I'm curious: what do Re-Nest readers think about using animal hides in their home? I've heard arguments (discussed below) that fall on both sides of the spectrum. I understand that if you're a vegan, this question has an obvious answer. But if you're someone like me who, while not a vegan, refrains from eating factory-farmed meat and dairy products, is extremely conscious about where and how food and home products are produced, but also strongly dislikes synthetic, petroleum-produced alternatives... what do you think about it?
Arguments For It
- Hides are part of an animal's full life cycle, and making use of them is better than wasting them. (For example, after a sheep is too old to continue producing wool, or the herd gets too large, then the skins can be used for comfort and warmth.)
- Some skins are produced under strict EU directives concerning preservation and protection and tanned without harmful chemicals such as chromium or bleach, which makes them a non-toxic, all-natural option.
- A natural, biodegradable product is far superior than its petroleum-produced, synthetic counterpart. (Faux fur.)
Arguments Against It
- Many hides come from animals raised solely to be killed and skinned; thus, the practice is unnecessary and cruel.
- Some hides come from exotic or endangered species that have been hunted illegally.
(Image: Black Sheep, White Light, which produces "eco-friendly" sheepskins)