Originally Posted by seashells
I think the point is that this is the leftover product after all the chemical processing, many rounds with many different industrial processes and chemicals. Your bones and buttermilk didn't go through vats of chemicals to get that way. But I don't know a lot about petroleum. I do agree that lansinoh has a similar feel to vaseline. Other ideas include coconut oil or maybe a product with beeswax in it.
In reference to the bolded portion... maybe originally butter and meat bones were not the product of "many different industrial processes and chemicals" but I am confident that they certainly do go through that kind of processing in today's world, unless you are churning your own, etc. I'm thinking of The Jungle, which of course it's not so bad as that currently, but the reality is that anything you buy in the store (like butter, or meat, etc) came from some kind of processing plant/factory.
Personally, I don't see a problem with consuming a petroleum by-product... it seems more ethical than consuming the original petroleum product (gasoline... or even dish detergent, for that matter). If there weren't a demand for the original, then the by-product becomes a moot point. It just seems like a backward statement to boycott a by-product unless one boycotts all the original product too (which people on this thread may, and I'd like to say I never drive a car, but I'd be lying...).
So theoretically, if petroleum products are being produced, and petrolatum is a by-product, then why allow the production of petroleum to create a by-product that could be useful, but heads into the landfill anyway? Like, why throw it away or not use it when it's useful and affordable, since the real issue isn't Vasaline, but more like Shell Oil/Exxon/BP/Chevron/etc...? What's the more effective/appropriate statement to make?
I'm more than interested to hear about the health/safety issues with petrolatum, since I don't really know about that... I guess I'm just speaking to the petroleum-industry by product issue, and the ethics of that argument.