11-21-2013, 08:06 AM
#1
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I read a while ago that Semogue and (I think) Omega source their boar hair from China.
Considering how cheap that material is and how cheap the end product is, wouldn't it make more sense to pay a little bit more and have it sourced from places where society agreed that there is a certain way to treat farm animals and some practices are not tolerated?
I am not a vegan, but I don't want to support practices as seen on http://www.walmartcruelty.com/ with my hard earned money.
Heck, even if it means the prices doubles, those brushes are still pretty cheap....

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 11-21-2013, 08:10 AM
#2
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I'm not certain, but I believe most badger comes from China. Even the badger in high end brushes. Maybe a learned person will respond.

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 11-21-2013, 08:16 AM
#3
  • beartrap
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And you think there is no cruelty from places NOT in China? Consumer will pay less and it doesn't matter where it comes from.

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 11-21-2013, 08:39 AM
#4
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There are certain practices that are outlawed in Europe and in many states in the US. I don't want to get to graphic details etc, I put the link and an a quick youtube search would give you the big picture.
In other words, if a farmer in Iberia would abuse his animals the same way it happens in unsupervised countries, he would be shut down. No questions about it. For the farmer it is about balancing his costs and profits, in other words, keeping greed in check. I mentioned Iberia because when I was in Spain 7 years ago, I rented a car and ended up driving by *huge* pig farms, the pigs were sort of "free range" and kept outdoors. I am not saying they did not end up slaughtered on the end, but no one abused them to save a buck while they were alive. The owner of the farm did not die from starvation either.

So back to my original question: would you be willing to pay an extra 15 bucks and know where the hair on the boar brush came from?

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 11-21-2013, 08:41 AM
#5
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As with many issues, it depends.

Would the quality of the bristles remain the same?
How much is "just a little bit more?"
Would there be sufficient safeguards and proof that the new sources are truly "ethical?"

Wet shaving is still a niche enterprise, and many consumers are very cost conscious, even some of the collectors here on TSN. I doubt very much that there would be much of a market for "organic" or "free-range" -type boar brushes. However, I welcome the entrepreneurial spirit, and would certainly consider animal credulity concerns when evaluating the overall value of any purchase.

I would additionally note that the recent advances in synthetic brushes would also likely undercut the market for "ethical" boar offerings. Many individuals whose primary concern is animal welfare already refuse to purchase boar brushes. With the availability of high quality synthetics (and cruelty-free horse brushes), the market envisioned by the OP would likely be very, very small.

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 11-21-2013, 09:00 AM
#6
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I would easily do it if I used boar brushes and would also do it for badger brushes. However, as it was just mentioned in the post above, with the quality of the new synthetics, I think most folks would choose these over a more expensive boar brush, I believe. Regardless, I think this is an important point of discussion to bring up, but it would have to be deliberated carefully as it could deviate into political indifferences and could easily get out of hand.

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 11-21-2013, 09:04 AM
#7
  • Deco
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(11-21-2013, 08:06 AM)Galhatz Wrote: I read a while ago that Semogue and (I think) Omega source their boar hair from China.
Considering how cheap that material is and how cheap the end product is, wouldn't it make more sense to pay a little bit more and have it sourced from places where society agreed that there is a certain way to treat farm animals and some practices are not tolerated?
I am not a vegan, but I don't want to support practices as seen on http://www.walmartcruelty.com/ with my hard earned money.
Heck, even if it means the prices doubles, those brushes are still pretty cheap....
That's an individual judgement call: what's right, what's wrong; what's better, what's worse.

Ethics, like legal systems, are arbitrary rules adopted to provide negative consequences in an effort to "control" behavior. Nothing more, nothing less.

As far as I know the hogs raised in China were treated as well, if not better, than those raised in Europe or the USA prior to going to the slaughter house.

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 11-21-2013, 11:08 AM
#8
  • beartrap
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(11-21-2013, 08:39 AM)Galhatz Wrote: There are certain practices that are outlawed in Europe and in many states in the US. I don't want to get to graphic details etc, I put the link and an a quick youtube search would give you the big picture.
In other words, if a farmer in Iberia would abuse his animals the same way it happens in unsupervised countries, he would be shut down. No questions about it. For the farmer it is about balancing his costs and profits, in other words, keeping greed in check. I mentioned Iberia because when I was in Spain 7 years ago, I rented a car and ended up driving by *huge* pig farms, the pigs were sort of "free range" and kept outdoors. I am not saying they did not end up slaughtered on the end, but no one abused them to save a buck while they were alive. The owner of the farm did not die from starvation either.

So back to my original question: would you be willing to pay an extra 15 bucks and know where the hair on the boar brush came from?

I would NOT, neither would most of the buyers in the market for it. Back to my original statement: consumer wants cheap, doesn't matter where it comes from if it's the same quality.

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 11-21-2013, 11:20 AM
#9
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Synthetics are unrenewable which, while PETA friendly, means the environmentalists have an issue with them.

All badger hair comes from China unless you can find someone to get you a pelt and smuggle it out of the Russian controlled sphere of influence. It's still illegal to sell badger hair from England. AFAIK.

As for the pigs, oddly enough, here's the thing about boar hair. The good stuff comes from the domesticated pig. The hair has to be long, up to 100mm or so (I forget, but it's pretty long). In the US, we don't let our pigs get that old and large. They're killed long before to make the meat better or something (there's a thread about this).

Therefore, Chinese pigs are grown to full size before being slaughtered.

As for humane practices.... they're slaughtered anyway. Best not to waste the stuff.

But for personal preference, no I would not be willing to pay double for PETA certified boar hair.

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 11-21-2013, 04:09 PM
#10
  • vuk
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I would cheerfully pay a few bucks more for humanely sourced hair but I wouldn't pay double.
From what I understand badger hair all comes from China but are trapped and hunted for food which is more humane than being raised in a sweat shop. Also I think that Vie Long horse hair brushes use domestic horse hair from Spain and would be a good option for the ethically minded shaver.

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 11-21-2013, 04:27 PM
#11
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I think cruelty in the treatment of animals is better addressed by regulations that all must follow, so that the practice has an actual chance of being curtailed. Trying to vote with your pocket book is a losing game because the best product for the price is always going to compete well and stay on the market.

We're talking about animals that end up slaughtered anyway, so "cruelty" can be an elusive concept (it's not like there's effort expended on torturing them). Once you dig past some of the propaganda, you end up realizing that that there can be disagreement on what cruelty and abuse is -- such as how much room they have to run around as they make their way to the slaughter.

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 11-21-2013, 05:24 PM
#12
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Pigs are anyway killed for human consumption, I do not see anything wrong of using the hair for some good use, like making shaving and other brushes. Badger are also killed for consumption, and the hair is also an extra benefit for us.

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 11-21-2013, 05:55 PM
#13
  • Johnny
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I love pigs. So much so, I invited one to have Thanksgiving dinner with me.

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 11-21-2013, 06:31 PM
#14
  • beartrap
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(11-21-2013, 05:55 PM)Johnny Wrote: I love pigs. So much so, I invited one to have Thanksgiving dinner with me.

I love them too Biggrin
[Image: 1880522.jpeg]

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 11-21-2013, 08:52 PM
#15
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I actually clicked on OP's link and you do realize that that's happening in America don't you? Right in Oklahoma.

For all you know Chinese farms treat their pigs better than Americans do.

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 11-21-2013, 09:03 PM
#16
  • segnod
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I'd pay more for practically ANYTHING that's not sourced from China. But it has nothing to do with animal treatment or environmentalism. I just get sick of everything I buy having a Made in China tag on it.

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 11-22-2013, 02:17 AM
#17
  • TheMonk
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(11-21-2013, 05:55 PM)Johnny Wrote: I love pigs. So much so, I invited one to have Thanksgiving dinner with me.

I do invite a pig for dinner quite often, too! Biggrin

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 11-22-2013, 02:54 AM
#18
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(11-22-2013, 02:17 AM)TheMonk Wrote:
(11-21-2013, 05:55 PM)Johnny Wrote: I love pigs. So much so, I invited one to have Thanksgiving dinner with me.

I do invite a pig for dinner quite often, too! Biggrin

Can't beat bacon....

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 11-22-2013, 03:03 AM
#19
  • TheMonk
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(11-22-2013, 02:54 AM)Rudy Vey Wrote:
(11-22-2013, 02:17 AM)TheMonk Wrote:
(11-21-2013, 05:55 PM)Johnny Wrote: I love pigs. So much so, I invited one to have Thanksgiving dinner with me.

I do invite a pig for dinner quite often, too! Biggrin

Can't beat bacon....

Slight off-topic: Here in Portugal we love suckling pig, which we prepare in a specific way and call "Leitão".
In fact, just this month we had a get together of the portuguese shaving forum Barbear Classico, and this is what we ate for lunch:

[Image: photo_2.jpg]

[Image: photo_1.jpg]


It was delicious! Biggrin

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 11-22-2013, 02:53 PM
#20
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(11-22-2013, 03:03 AM)TheMonk Wrote:
(11-22-2013, 02:54 AM)Rudy Vey Wrote:
(11-22-2013, 02:17 AM)TheMonk Wrote: I do invite a pig for dinner quite often, too! Biggrin

Can't beat bacon....

Slight off-topic: Here in Portugal we love suckling pig, which we prepare in a specific way and call "Leitão".
In fact, just this month we had a get together of the portuguese shaving forum Barbear Classico, and this is what we ate for lunch:

[Image: photo_2.jpg]

[Image: photo_1.jpg]


It was delicious! Biggrin

Yes! That is one fine pig! Biggrin

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