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Does anyone else struggle with this issue? I've wrestled with it for a while and have come to the conclusion that I am not comfortable with using wool. Previously I was feeling that I was okay with REusing wool, but not with purchasing new. The more I think about it I am just not confortable with wool at all for animal rights reasons. Unless I change my mind soon I might be getting rid of all of it soon.<br><br>
I use fleece (reused or recycled when I can, probably 75% of the time) and PUL (I only get used stuff) but those bother me because of the petroluem products and the pollution invoved. At least there's not an animal rights issue with those or I think I'd have an aneurism.<br><br>
Am I overthinking this or do other people stay up at nights worrying about the impact of thier diapering materials too?<br><br>
**edited for annoying typo**
 

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nak<br><br>
I don't worry about it really. I guess I figure at least I'm using cloth... If I want to be the best mama I can be I can't be a perfect environmentalist. While it is on my list of "hats" I want to wear, it isn't the top hat. I hope that made sence.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> Well, I personally don't stay up all night worrying about the materials and where they come from for my diapes. I'm not an enviromentalist per-say, and I really do not support PETA since I feel they just take things a lotta bit too far (this is my opinion no flames from the peta gallery please<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/tomato.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="tomato">). I do care about some things and dont' sweat others. I do the best I can with what I have and know my limits to what I'm willing to use and do. If it is really an issue for you though, maybe ECing with just organic fabric for your back up without using any covers? You shouldn't loose sleep over how you diaper your baby IMO. I hope you can work through this and know that no matter what, you are still doing the best you can with what you have.
 

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Have you considered the fleece covers that are made from recycled soda bottles? I think Stacinator makes them.<br><br>
I use mainly fleece, PUL sparingly and have 1 wool cover.
 

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Have you thought of organic wool soakers or alpaca? Alpaca do not have lanolin, so you will need to add some, but I *hear* it works just as well as wool. We have a lot of alpaca farms around my area and they are treated more like a pet than livestock. Also, the happy little <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wool.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wool"> who give organic wool are usually well loved. Most shepherds have predator friendly farms (meaning they don't hunt and kill the natural predators in the area), they don't "dip" the sheep, and the sheep spend most of their time in the pasture. If you don’t eat meat then you did not contribute to their death by buying the wool. Kwim? They would probably be raised for wool even if they weren’t raised for meat.
 

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I do not worry about it much. I have thought about it, yes, but I feel like I am making a big contribution to the environment simply by using cloth. Personally, I feel like the process used to make fleece or PUL is pretty darn awful. It is not a direct animal rights issue, but the pollution and toxic chemicals used to make these products impacts animals and their environment as well.<br><br>
If you have a problem w/ using wool from sheep that live on a farm you know nothing about, then find a WAHM who "knows" the sheep from where she gets her wool. Domestic sheep who are bred to have thick wooly coats must have their wool harvested, so it is not like it is a form of abuse to shear them (as long as it is done humanely of course). There is the issue of the fabric that the dipes are made of as well... is the cotton organic? How is the cotton or hemp harvested? Who makes the fabric? Human rights are an issue to consider too.<br><br>
I understand where you are coming from, and we need to be comfortable w/ our choices in life. I think you need to find a happy medium. You can really take this issue very far, but it would be very difficult to live your life in our current society if you only made completely "kind" or "organic" decisions about your food and clothing, kwim?<br><br>
There are a couple of good articles on the Fuzbaby site, but I can't seem to get on it right now to give you a link. Look under "Articles" and there is one on wool and one on the process of making petroleum based fabrics.<br><br>
HTH~
 

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It is really tough to find peace with these issues. You have to do what you are comfortable with-- there seems to be no way to be a perfect consumer- everything has some drawbacks- you have to weigh them against your values and see what materials are in line with that.<br><br>
I did struggle with using wool- and leather... and then I stepped into a shoe store filled with vinyl shoes and the fumes almost knocked me out. I decided a pair of leather shoes I wear until they fall apart is better than all that petroleum and vinyl. That was just me. I feel that way about wool as well. But for a long time I would not use either wool or leather and may go that way again. It is an ongoing dilemma and you are a thoughtful person to consider these issues. Good luck with your decision.
 

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Frankly, I think that using cloth diapers regardless of their material is 1000 times better than using disposables. So no, I don't worry about the environmental/animal rights impact.<br><br>
As a former vegetarian/animal rights person, I do understand where you're coming from. Just remember that EVERY SINGLE material you could possibly diaper your child with has environmental implications. In fact, everything that is manufactured has an environmental implication. Human society impacts the environment. Plant materials use water/pesticides/nutrients from the ground/chemical fertilizers, etc.<br><br>
So, realize that you do the best you can. Your child needs a diaper. By using cloth, you are saving 6,000 plastic and paper diapers from sitting in the landfill. YOUR contribution to environmental degradation is far less.<br><br>
And as for the wool, that's a personal choice, which is yours to make. I've decided that my child is better off in wool -- his skin looks better when he wears it. To me, that is more important than the rights of the sheep not to be shorn. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Hope this isn't taken in a preachy way -- I don't mean it that way. You make the decision that works best for your family. I just don't want you to be up at night worrying! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I think about these issues too. I feel like organic wool and hemp/organic cotton are the best choices for my family. I do not buy poly products because of the manufacturing/chemical issues. The people that work in these factories are taking risks that they do not even know about. I worked in a plastics factoryuntil I was 5 months pregnant with my first son. He has deformities of his ribs and some organs. I believe with all my being the factory was the cause. I know that my wool covers will eventually break down and become part of the earth, so when it is recycled, or organic I feel okay with my decision on wool. Ack...I don't know it is a tough question, but I think this is the order my decisions go on. Health/saftey of my child/ren, the people involved, the earth,and the animals are tied IMO.<br><br>
Try not to loose sleep, we all do the best we can!!!<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Debi
 

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I don't know why I couldn't get on the Fuzbaby site earlier, but here is the link to all the <a href="http://fuzbaby.com/articles.htm" target="_blank">Fuzbaby articles</a>.<br><br>
A similar topic was discussed on Amity's a while back. It was quite an interesting discussion. You may be interested in reading the thread: <a href="http://www.amitymama.com/vb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=112904&highlight=wool" target="_blank">Why is wool a no no from a vegan perspective?</a>
 

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Hmmm . . . well, my work outside the home involves domestic violence, so if I'm going to be up at night worrying, it's going to be about whether a woman and/or her children are going to be attacked and/or killed, not whether a herd of sheep has nicks on their skin from being shorn.<br><br>
I'm not trying to be snide, but rather to suggest that you have to look at the big picture. I believe that you can use wool cloth diapering products without guilt, as others in this thread have suggested: you can use WAHM's or get wool yourself from organic or very nice farmers. In my experience, wool is the healthiest for my baby's skin, and even if sheep were killed to provide me with wool, I would still use it. In my big picture analysis, the health benefits to my son are worth the price to the animals. PUL and fleece make him quite hot, causing frequent heat rash and other diaper rashes. I also think their environmental impact is much worse than wool, and in my big picture, that environmental impact trumps whatever discomfort (and it's not much) due to the shearing of sheep. I prefer to use organic wool or wool from WAHM's who can vouch for the humane treatment of the animals, but I also have wool soakers and covers that I would never give up that are from mass produced "bad" wool.<br><br>
I think it's good to raise questions about this, and, as others have said, you have to go with your own comfort level. There are no absolute right or wrong answers, just what you feel works best for you.<br><br>
Karla
 

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Yes, I honestly do worry over it, but like it has already been mentioned, you have to find YOUR comfort level in all of this. I mean, where do you or will you draw the line? Even the snaps on dipes can have crazy 'stuff' in them, so if you want to split hairs, you'll find something 'wrong' with every diaper and cover out there. Going a little OT-I was a vegetarian for a full decade and didn't eat meat or use animal products like wool or leather, but I DID take in dairy. I tried to justify it as a sense of balance. I knew I could never be vegan (actually got into veggie at age 17 for health reasons and learned about the enviro impact later in college), but I figured I could do my part. I feel that way about everything I do and everything we buy and eat and use. So, I was doing the recycled thing for a while-wouldn't buy brand new but would buy used from another mama. I've since sold off most of my wool, but I think I still prefer it to pul and fleece (I have those also). For me it is mainly what works for keeping my son dry and comfy, but I do sometimes worry about the materials I'm using to achieve that.<br><br>
I'd say, if it really sits as wrong with you, then don't do it. You need to be ok with the choices you make. Also, being informed helps too. I was sooooo tickled to find that the LTK mama visits her farm and knows for sure that the animals are humanely treated there. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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bs"d<br><br>
I think alot about this, too. I am mostly vegan and don't usually buy leather, silk, wool, etc. I *do* buy these materials used, though. For me, that is where I draw the line. I could never wear a leather jacket, but I have a pair of leather shoes I got used. Most people don't buy used shoes, so I know I'm helping the environment by using pre-owned <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> shoes, and I am not contributing to animal torture. I also buy second-hand wool covers. I don't plan to relanolinize (I've heard this works for some. It's working so far for me.), so, again I don't think I'm contributing much to animal torture. I still have PUL covers (I started cding with these) and use these as well. I have bought some things new for diapering, but I just try to make conscious choices whenever I buy something <i>from now on</i>. I don't worry too much about purchases I may have made in the past weren't the greatest. Whenever I am about to spend money, I ask myself, "Can I buy this used? If not, can I get it in a locally-produced, organic, reusable, etc. version?" and so on.
 

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I've thought about this since I'm a vegetarian (short-lived vegan!) but like sharonal says, just being alive impacts the environment negatively.<br><br>
So where does this leave me? I'm focusing a lot on 2 "R"s: recycling (buying used covers) and reducing (limiting what I buy). I'm conscious of this not only for wool, but for every product. I think if I get as close to living simply as possible (I have a long way to go) then that will be the best that I can do for the environment.
 

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that using cloth is better then using something that fills a landfill every single day. Animals are not always treated badly, granted there are some sheep farmers who are cruel and only interested in the wool but there are enough out there that are good to the animals too. You are going to find bad in everything if you look for it. Some things are just way worse then others and cloth diapering is better as far as I am concerned.
 

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I have thought about this in the past, and it's actually the main reason I started to knit my boys soakers. I actively searched out a small farm that treated the sheep very well, and use their wool exclusively. I've seen the farm, seen the sheep, and know they are well cared for. Wool from a well cared-for-sheep is far more appealing in my mind than fleece or pul or other man-made products that are contributing tons of pollution and who-knows-what-else to our air and environment.<br><br>
I do have a question though-for those who say they do use wool, silk, etc, but only buy used. What is the though process behind that? Is it because you weren't the orinigal consumer that it's okay to use products that you would otherwise object to? I'm not being snide or sarcastic here at all, I am truly interested in the reasoning behind it. Thanks!
 

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Since switching to cloth a month ago I have to say I have thought about this a fair bit but not for strictly environmental reasons but rather from a health standpoint. The sposies we were using were unbleached, no dye, fragrance, tbt, etc. Then I started to wonder about the occasional fleece I was putting on ds's tush since I was sure it was bleached. We do use wool and hemp which I'm ok with. But i have to admit I didn't realize that fleece had such a negative impact on the environment. All these details are sure making my decision to cd complicated. I'm sticking with it tho and trying to make sure I get only unbleached and pref. organic materials. I dunno about the fleece tho it sure keeps ds's tush dry when we use it, which is not that often. I don't even want to think about PUL which we have or the snaps in dipes...
 

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I don't worry about it. Perhaps I'm naive but I don't think shearing the sheep is a bad thing for them. They are well taken care of, fed well, protected...that's better than they could do alone in nature.<br>
The quality of the wool is reflected in how well they are taken care of so the farmers take good care of them, at least the people I know who raise animals for fiber take great care of their animals.
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><i>Originally posted by amarasmom</i><br><b>I don't worry about it. Perhaps I'm naive but I don't think shearing the sheep is a bad thing for them. They are well taken care of, fed well, protected...that's better than they could do alone in nature.</b></td>
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Shearing domestic sheep is not bad for them, it's necessary. However, you cannot compare a domestic animal to it's wild cousins. Wild sheep do not have the unnaturally long or wooly coats that domestic ones do. Humans have bred sheep this way and thus have taken away some of their natural adaptations in the process. Domestic sheep would not survive in nature because we have bred them that way (some of them might, but generally I cannot imagine a domesticated sheep surviving for long w/o human care).<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;"><b>The quality of the wool is reflected in how well they are taken care of so the farmers take good care of them, at least the people I know who raise animals for fiber take great care of their animals.</b></td>
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Some ppl take good care of their sheep, but some probably do not. Also, what may be considered adequate treatment and care by one may be very inadequate by someone else's standard.
 

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Oh my, I have been trying to avoid this discussion in diapering since I first came to MDC!<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">If you don’t eat meat then you did not contribute to their death by buying the wool. Kwim? They would probably be raised for wool even if they weren’t raised for meat.</td>
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Many sheep that are shorn for wool are killed. Their legs are broken in the process as they are pinned down, their skin is cut and burned by careless clippers. They die of heat exhaustion b/c they are bred to grow more wool by breeding wrinkly skin. Typically their ears are "clipped" and their tails cut off- this is with no anesthesia!!<br><br><i>In Australia, just weeks after birth, lambs' ears are punched, their tails are chopped off, and males are castrated without anesthetic. Extremely high rates of mortality are considered "normal". Twenty-40 percent of lambs die at birth or before the age of 8 weeks from cold and starvation. Eight million mature sheep die every year from disease, lack of shelter and neglect. One million of these die within 30 days of shearing.<br><br>
Australian sheep are specially bred to have wrinkly skin (which means more wool per animal). This unnatural overload of wool causes many of the animals to die of heat exhaustion during warm seasons. The wrinkles collect urine and moisture which attract flies to lay their eggs. Sheep can literally be eaten alive by maggots when the eggs hatch. To prevent "flystrike" Australian ranchers perform a barbarous operation called "mulesing" in which huge strips of skin are carved off the backs of unanesthetized lambs’ legs. This is done to cause smooth scarred skin that won’t harbor fly eggs. Yet the bloody wounds often get flystrike before they heal; and despite the feeling by many that mulesing kills more sheep than it saves, the mutilation continues.<br><br>
Sheep-shearers are paid by volume, not by hour, which encourages working quickly and carelessly. Says one eyewitness, "The shearing shed must be one of the worst places in the world for cruelty to animals. I have seen shearers punch sheep with their sheers or fists until the sheep’s noses bled. I have seen sheep with half their faces shorn off".</i><br><a href="http://www.petaindia.org/cwool.html" target="_blank">http://www.petaindia.org/cwool.html</a><br><br>
also:<br><i><br>
Sheep’s wool has been in steady decline since 1990, both in price and demand, with Australia’s former near-total dominance of the world market falling by about 35 percent in a decade.(23) In 2000, the U.S. government moved to shore up the American sheep and lamb industry with $100 million in federal subsidies and loans.(24)<br><br>
Many people who are allergic to wool already use alternatives to wool clothes and blankets, including cotton, cotton flannel, polyester fleece, synthetic shearling, and other cruelty-free fibers. Tencel—breathable, durable, and biodegradable—is one of the newest cruelty-free wool substitutes. Polartec Wind Pro—made primarily from recycled plastic soda bottles—is a high-density fleece with four times the wind resistance of wool that also wicks away moisture.</i><br><a href="http://www.peta-online.org/mc/facts/fsm6.html" target="_blank">http://www.peta-online.org/mc/facts/fsm6.html</a><br><br>
I'm sure I will be viewed by some as extremist, but I believe that animal products are not ours to take, however we choose to take them. Bummis is supposed to be putting out an organic cotton breathable cover, if that would interest you. The wool industry is very yucky and cruel, and it is more important to our family to teach dd to love and respect animals than to use wool covers.<br><br>
Also, all livestock industries are HORRENDOUS for the environment. ALmost all my synthetic fiber covers are used, and many are recycled fiber, I feel that this is a great way to help the environment if we are oign to use synthetic fibers at all.<br><br>
Many people have asked us if we would use second hand wool. We won't for a few reasons. One, to leave the second hand fiber to those who would otherwise buy it first hand, another is b/c dd is a vegan, she uses no animal products, and secondhand is still not vegan. Also, I do not wish to encourage or pay back money to people who Do buy wool firsthand. What I mean is, if they make a choice I don't support, I don't want to soften the blow to their pocketbook.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">I do have a question though-for those who say they do use wool, silk, etc, but only buy used. What is the though process behind that? Is it because you weren't the orinigal consumer that it's okay to use products that you would otherwise object to? I'm not being snide or sarcastic here at all, I am truly interested in the reasoning behind it. Thanks!</td>
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It is b/c they are not contributing money directly to the industry that people do this.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">. In my big picture analysis, the health benefits to my son are worth the price to the animals.</td>
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In MY big picture analysis, the lesson I am teaching my dd in humanity is more important. ( I am TOTALLY NOT flaming you, but I do disagree with you.) We are primarily coverless at home and use breathable covers on the road. We do, on occasion use pocket diapers, but for the most part, dd is cool and dry. In fact, I didn't have "chasing my naked crawling baby" in my location line w/out reason! DD is primarily naked at home, no dipe, no cover, no clothes! We change her more frequently than she wets on the road and I think that she is very comfortable. We even EC away from home sometimes.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">did struggle with using wool- and leather... and then I stepped into a shoe store filled with vinyl shoes and the fumes almost knocked me out. I decided a pair of leather shoes I wear until they fall apart is better than all that petroleum and vinyl.</td>
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I can feel you on this, I wear only thongs and they are some natural fibers (straw) and some unnatural fibers. There is very little material to them, and the pai I am on now is second hand from my MIL. I also own some stylish pairs of shoes that are part vinyl but mostly wood.<br><br>
pb_and_j -I saw your post in amity about thinking vegans are extreme, and then saying maybe just animal activists are extreme. I don't really consider myself extreme in this area, but I am vegan, and an animal rights advocate/activist. I protested in front on Neiman Marcus while I was pregnant. But then, I guess people who are obsessed with CDing are extreme and so are those who BF until age 3 and beyond, and those folks who are agianst spanking- doncha think they're a little extreme? I mean, I saw a sticker on one lady's car that said, "Midwives:Changing the world One Baby at a Time" and I just though, "Can't those darn extreme folks keep it to themselves?" I guess it's all relative, kwim? We all think the next crunchiest step is extreme I think, but here I am, and sometimes, I even blend in with the crowd!! I bet if you and I hung out for a day you wouldn't even notice how "extreme" I am. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> (Yes, that's an offer <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">) Just think, most of the people in the world would consider you extreme if they read some of your posts here! I guess MDC isn't where I should respond to that particualr post, but I thought it relevant. (I am in no way offended at you thinking me extreme.)<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Am I overthinking this or do other people stay up at nights worrying about the impact of thier diapering materials too?</td>
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I woudn't say I stay up at night, but I do worry about it a lot. Our family is trying to tread lightly on the earth the best way we know how.<br>
Lauren
 
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