Is Cashmere Cruel How This Luxury Material is Produced

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  1. After reading this, I will likely never buy cashmere again. I always just assumed the goats were sheered just like sheep. No harm, no foul. I cannot abide animal cruelty.

  2. Julian Holman says:

    i deploy the casuistic excuse that buying the casmere/silk leftovers of the luxury-knitwear mills (for knitting) at least doesnt seem to contribute to demand for these cruel luxuries
    How contemptible might that be, i wonder . . .

  3. I have looked at your website and have been intrigued and impressed even though I am a food lover and also meat eater. You have done a good job with the site – well done

    However having read your article I wanted to feedback I think it sits on the fence a bit. It doesnt give a response really one way or the other. The reality is that if these goats are ultimately going for meat I dont see how this fits in your vegan `range`. Its like taking the golden fleece without accepting the animal it came from and ultimately the fate it will have. Vegans cant cherry pick – if an animal is bred for the hair and subsequently killed, which your article highlights, how can it fit vegan?? I am not throwing rocks at vegans or picking a scrap to antagonise – its just it reeks a bit of double standards doesnt it if you say this is OK? (and by the way goat meat is something I enjoy very occassionally). Will be trying some of your recipes – was particularly taken with the cabbage wraps. Keep up the good work

    1. Thank you for following along and supporting our work.

      I think I get your point. While I try to keep positions of cruelty relatively objective (even from a vegan’s perspective), I felt that it was made clear that conventional and traditional cashmere farming is cruel to the goats. Therefore, it’s assumed that it isn’t vegan.

      I’ve learned over the years that these issues aren’t black or white, and while people may not identify with being vegan, they may decide to source from the most ethical and sustainable option — which is positive progression.

      Meanwhile, vegans like myself don’t wear any fabric that comes from an animal (at least first hand). I didn’t feel the need to push this option, but I can understand if it wasn’t clear what my stance is as a result.

    2. Real vegans don’t think the person who wrote this is vegan. They’re not consistent, they’re not ethical, they don’t care about animals, they’re not vegan. Even you, a meat eater, could see it.

  4. This is an awkward post to respond to as I recently purchased two cashmere pullovers for myself. I am a dietary vegan, use all vegan vitamins, makeup, lotion and skin care. I buy one pair of leather shoes every other year as I have hard to fit feet and causing myself cruelty in footwear is not a good trade-off.

    I am living in Germany after several decades of living in a very warm climate. I work with people, and am expected to keep a professional appearance. I take care of my sweaters, and expect each will likely last ten years. I realize I’m not perfect, but synthetic fiber sweaters trap heat and body odor. Other natural fibers are either not warm enough or too casual. As a single person, I don’t have a person to praise me on my appearance nor have his wardrobe to borrow oversized looks from. I know these are excuses, but this works for me.

    I take public transportation most days to work, even though I have a vehicle. I use microfiber cloths for cleaning and gentle cleaning products. I plan meals to reduce food waste. With the pandemic and a very long winter, I know I can’t be perfect. Thank you for reading.

    1. Frank Kovacs says:

      Hello Rhea,
      I am responding to your post, mindful and respectful that this is Michael’s blog and domain. I haven’t sort his nod to reply to your comments about the cashmere issue. But here goes: We aren’t all tree huggers! Folks make up their own mind about how to exist in this complex and at times confusing world. Most of the problems we create ourselves, knowingly and unintentionally. Don’t beat yourself up too much about the choices you have made and will make in the future. Live your life as you see fit without regret! The basis of your endeavours have been instilled in you from your parents/grandparents, (the good and bad bits). It will take many, many years to alter the thought process of human beings and the manner in which we grow, harvest, manufacture food and clothing. Unfortunately the All Mighty Dollars always takes centre stage. Yes, the wheels of change are slowly turning and change ‘is a coming’ but don’t hold your breath. It is narrators like Michael who are causing that wheel to rotate for the better. Okay, put your feet up, have a cuppa and RELAX!
      Kindest regards,

        1. You’re welcome! I am going to forward your recent e-book for vegan breakfast recipes to my flexitarian co-worker. She loves coffee and smoothies, so your coffee smoothie and coffee chia parfaits will likely find their way into her breakfast rotation.

      1. Thanks, Frank. I’m happy for your remarks and delighted for warmer weather to wear cotton and linen again!

  5. Frank Kovacs says:

    G’day Michael,
    Happy New Year to you and Masa!
    I found your article on “Cashmere” very interesting indeed. At first I approached the article with luke warm enthusiasm. However, The more I read and drew nearer to the final paragraph, the more necessary your narrative became. My people (the Mongols – their family stories passed down from generation to generation) from a time eons ago were infact Dukhas Reindeer Herders. They raised goats to supplement their nurishment and clothing etc. You can eat only so much reindeer meat hey? Life whilst difficult in a harsh country was all they knew. Cashmere herders of today base their survival on similar principals, (other than China), except today the wool is sold to exploit the demands of mostly western society fashion. I don’t believe we should be too critical of the reasons cashmere wool is grown, (albeit in innner Mongloia it could be abhorrant)) but perhaps challenge the methods used in its production and sustainability. These are simple herders Michael trying to etch out an existance. China of course is another can of worms. Little do they care how they manufacture products for our daily consumption. Just look at Walmart in the USA and what that corporation purchases from China. The issue of cashmere wool and its production pales into insignificance compared to the widely used produced/manufactured of palm oil from such countries as Malaysia, Indonesia, Borneo, Sumatra and the affects that has on wildlife (The Great Orangutan Apes). I honestly believe Micheal that cashmere wool will eventually go the same way as the fox shawls did thirty to forty years ago around the world. It simply fell out of fashion once information surfaced about the suffering of fox’s to satisfy the fashion mood of high society. Do we tell the Afghani People to stop growing poppies just because it is adding to western society drug problem. How will they feed their families? I get your point Michael about the plight of the cashmere goat but until an alternative way of life and survival if introduced for the herders in Mongolia and China, it will be more of the same.
    Kindest regards.
    P.S. Back in the early 1960s when I resided on a mixed farm in Longley (14km from Hobart), I used to trap rabbits for the meat and fur. The fur was made into gloves to fend off the cold Tasmanian winters back then.

    1. Hi Frank, Happy New Year to you too!
      I appreciate your history and perspective. And I agree, it’s a dilemma when we’re talking about a traditional trade that drives much of the local economy. I suppose there’s an argument to be made that most consumer goods lead to some level of cruelty — some more than others.
      If you’re right and cashmere falls out of fashion, I hope alternative trades will emerge to support Mongolian herders.
      Warm regards,