Delete

Mynci
BRONZE Member since Apr 2005

Mynci

Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free..., United Kingd...

Total posts: 8737
Posted:Written by: KaelGotRice


Kyrian - Instead of taking up space when you die, get cremated and your ashes let loose into the wind.

That way you'll find yourself becoming the soil and sustaining life on earth.





Wouldn't that be less environmentally friendly than say being buried and decomposing naturally? The burning of the body would release carbon and CO2 into the atmosphere rather than allowing it to be absobed back into the soil as part of the carbon cycle.

I think leather is better as the waste product is generally meat, offal and bones (used for glue) as well as being sustainable


A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.

Delete

NOn


activist for HoPper liberation.
Location: ffidrac

Total posts: 1643
Posted:yes, but it depends in what you are cremated as to the amount of toxic gases you release, i.e. don't get burned in a highly lacquered coffin with plastic handles and the cremators maybe use a lot of energy because they have to reach a certain temperature for health and safety reasons, you could always throw yourself on a bonfire in the backyard and have a fire party, at least the energy will be going to good use biggrin

Aurinko freedom agreement reached 10th Sept 2006

if it makes no sense that's because it's NOn-sense.

Delete

i8beefy2
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

i8beefy2

addict
Location: Ohio, USA

Total posts: 674
Posted:Personally, I'd rather be buried directly in the ground without a coffin, but I guess there's laws against that... something about diseases or something. So unless I get lucky and get killed my a serial killer who buries me directly in the ground, I'm going for cremation as well.

As for how much production of these materials causes pollution, I was wondering about that, and had hoped to get some more comments from those against animal product use to the effect that I'm wrong in my assessment... I mean come on, there have to be some Buddhist's here somewhere! I used to know a guy who rejected a car on the basis of a leather stearing wheel, requiring a synthetic version instead. I never got to have this discussion with him, though... frown pitty.

My interpetation of this point, is that it renders the moral point of animal rights people relatively moot. I was hoping someone would come up with a "sustainable non-polluting synthetic production" example or something (is that even possible?). Something a little short of "Let's make steering wheels out of bark", of course, but more along the lines of "we can make synthetic materials without pollutants" if you catch my drift (which I don't think is possible).

I've been looking for actual research articles about this topic, but havn't found any yet. I suppose it's hard to put a number on either of these two things, which is why I wanted to see what others' perspectives are.

My own, thus far, comes back to one of my main philosophical points: all things in moderation. Both animal products (animal testing, animal skins, animal meat, etc.) and synthetic products (fuels, plastics, chemicals, etc.) are viable options for these things, and both have good things and bad things. The environmental pollutants which might aid in genetic mutation, cancer, etc. etc. I would consider worse than the death of a single animal.


Delete

Bumfro


Bumfro

Its a bum with an afro...
Location: Newcastle NSW

Total posts: 223
Posted:Well... Im just thinking about the chemicals in leather.... im not sure excatly what there is but i'll try to find out. But there are chemicals used to colour, presserve and treat it in the production of leather...

Racism is a weapon of mass destruction

Delete

alien_oddity


alien_oddity

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: in the trees

Total posts: 7193
Posted:i would opt for natural any day, ok so the animal rights lot may decide to fire bomb me for saying this but if you think about it we are consumers, so much to the point we don't care any more about how much waste we produce. for example look to the native amercans or the inuit people they use everything from any animal they kill, there is actualy not alot that can't be used. this i agree with, but pumping animals full of sterroids so they produce more meat for cheaper then wasting most of it on god knows what is wrong. i could go on but my brain needs a rest (hehe)

Delete

NOn


activist for HoPper liberation.
Location: ffidrac

Total posts: 1643
Posted:Written by: i8beefy2

Personally, I'd rather be buried directly in the ground without a coffin, but I guess there's laws against that... something about diseases or something. So unless I get lucky and get killed my a serial killer who buries me directly in the ground, I'm going for cremation as well.



I think you can be buried in shroud then directly in the ground... look up one of the natural death cemeteries, i'm pretty sure that's what they do instead of coffins... (natural materials only of course, no lyrca wink )


Written by:

My interpetation of this point, is that it renders the moral point of animal rights people relatively moot. I was hoping someone would come up with a "sustainable non-polluting synthetic production" example or something (is that even possible?). Something a little short of "Let's make steering wheels out of bark", of course, but more along the lines of "we can make synthetic materials without pollutants" if you catch my drift (which I don't think is possible).

I've been looking for actual research articles about this topic, but havn't found any yet. I suppose it's hard to put a number on either of these two things, which is why I wanted to see what others' perspectives are.



On this point, there alwas are people trying to develop such materials for various applications but as fas as i know, so far this has mainly resulted in brittle plastics for construction use and the like, i don't know much about textiles in this area, although i am sure people are experimenting. In my view the solution for a non harmful product in this field is more likely to come from either leather production and using a more natural method of tanning (of which must exist, people didn't always have the chemicals surely...) or some different kind of weaving softer fibres like hemp to create a tough fabric, again which is already available, some hemp fabrics are as tough as denim at least...

The trouble with synthesising (changing) any material is that there will be some waste produced in the process, and actually all synthetic products start at some point in the process as a "natural" material that is readily available on earth... so the accumulative effects of the whole process would have to be taken into account..... (hmm am just thinking out loud here, sorry if this has already been gone over...)


Aurinko freedom agreement reached 10th Sept 2006

if it makes no sense that's because it's NOn-sense.

Delete

i8beefy2
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

i8beefy2

addict
Location: Ohio, USA

Total posts: 674
Posted:Jeeze. Maybe I should change the title to "Animals are yummy and should all be used instead of synthetic plastics" to try and get some more dissenting opinions... Quite frankly part of me wants to be told that I'm wrong... I'm just this side of e-mailing PETA to see if maybe they have any convincing arguments on this topic. biggrin

It seems to me that given the choice between refining things into synthetic materials and slowly choking ourselves on the byproducts and killing animals for the products, killing animals is the better idea. However, both are just forms of using what we have available to our advantage. Synthetic materials, plastics, refining, etc. ARE great evolutions and advancements in knowledge. That is why I disagree with my one partially native american friend who believes we should all go back to a tribal, lowest possible impact lifestyle. I do believe in science.

What to do with all the waste material though... shoot it off into space? Then the whole question of whether or not it's really wise to remove anything from a relatively closed system (as the earth is). But there are surely many uses for natural materials (including those garndered from live animals) that will also help to lower the impact on the system as a whole, which I think makes it worth it to use animals for that.


Delete

Kyrian


Dreamer
Location: York, England

Total posts: 4308
Posted:I'll ask my mum for you. She used to work for peta tongue

PETA has not been the same thing lately tho. They're doing a lot of things where they just remove animals and then put them down..... oft times in situations where the animals might have gone on to find homes or some such elsewise!


Keep your dream alive
Dreamin is still how the strong survive

Shalom VeAhavah

New Hampshire has a point....

Delete

alien_oddity


alien_oddity

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: in the trees

Total posts: 7193
Posted:has anybody conciddered what will happen when the worlds oil reserves actualy do run out???

no petrol/diesel etc.
no petrochemicals i.e. plastics/ synthetics
and i feel there will be many conflicts arise over a few barrels of oil just so some one can have the upper hand in some way


Delete

NOn


activist for HoPper liberation.
Location: ffidrac

Total posts: 1643
Posted:hmm.. yes, i was just watching a documentary about it last night in fact... in which they were saying that the world's oil production is currently reaching it's peak level, which means that it's all down hill from here... There will still be oil for years yet, but not enough to meet the demand, and that all the remaining oil is cruder and so needs more refining... more refining of course means a greater energy input for energy output... so start saving on the fuel folks; this applies to firespinners too! Interesting in this doc as well they were suggesting a return to more localised living, i thought about that before too, but i'm more towards agreeing with it... i think production can be more local as well as being global at the same time... if that makes sense...

back on topic though, If you can find out what PETA's position is on this leather thing, that'd be really interesting... and it would add another side to the discussion smile


Aurinko freedom agreement reached 10th Sept 2006

if it makes no sense that's because it's NOn-sense.

Delete

Bumfro


Bumfro

Its a bum with an afro...
Location: Newcastle NSW

Total posts: 223
Posted:Ok lets stop calling it 'leather'

lets stop pretending and call it what it is....

preserved flesh from a decomposing animal carcass



And here we go people, check out this

http://www.peta.org/factsheet/files/FactsheetDisplay.asp?ID=58
br>


.....not so biodegradable afterall.....



Why not instead of buying leather or synthetic, go find some second hand stuff, make your own from materials you can find, re use stuff rather than buying it new


Racism is a weapon of mass destruction

Delete

i8beefy2
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

i8beefy2

addict
Location: Ohio, USA

Total posts: 674
Posted:It is true that most mass produced leather uses Chromium preservation methods, etc. and do cause a great deal of pollution. This is what I was looking for. There ARE natural ways to preserve leather without these materials however.

Of course, the vast majority of our products (shoes, couches, upholstry, jackets, clothing, etc.) are preserved in this way.... So I suppose it's very difficult to claim that there is no harm done from these things. If I get my leather from a reputable source it is not a problem. What I was wondering was whether or not the production of synthtic materials causes more or less pollution than leather production.

I am glad to hear all of this. Thank you. I now have a direction to look into on this.


Delete

Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Total posts: 3989
Posted:It's interesting that only one person has posted the truly alternative solution.

If you are serious about both of these concerns, go without either! Make a lifestyle choice to avoid buying, using or encouraging the use of both materials.

Start weaving plant fibre to make all your clothes, for example...

wink


HoP Posting Guidelines
* Is it the Truth?
* Is it Fair to all concerned?
* Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
* Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?

Delete

NOn


activist for HoPper liberation.
Location: ffidrac

Total posts: 1643
Posted:yup, and if that means you need a garden full of hemp so be it! i wonder how well it'd go down with the authorities wink

Aurinko freedom agreement reached 10th Sept 2006

if it makes no sense that's because it's NOn-sense.

Delete

i8beefy2
GOLD Member since Mar 2003

i8beefy2

addict
Location: Ohio, USA

Total posts: 674
Posted:I suppose my main point is that everything we do has advantages and downsides. Both animal products and synthetic and man-made products pollute in some way, save lives in some way, etc. I don't see a big difference in using one over the other.

I mean I could go into pesticide use and how cotton destroys soil and that kind of thing. Everything has a downside. I just don't see animal products having a BIGGER downside than other materials.


Delete

Patriarch917
SILVER Member since Oct 2005

Patriarch917

I make my own people.
Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA

Total posts: 607
Posted:Ok lets stop calling it 'synthetic'

lets stop pretending and call it what it is....

a decomposed animal carcass that has been heavily processed by human ingenuity.



I'm no expert on the subject, but the main theory is that oil is from dead animals that decomposed under the right conditions. We suck it out of the ground, and it gets processed into little straps to hold our poi.



I don't know which takes more effort, treating leather or turning oil into synthetic. Either way, it's a dead animal. My guess is that leather takes less energy to produce, and it is a an easily renewed resource. My guess is that synthetic will last longer, but I haven't spun enough to actually wear out straps.



My initial impression is that good stewardship suggests leather may be a little better.



Moral superiority is the more interesting question.



In the woods of Tennessee, where I live, there is a particular flower that grows in the woods that is very pretty and somewhat rare. As a child, I was taught not to pick this kind of flower because it was better to let the flowers reproduce so that they would still be around for others to see. In the future, that flower may be brought under human dominion and controlled through farming. I may be able to pick as much of it as I want some day. For now though, it's supply is not regulated by me and I should treat it carefully.



In our garden at home, there were other flowers that were also pretty, and were never found in the woods. I was allowed to pick these, because they had been grown for that purpose and we could control the supply.



To me, oil is like the wild flower. I do not buy the idea that we will simply run out of oil someday. I think that as the supply grows smaller and demand grows bigger, we will develop the technology to make our own fuels with comparable energy outputs, perhaps even from dead animal carcasses. However, I understand that until we are able to farm oil and control the supply, we should treat it as a delicate resource and use it only if we really need to.



On the other hand, cows seem more like the flowers in the garden, at least where I live. Ive raised several myself, and I have a pretty good grasp of the technology involved. Cows are a renewable resource based mainly on solar energy, and there is no data that I am aware of that says we are going to run out of cows anytime soon. Of course, someday we may need to turn them into fuel to run our cars, but that is not enough to discourage me from using them. They are tasty, and their skin makes good poi handles.



Of course, even cows may be inefficient compared to plants. I suspect that the amount of land, sun, and water needed to grow enough leather handles for us is more than the amount needed to make cotton handles for us. But cotton wasnt one of the choices offered.



Of course, renewability isnt the only consideration. My moral worldview allows animals to be harvested as a resource if they are reasonably sustainable. Cotton may be more efficient, but if a cow jumps the fence and eats all my cotton I have no problem turning it into poi handles instead.



Other people (like PETA) regard the intentional killing of animals to be wrong. I share a similar belief that the intentional killing of humans is wrong, so I will make an analogy from my moral view.



If I owned a car that ran on dead people, I would feel that it would be wrong to shoot and scoop up pedestrians when I needed to refuel. However, if there were a funeral home/fuel stationed that offered people who had died of natural causes, I would feel fine using them.



Let us assume that the people who died of natural causes are not as good a fuel: their partial decomposition causes them to produce pollution. This pollution causes black lung and leads to more human deaths at earlier ages.



I would still find the funeral home to be a more acceptable moral source of fuel. While I would prefer a fuel that did not cause either direct or indirect deaths, I think I can say with certainty that I find indirect deaths to be the lesser of two evils. In law, this is known as proximate cause. While in a philosophical sense a smoker may, through second hand smoke, cause a small increase in the likelihood that someone who lives in the same building will develop a fatal lung condition, we do not charge that smoker with murder. Common Sense says that killing someone through second hand smoke is on a higher moral ground than strangling them with your poi. Subtlety is the key to righteousness.



By analogy, the solution is obvious: synthetic is the more subtle choice.



Delete

Bumfro


Bumfro

Its a bum with an afro...
Location: Newcastle NSW

Total posts: 223
Posted:....but as you said, your no expert on the subject...

Racism is a weapon of mass destruction

Delete


Similar Topics

Using the keywords [leather v* synthetic] we found the following similar topics.
1. Learn > How to make your own gear > How to: Hoop Wick Covers > Leather Wick Covers *help/resource the material we use is recycled leather because of its durability  but you...
2. Forums > Leather vs. synthetic [23 replies]
3. Forums > leather handle/grip construction [11 replies]
4. Forums > Handle me... Oh.... Oh yeah.... Just like that [6 replies]
5. Forums > Leather Gloves n Contact Fire stuff [2 replies]

     Show more..