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Domestic sheep are like some other domestic animals: They cannot survive very well on their own, and they are more numerous because they are useful to humans.

The elimination of animal acts at circuses will probably lead to the demise of several species of the animals that were used in those acts, because there are enough people who will want to use the land that they need for profit, and there is no longer any profit in those animals.

By the way, you cannot be purely vegan without trying to get rid of domestic cats.


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Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Originally Posted by Carey
Originally Posted by ShiroKuro
Re wool, I was wondering if vegans were ok with wool, but Charles's comment above suggests why they might not be. I had never thought of it that way!
Why not? Humans cut their hair on a regular basis. What is the difference? Both the hair and the wool grow back. grin
Carey, that had basically been my thought - wool should be fine because it doesn't harm the animals. But, I think it probably depends on how harm is defined. Here's what Charles wrote on the previous page:
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Wool felt, ultimately, comes from sheep whom we enslave. They lead pretty good lives, I think. I don't know what happens to sheep when they're no longer wool-bearing, or if that ever happens. There may be a tie between the wool market, and the mutton market.
The bolded parts are the parts I had never thought about before. I'm not vegan (or vegetarian) so I don't know, but reading that made me realize that if someone were really committed to avoiding all harm to animals, they probably would want to avoid commercial wool.
All good points. As for the "enslave" concern, I don't think it is a good idea in this day and age to let sheep roam free in the wild (where they will be eaten by predators) or let them have free reign in our cities (where they would either starve or be killed by other things).

As for the possible tie between the wool market and the mutton market...that's a good question. But mutton is a lot less popular among meat eaters than beef, poultry, pork and fish. grin

At last by providing wool, sheep are doing something useful for society - including pianists.

The sheep kept for wool, the cows kept for beef and milk, the camels used by the Bedouins, the goats kept for milk and meat have all been domesticated for several thousand years if not longer. They’ve lost their natural fear of humans and unlike their wild cousins can’t climb almost straight up a cliff to escape predators. Sorry to say but domestic sheep like domestic turkeys have been dummed down through breeding for wool or juicy meat so that if they were suddenly turned loose, would be ripped apart by predators or starved to death.

The transition to a vegan population has to be done carefully.


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I believe wool would be the only obstacle in piano manufacturing. In some places, a synthetic fabric could be substituted with some affect on cost and performance, but there are not suitable synthetic substitutes for all the different felt applications in a piano.


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I know that hide glue is recommended by restorers of antique pianos because it is reversible - joints can be taken apart using damp and heat. This is important for conservation-based restoration. Are any modern synthetic glues similarly reversible?

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I use various water-soluble glues from Elmers for some things, but I cannot be certain that there are no animal products in them, or just about anything else, for that matter.


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Originally Posted by TBell
Humans get the wool, which is really nothing more that a haircut, and sheep get food, healthcare and shelter. A win, win!

Sheep also get their children taken away (that's called "lamb"), and are ultimately slaughtered and eaten (called "mutton").

I don't know how the economics of all those are intertwined.

As a more-familiar problem, I don't eat meat or fish, but I do drink milk and its byproducts.

The cows giving that milk are kept pregnant. Their children become veal, after living pretty lousy lives in very small cages, and (I think) being deliberately malnourished to keep their flesh white, rather than red.

Farming ain't what it used to be.


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Kawai pianos have no leather or animal glue in them, except for the EX concert piano where the hammers are glued on with an animal glue.

The action uses a man-made buckskin substitute called Ecsaine that is now being used by pretty much all piano makers. It is not because it costs less, it is because it lasts longer and makes for more quiet operation of the action.

Kawai does, of course, use genuine wool for the hammer felt and most action cloths and felts. This is a very good thing for the sheep, and for the piano world! :-) If we did not make use of their wonderful wool (it is a truly amazing material!) there would be many fewer sheep in the world, and pianos would not sound like the wonderful musical instruments we have today! Alternatives have been tried with very, very poor results.


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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Originally Posted by TBell
Humans get the wool, which is really nothing more that a haircut, and sheep get food, healthcare and shelter. A win, win!

Sheep also get their children taken away (that's called "lamb"), and are ultimately slaughtered and eaten (called "mutton").

I don't know how the economics of all those are intertwined.

As a more-familiar problem, I don't eat meat or fish, but I do drink milk and its byproducts.

The cows giving that milk are kept pregnant. Their children become veal, after living pretty lousy lives in very small cages, and (I think) being deliberately malnourished to keep their flesh white, rather than red.

Farming ain't what it used to be.

Cow milking carousel:


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Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Originally Posted by TBell
Humans get the wool, which is really nothing more that a haircut, and sheep get food, healthcare and shelter. A win, win!

Sheep also get their children taken away (that's called "lamb"), and are ultimately slaughtered and eaten (called "mutton").

I don't know how the economics of all those are intertwined.

As a more-familiar problem, I don't eat meat or fish, but I do drink milk and its byproducts.

The cows giving that milk are kept pregnant. Their children become veal, after living pretty lousy lives in very small cages, and (I think) being deliberately malnourished to keep their flesh white, rather than red.

Farming ain't what it used to be.

There seems a bit of inaccuracy here to me, although things might be different in other parts of the world.

'Mutton', at least in the UK, has essentially vanished completely and I haven't been able to buy any for ten years or so. If I lived in a sheep farming area I probably could get some locally from a farmer but it has vanished from the supermarkets and butchers, even to special order.

Veal is also sort of the other way around to your suggestion. Today keeping calves just on a milk diet in cages to preserve the white meat is illegal (at least here) and calves have to be grass fed, so farming has indeed changed but for the better, for both the calves and the end product meat.

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Thanks everyone. I feel sorry if anyone was hurt by the last sentence I wrote. I didn't meant it that way.
So, I contacted Kawai. They said they use wool and some hide glue and no leather except the EX series. Synthetic leather is used instead.
Yamaha said only wool and leather. "The hammers of Yamaha pianos are made of wool, and the actions are made of Deer leather and cowhide."
Thank again.

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Well, I suppose you will have to weigh how perfect you want to try to be in this case. If it were me, and I was vegan (which I'm not), I would make a good faith effort, take the best option available, and not tie myself up in knots striving for perfection - though I would get reasonably creative if there are good options.

However, another thought is to buy used, in that case at least I wouldn't be incentivizing new production by the manufacturer, even though there is some connection between the health of a brand's used market and it's new market, it is another distance removed from just buying a new one. You could negate that further by finding a nice piano by a brand that is no longer in production, or with a used market that is not connected to the current market (like old American Baldwins definitely do not support the resale market for newer non-US Baldwins).

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