Vegan tack?

Nancykitt

Active Member
Joined
20 August 2008
Messages
525
Just read that USA rider Robert Dover is bringing out a 'vegan tack' range and am interested in everyone's thoughts on this.
Is this a bit of opportunist marketing given that all things vegan seem to be trendy at the moment?
Or is it the way to go?
Synthetic tack has been around for a long time now so it's not like a brand new idea - but I couldn't help wondering what makes this particular range 'eco friendly'...are any plastics eco-friendly?
 
Joined
1 February 2016
Messages
296
I imagine jumping on a trend? But do not know anything about the rider so may be wrong.

As you have already stated many vegan products may cut out materials directly from animals but fail to see the impact it’s demand has elsewhere. For example almond milk “saves the cows” but is terrible for the planet due to how many nuts it takes to produce the milk, the destroying of natural habitats to sustain this and because the majority is imported from America. But as it’s not on peoples doorsteps they don’t care.

Also if this was the way forward then what happens to the leather as a by product of meat slaughter. The world will never be 100% vegan so there will always be leather.

Interesting to see what material they have chosen that can match leathers sustainability, durability and moulding quality.
 

Nancykitt

Active Member
Joined
20 August 2008
Messages
525
I think the funniest thing about this is that really devoted vegans wouldn't ever consider riding horses anyway... plus there are the obvious environmental impacts (as mentioned above) of plastic.
That's exactly what my OH said! Don't a lot of vegans consider it 'cruel' to ride horses as we are apparently exploiting them?
I always thought that 'vegan leather' (as it is referred to in the H&H article) is essentially plastic, a bi-product of the petro-chemical industry and therefore not entirely sound as far as ecology is concerned. But perhaps this is something else, something that has bio-degradable properties? I haven't a clue.
 

Denbob

Well-Known Member
Joined
11 September 2017
Messages
755
If I'm being cynical (which I am...) it sounds like a way to jump on the "save the animals" bandwagon and stand out from the other tack ranges brought out by famous riders. Agree it doesn't sound particularly environmentally sound, and even as a lifelong vegetarian, I wouldn't be making the jump from leather easily.

I do think though that there seems to be a blind spot created by the claimed moral high-ground of veganism which is anything vegan is automatically good for you/the planet/better than the non-vegan alternative and any attempt to point that out to die-hard vegans devolves into "oh but at least it's vegan!". Just because something doesn't directly contain animal products certainly doesn't immediately free it from any scrutiny or mean its production hasn't had as much, if not more, of a human or environmental or ecological cost than any other product.

I'd much rather buy tack which was sourced in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way than just because it's got a green V on the label.
 

MDB

Active Member
Joined
29 June 2014
Messages
950
Location
Spain.
For example almond milk “saves the cows” but is terrible for the planet due to how many nuts it takes to produce the milk, the destroying of natural habitats to sustain this and because the majority is imported from America
Whilst almond milk certainly isn't the most environmentally friendly it is certainly way more eco friendly than cows milk. 30 gallons of water to produce 1 glass of milk versus 23 gallons of water for 1 glass of almond milk. You may have read something that I am unaware of regarding habitat destruction and growing almonds but as far as I was aware animal agriculture is by far the leading cause of habitat loss, species extinction and ocean dead zones around the world.
I am sure many synthetic saddles are made with plastics, but there are some amazing products out there which are plant based and maybe this will extend into the equestrian world Pineapple based leather and eucalyptus based car seats are a couple of products that come to mind. Hemp has been made to produce plant based plastic bags. Not all vegan products are plastic based.
Everything we do has an impact on the planet. The crux is, can choose something that causes less environmental damage and cruelty than another thing? And if we can should we?
Personally I think it's fantastic that alternatives coming to the fore and that we have more choice than ever before.
 
Joined
19 July 2010
Messages
18,747
With dairy production in the UK the pastures are old. I believe that some of the issues with these milk alternatives is that to meet the increasing demand, areas of wild habitat are being cleared to grow it in say America and then it is flown around the world to the consumer. It is more than just water, it is loss of habitat and airmiles.
 

Gloi

Well-Known Member
Joined
8 May 2012
Messages
3,579
Whilst almond milk certainly isn't the most environmentally friendly it is certainly way more eco friendly than cows milk. 30 gallons of water to produce 1 glass of milk versus 23 gallons of water for 1 glass of almond milk.
However the cows can be local to the area the milk is drunk and live in an area where there is not usually a water shortage whereas almonds are grown in places such as California where there is a real water shortage and often severe drought.
 
Joined
1 February 2016
Messages
296
Whilst almond milk certainly isn't the most environmentally friendly it is certainly way more eco friendly than cows milk. 30 gallons of water to produce 1 glass of milk versus 23 gallons of water for 1 glass of almond milk. You may have read something that I am unaware of regarding habitat destruction and growing almonds but as far as I was aware animal agriculture is by far the leading cause of habitat loss, species extinction and ocean dead zones around the world.
But we are shipping/flying milk in from California therefore polluting our planet and destroying polar animals habitats. To supply ~80% of the world almond milk, local natural habitat must be destroyed.

So vegans say cows are commercially farmed and exploited and never get to live a natural life but on the other hand apparently they are taking up hundreds of acres living out at pasture. It can’t go both ways.

Personally I’d rather shop local and ethical than import products from half way across the world.
 

sbloom

Well-Known Member
Joined
14 September 2011
Messages
3,444
Location
Suffolk
We need to get MUCH better at having an overall eco footprint for products. It's so hard to weight air miles, water use, loss of habitat, availability of suitable land yadda yadda.

Personally as an omnivore I'm a bigger fan of leather tack (and even wooden rather than synthetic trees because they tend to fit better in many cases, and then can't currently have synthetic built around them AFAIK), leather saddles do contain some plastics but not a huge amount.
 

Keith_Beef

Well-Known Member
Joined
8 December 2017
Messages
2,257
Location
Seine et Oise, France
Whilst almond milk certainly isn't the most environmentally friendly it is certainly way more eco friendly than cows milk. 30 gallons of water to produce 1 glass of milk versus 23 gallons of water for 1 glass of almond milk. You may have read something that I am unaware of regarding habitat destruction and growing almonds but as far as I was aware animal agriculture is by far the leading cause of habitat loss, species extinction and ocean dead zones around the world.
Here in Northern Europe, it doesn't matter that it takes "30 gallons of water to produce 1 glass of milk"; we have an overabundant supply of water.

On the other hand, that it takes "23 gallons of water for 1 glass of almond milk" might be a serious problem, if the places where almonds are grown already have a very limited water supply.

A more sustainable vegan alternative to cow's milk would be made from hemp or oats.
 

MDB

Active Member
Joined
29 June 2014
Messages
950
Location
Spain.
wever the cows can be local to the area the milk is drunk and live in an area where there is not usually a water shortage whereas almonds are grown in places such as California where there is a real water shortage and often severe drought.
Yes, that's very true. But a quick google search came up with the following... almonds use 8% of available water in California. Animal agriculture 47%. Of that 47%, I am not sure what is used for dairy. The point being, to say that almond milk saves the cows but is terrible for the environment is misguided. Cows are one of the biggest producers of methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more powerful than CO2 as well as nitrous oxide which is 200 times more powerful than CO2, this is in addition to waste use, habitat loss, and waste pollution.
Besides, almond milk is not the only alternative for non dairy consumers, there is oat, rice, soy, coconut, hemp etc.
There is a lot of vegan bashing going on, but people decide not to eat animal products for a variety of reasons. And within that label of being vegan, not all are non horse riding, non leather wearing extremists. Sometimes, it is about health, sometimes about environment or compassion, or a mix. Sometimes it starts as one thing and merges into something else. But the point of the original post was about vegan tack. Yes, it may well be jumping on a trend. But there are trends in everything, from fashion to food. Is that a bad thing?. I think it's great. More choice is a good thing all round in every aspect of life.
 
Joined
19 July 2010
Messages
18,747
Can you even buy Californian meat or dairy over here? I certainly don't consume it as I make sure to buy local. I have no direct impact on the number of cows in California.

We mustn't forget that the real answer to all of the planet's problems is to reduce the human population.
 

only_me

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 June 2007
Messages
13,801
Location
Ireland
My friend who became a vegan for environmental reasons tried to persuade 2 people in our year that it's better to drink nut milk and to not have cows milk and that we shouldn't eat any meat as the animals produce so much methane that it's killing the ozone.
Unfortunately her error was picking one person who is a dedicated dairy farmer who has a massive herdy and the other the son of a big beef farmer. They bascially tore her to shreds and counter moved her on all arguments - the final straw was when they asked her what they should do with the cows if they don't want to be milked or not be eaten - she said just let them live a "cow" life - bless her think she was heartbroken when they both said that if they were not for purpose they'd be killed, and unfortunately for her they rounded off the argument that then at least there would be less methane, so she was a bit dumbstruck at that point.

I don't mind vegans, what I do hate is people shoving vegan attitudes down my throat. For those that are vegans great, but you don't have to be a vegan to recycle etc.

As for vegan tack, I definitely think its jumping on the bandwagon but if people want to buy it that's fine.


ETS. I was on elective in a developing country earlier in the year. The amount of pollution that that country produced would easily outstrip what the isle of ireland would produce. There is no recycling, there is no control of harmful gases, there are millions of cows etc. fires burn, cars with no converters etc. Surely the focus should be on improving environmental awareness in those countries as well rather than just the developed countries, their pollution is causing far more harm imo
 

MDB

Active Member
Joined
29 June 2014
Messages
950
Location
Spain.
So vegans say cows are commercially farmed and exploited and never get to live a natural life but on the other hand apparently they are taking up hundreds of acres living out at pasture. It can’t go both ways
I dont think vegans are saying this. Many animals are farmed intensively in factories for a varietyof reasons including the fact because there is not enough land for them all to be out at pasture. 70 billion every year are killed globally .Other animals, free range, grass fed, etc are out at pasture. But most of the land is used to grow crops to feed to the animals. And that is how the scientists come up with the figures on the impact of animal agriculture. They take into account land usage, water usage, pollution etc etc. In fact this is why grass fed beef is less environmentally friendly than intensively farmed beef. Because it takes up more land, uses more water, and the cows produce more wastefor something like 7 months longer before they are slaughtered, as it takes this much longer for a cow to reach the desired weight for slaughter.
 

Nancykitt

Active Member
Joined
20 August 2008
Messages
525
It's complicated. There's a dairy farmer about 3 miles from here, he's only got a small-ish herd and sells milk, in re-usable glass bottles, to locals. The environmental impact of me buying that milk surely has to be less than buying a carton of plastic-lined card containing some sort of nut milk produced many miles away? Also, he grazes the cows on small-ish parcels of land, it just wouldn't be commercially viable to grow anything on them.
I'm all for modifying diet and reducing the amount of meat I consume - even though most of it is produced in the local area - but having thought about it the 'vegan tack' is likely to be a bit of bandwagon-jumping. Not sure if Wintec will re-brand their range to include 'vegan saddles' (wasn't it 'equileather' at one time?).

People are at liberty to eat and wear what they like. I don't have a problem with that at all. But I don't particularly like being told I'm personally responsible for ruining the planet because I eat meat and use leather goods (which is what I've had from some people recently!) Those vegans motivated by environmental factors as opposed to just animal 'exploitation' would need to restrict their diet to locally grown produce (minimising transport), no palm oil, no car ownership...And surely they wouldn't be able to keep pet cats who need to be fed on meat?

Personally, I love my leather tack and I've bought stuff that should hopefully last for many years - so I don't think I'll be looking at the new range.
 

only_me

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 June 2007
Messages
13,801
Location
Ireland
In fact this is why grass fed beef is less environmentally friendly than intensively farmed beef. Because it takes up more land, uses more water, and the cows produce more wastefor something like 7 months longer before they are slaughtered, as it takes this much longer for a cow to reach the desired weight for slaughter.
But what happens if the farmer sells his land, as he has to pay for the building of the sheds to house intensively farmed cattle, and then the land will most likely become zoned and housing built on it?
 

Nicnac

Well-Known Member
Joined
9 May 2007
Messages
5,550
I am guessing there are some vegans who ride?

Seriously not sure who their target market is - as others have said synthetic tack has been around for a long time. With my cynical head on, it will be hugely expensive and will attract those who have to have the latest fad. Will probably do well in the US; doubtful here unless there's an amazing USP that hasn't yet been made public.
 

Palindrome

Active Member
Joined
19 July 2012
Messages
922
Location
Northern France
There is very little almond in almond milk (about 2%) so if the product is manufactured "locally", it would be 98% local water and 2% almond still having lower impact IMO than cow's milk (it's not only water, it's also the food the cows need and the amount of green house gaz they emit, etc...).
Animal products will always have a lower yield than vegetal in terms of calories so will need more resources.
Buying locally grown is not necessarily better either. I recall reading a post of someone who calculated how much carbon was produced by importing apples from New Zealand and how much carbon was produced by refrigerating local apples over winter. It turns out it is better to buy New Zealand apples in winter as boats are fairly efficient while fridges not so much.
Also even if an area as an abundance of water it does not necessarily means there is abundance of drinking/clean water due to agricultural pollution particularly.
 

MDB

Active Member
Joined
29 June 2014
Messages
950
Location
Spain.
But what happens if the farmer sells his land, as he has to pay for the building of the sheds to house intensively farmed cattle, and then the land will most likely become zoned and housing built on it?
I am not sure I follow you. Why would he need to sell his land to build these sheds?
I don't really want to get into a vegan debate. We all follow our own path in life. The original post was about tack, which I answered above. But if you are interested here is a quick article, there is plenty more info out on the internet.
https://www.theguardian.com/environ...le-biggest-way-to-reduce-your-impact-on-earth
 
Joined
3 May 2007
Messages
13,791
Location
Weathertop
I am not a vegan, not even a vegetariian. veganism take a fair amount of effort and commitment so I am glad vegan riders have a choice of tack-I am guessing my tack (mostly Tekna) although synthetic isnt vegan? I went synthetic as it copes with Scottish weather more easily and tbh, if you didnt see the badge you'd be hard pressed to tell my saddle is synthetic.
 

only_me

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 June 2007
Messages
13,801
Location
Ireland
I am not sure I follow you. Why would he need to sell his land to build these sheds?
I don't really want to get into a vegan debate. We all follow our own path in life. The original post was about tack, which I answered above. But if you are interested here is a quick article, there is plenty more info out on the internet.
https://www.theguardian.com/environ...le-biggest-way-to-reduce-your-impact-on-earth
The size of shed needed to intensively farm beef cattle will be a lot bigger than the ones they currently own, they will need larger sheds to house feed/forage and more silos/slurry pits. To build these costs a lot of money, and since the farmer no longer will have need for land to graze the land will be sold to pay for the building costs/rates/electricity etc.
Then that land that has been sold will enviably end up being bought by a developer for housing.

I also don't want to get into the debate about veganism. I don't need to (or want to) read any article about how vegans are saving the world. I know my own feelings about the subject :)
As I said above, I think vegan tack is bandwagon, for instance why specifically vegan named why not just say non-animal sourced leather, but each to their own!
 

MDB

Active Member
Joined
29 June 2014
Messages
950
Location
Spain.
The size of shed needed to intensively farm beef cattle will be a lot bigger than the ones they currently own, they will need larger sheds to house feed/forage and more silos/slurry pits. To build these costs a lot of money, and since the farmer no longer will have need for land to graze the land will be sold to pay for the building costs/rates/electricity etc.
Then that land that has been sold will enviably end up being bought by a developer for housing.

I also don't want to get into the debate about veganism. I don't need to (or want to) read any article about how vegans are saving the world. I know my own feelings about the subject :)
As I said above, I think vegan tack is bandwagon, for instance why specifically vegan named why not just say non-animal sourced leather, but each to their own!
Do you have a problem with vegans?
 

only_me

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 June 2007
Messages
13,801
Location
Ireland
Do you have a problem with vegans?
Nope, if people want to be vegans doesn't matter to me. What does annoy me is when some vegans decide that their way is the only way and then shove their attitudes down my throat, unasked (not you obviously, but has happened in real life to me, was unpleasant) and sometimes they can get quite aggressive/passionate about their choice but can't accept that other people don't see it that way.
I just don't see veganism as being a world saviour.

IMO improving levels of pollution in developing countries is where the environment will be saved - it's a bit disheartening when you make a lot of effort to be environmentally conscious and then witness the level of pollution created in another country that clearly has no thought about reducing waste etc.
 
Top