You asked (very politely, I thank you) about the perhaps discrepancy between my vegan values and my use of animal fibers. Here's the short-ish version:
While I dislike animal cruelty, and don't personally (or in general, really) see a need to continue eating meat or consuming other animal products, I'm a big fan of renewable resources (acrylic & other fibers made from petroleum products clearly are not), that don't introduce crazy amounts of pollution into the environment (like cotton, though I do use cotton, and I have tossed and turned on this one too), and that keep my toesies warm in the winter (bamboo, rayon, modal, etc, all have great drape and shine but don't have the insulating properties that animal fibers have). (My, what big sentences I have!)
My stupid self used to be the kind of vegan who judged and thought less of people who didn't recognize vegetarianism/veganism for the amazing panacea that it obviously (note mild sarcasm) was. Now, I don't really care what you eat/wear/knit with, but I will talk about the factory farms and the massive evil that is our food supply if it's appropriate to the conversation. Veganism is, to me, about educating oneself and others (gently! not obnoxiously!) about what it is we consume. It's also about doing what you can to make the world a little more healthy and a little less cruel. My personal feeling on that at the moment falls under the thinking that a happy & healthy world is a world that uses its renewable resources responsibly.
Plus I like the way wool feels.
It's not a perfect philosophy, I guess, but it works for me and I'm open to learning more about all aspects of it.
And I appreciate you asking in a totally positive and non-judgmental way. Thank you!
Are there any other vegan knitters out there who use animal fibers (I'm probably the only one, with my weak moral fiber [ha!] and all), or vegans who use synthetics only? Or non-vegans who want to weigh in (nicely)? I'd love to hear more opinions on this topic.