Leather, etc: Animal product, or byproduct?
January 29, 2008 9:57 AM Subscribe
How do I know if something is an animal product, or a by-product that exists only because the animal was killed for other reasons?
posted by explosion to Food & Drink (23 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I am a vegetarian, and while it's partially because I just don't want to eat meat, it's also due to the huge impact that the meat industry has on our environment and economy.
However, I'm not particularly upset by the notion of animal products, and so long as animals are dying for meat, the use of the whole is a positive notion to me.
What I'm wondering though, is whether animals are killed for these products, or if these are byproducts, additional bonuses to be harvested.
For instance: Meat & fur are obvious primary products. Gelatin is an obvious byproduct.
Leather: are there leather cows, or is this just made from the hides of meat cattle?
Rennet: are animals killed for rennet, or is this just harvested from calves and lambs slaughtered for meat?
Am I forgetting any other major products? For instance, hunting whales for oil seems abominable to me, but use of gelatin seems like just plain common sense given the booming meat industry.