Loungin’ Around

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I’m really enjoying the “eat it, don’t move it” challenge because it’s forcing me to become more creative with my meals… and eat all those veggies lurking in my freezer and fridge!


This hot salad included:


  • Arugula base
  • Roasted 1/2 sweet potato
  • Roasted polenta slices
  • Roasted broccoli
  • Drizzle of balsamic


Today’s table was a step stool:


I also had some chips + salsa earlier.  


Let’s see… so far, I’ve gotten a lot of book and blog work done, worked on the Healthy Living Summit, and went mattress shopping with the Husband.  We don’t want to move our 15 year-old hand-me-down mattress so we’re just buying a new one at a chain (Original Mattress Factory) and having it delivered to our new place on Monday.


Mattress shopping is one of those grown-up activities that I’ve never had the pleasure of experiencing.  :)  I actually really liked it – all we basically did was lay on mattresses and try not to think about how much money we were spending.


Mattress shopping produced a big debate on whether we’d buy a silk or wool bed, especially since we don’t buy leather products.  Luckily, it wasn’t really an issue because the OMF doesn’t use those materials in their beds (opting for a polyester blend instead).  I honestly don’t know anything about the silk or wool industries and their treatment of animals… do you? 


I guess I never thought twice about buying a wool coat, but now that I consider it… there’s a lot of wool to be produced in the world.  Can’t be the most humane material.   Side note: Obviously I know that sheep aren’t killed for their wool; I’m more curious about the conditions that they are raised and kept in.


Now, I’m on the hunt for a floor model version of the bed we chose – that way, we’ll save 15%.  Worth a shot!


Off to work I go!



  • Kaz June 22, 2010, 1:48 pm

    Good luck! Mattress shopping looks sort of fun. 😀

    You’ve making me think about wool, now. I’m going to spend some time researching it. I’m vegetarian, too, and I’m curious about the ethics of wool now that you’ve mentioned it.

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin June 22, 2010, 1:49 pm

    Good luck finding a mattress. Even though it’s a lot of money, its totally worth the investment. You sleep on it EVERY night and will have it for many, many years.

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs June 22, 2010, 1:49 pm

    I LOVE mattress shopping!! I got a new one a few months back – best trip ever 😛
    I thiiink that you have to kill the silk worm to get silk, so it’s probably pretty cruel – but I’m not certain :s

  • Lauren (Clean Eats in the Dirty South) June 22, 2010, 1:50 pm

    i love mattress shopping! it’s an excuse to be a bum 🙂
    i’m pretty sure the wool and silk industries are inhumane, so i choose to generally not wear silk or wool. if i receive something wool/silk as a gift i’ll probably keep it, but i don’t like spending my own money on it.

  • Jessica @ How Sweet June 22, 2010, 1:53 pm

    I haven’t had the chance to buy my own mattress yet, but I agree that it would be so fun!

  • sweetersalt June 22, 2010, 1:54 pm

    I like the red shoes – cute!

  • Jessie June 22, 2010, 1:55 pm

    We got our mattress from Original Mattress and have loved it. Plus, theres were a lot cheaper than all the other places we tried.

  • Becky June 22, 2010, 1:56 pm

    As a relatively new vegetarian (since Jan 2010), my husband and I have been discussing and struggling with the issue of leather. I’m not concerned about wool or silk as much (the animals do not have to die to produce those goods, and I’m not a vegan….self-contradicting or not, that’s the way I am right now), but the leather is tricky. Do you have trouble finding non-leather shoes and bags that you like? Do you have suggestions for some of the best designers/sources you have found for those things?

    • caitlin June 22, 2010, 2:02 pm

      I hunted for WEEKS for non leather boots I liked (it was hard to find cute ones in stores, I need to try them on). But it was worth it (i love them). I bet other readers can comment with suggestions on websites… I know there are a few vegan-specific shoe websites but I can’t remember the name off the top of my head!

    • Lauren June 22, 2010, 2:29 pm

      Hey Becky – It can be hard to find some of that stuff, but it’s also kind of fun!
      http://www.endless.com has a vegetarian selection to make it easy to shop for shoes
      Steve Madden has a vegan shoeline called Madden Girl, which you can find on zappos.com
      http://www.mooshoes.com has great vegan shoes, and they carry my favorite brand olsenHaus.
      http://www.mattandnat.com/ make awesome veg friendly purses/wallets
      Urban Outfitters usually has a great selection of non-leather purses
      and it’s pretty easy to find shoes at Target and Payless.

      I hope that helps some!

      • Becky June 22, 2010, 3:56 pm

        Awesome suggestions ladies! Thanks so much! I have the added wrinkle that I live in the UK, and zappos has not yet spread here (a serious shame). I will start the hunt though!

  • Robyn @ Frugal 'n' Fit! June 22, 2010, 1:58 pm

    It is weird to go to a mattress store and lay down in front of people. I always feel very self-conscious, oddly enough!

    I know there are vegans who won’t use wool or silk. It’s tough, though, because you could also argue against the environmental devastation caused my man-made materials. Sometimes it feels like you just can’t win!

    • caitlin June 22, 2010, 2:02 pm

      i didnt mind it 😉 but there weren’t a lot people there.

  • Natasha June 22, 2010, 2:05 pm

    We just bought a new mattress last year and it was totally worth the money! 🙂

    I’ve stopped purchasing both silk and wool. There’s definitely a lot of info out there about the issue (e.g., search ‘wool’ at animalaid.org.uk).

    Good luck with your move!

  • Kellie June 22, 2010, 2:06 pm

    Never thought about adding polenta to a salad. I do love it though. Maybe I will give it a try.

  • Mary June 22, 2010, 2:06 pm

    Ummmmmm…………wool producing animals are SHEARED not killed for their wool………you need to do a little more research…….

    • caitlin June 22, 2010, 2:07 pm

      Just because a sheep is sheared for their wool doesn’t mean it’s not being raised and housed in inhumane conditions.

      • Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope June 22, 2010, 2:12 pm

        lol UMMMMMMMMM

      • Mama Pea June 22, 2010, 2:15 pm

        I hope the next time I get a haircut, my stylist doesn’t kill me during my trim.

        • Sara June 22, 2010, 2:28 pm

          That’s hilarious, Mama Pea! Or not, since I haven’t seen my hairdresser in months. Who knows what she’ll do when she sees this mop.

        • Jackie (Peaces of Earth) June 22, 2010, 2:30 pm

          HAHA Mama Pea!! I can’t help but think that they are raised in inhumane conditions. Same thing as dairy and egg factory farming. I also have to do some more research into this. Thanks for bringing it up! 🙂

        • Cyclist Kate June 22, 2010, 3:27 pm

          Check out the movie “Earthlings.” Maybe YOU might consider doing your research and being inquisitive (as Caitlin is) instead of making assumptions about industries whose practices you don’t know much about.

    • Callie June 22, 2010, 9:32 pm

      All of the bloggers jump on the person who has an opinion that is different( I speak from experience).The truth is it is really hard to live a life that truely uses nothing from animals in anyway.I see many bloggers bragging about how perfect they are in living a vegan life,when they are using products that use animal parts.One certain blogger comes to mind,she is very popular,writes daily about being vegan.All the while modeling outfits with her favorite Aldo brand highheels.These shoes are made of leather but know one ever mentions it.

      • Caitlin June 22, 2010, 10:31 pm

        I don’t mind differences of opinions… I just prefer it when people say them nicely. 😉 There were LOTS of different opinions in this post.

        And I agree that there is never a ‘perfect’ lifestyle when it comes to being an ethical eater. That’s why I like to discuss stuff like this on the blog and hear what others think! It definitely helps me form my own opinions.

        Re: the shoes (I don’t know who you’re taking about), but maybe she got the shoes before she went vegan? I have a lot of leather and suede products but I generally bought them before I went vegetarian. I don’t want to throw them away because that seems like a waste…

  • Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday June 22, 2010, 2:06 pm

    You should check out Icebreaker. They make wool outdoor gear and they give you a “baacode” with most of their clothes so you can track which sheep farm your wool came from.

    SO cool!

    • caitlin June 22, 2010, 2:08 pm

      that is pretty awesome!

  • ida June 22, 2010, 2:08 pm

    I do know that they kill the worms in making silk,though there is wild silk which doesn’t involve killing the worms. And there is synthetic silk too. I would imagine that silk mattresses are pretty $$ no matter what though.
    I’ve always wanted to try a tempurpedic mattress, no idea that those things are made out of…

  • Amanda @ Eat to Live, Live to Run June 22, 2010, 2:09 pm

    I agree with the above poster about the wool. Now I haven’t done any research on the subject and I could be totally wrong, but shearing sheep is not inhumane as far as I know. I would imagine it would be quite comfortable for them especially in the summer time. I see it similar to getting a dog groomed.

    • Amanda @ Eat to Live, Live to Run June 22, 2010, 2:10 pm

      I see your reply post and hope you don’t take this as offensive. LOL

      • Caitlin June 22, 2010, 2:13 pm

        haha your comment wasn’t offensive at all. it made perfect sense! i don’t think the shearing process is necessarily inhumane (um, but i could be wrong. can somehow chime in on this?) the key is that it’s probably humane when it’s done on a small scale… what about if it’s done on a larger scale though? i don’t know much about the wool industry!

        • Mama Pea June 22, 2010, 2:16 pm

          Damn you, Caitlin, for thinking about where your consumer goods come from! Just show us more packing boxes, that’s what we’re here for, not intelligent discussion. 😉

        • Caitlin June 22, 2010, 2:20 pm

          the usual mundane dribble will resume at dinner time, don’t worry!!

        • George June 22, 2010, 2:40 pm

          Hi Caitlin,

          Domesticated Sheep have been selectively bred to have thick heavy coats which can cause them to suffer from heat exhaustion in warmer climates. If you’d like to find out a more about the issues surrounding the wool trade you may want to check out Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s podcast on the shearing of sheep:

          http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/vegetarian-food-for-thought/id147907532….’the shearing of sheep’

          Aside from what happens to larvae 🙁 it looks like there may be some concerns regarding human rights and silk:


          Hope this is of some help.

        • Naomi June 22, 2010, 8:58 pm


          I live in Australia and we’ve had a lot of controversy over ‘mulesing’. Basically sheep are bred with heaps of extra folds of skin to create more surface area for more wool. Unfortunately this provides a great breeding ground for flies. The solution to this is to cut a chunk of skin off the animal’s rump to create scar tissue so they won’t get fly strike. That is mulesing …no anesthetic…. it’s horrible… The farmers say it’s more humane than letting them suffer the flies 🙁

        • Caitlin June 22, 2010, 10:12 pm


          That makes me so sad! I did some research on the Australia wool industry and I doubt I’ll be buying Aussie wool anytime soon. 🙁 Thanks for passing on that info.

  • Kelly June 22, 2010, 2:12 pm

    Good luck with the floor model hunt! I was in Crate and Barrel the other day and laying on all the beds, lol!

  • claire June 22, 2010, 2:13 pm

    I also need to do more research about silk and wool. I don’t wear new leather but do have some vintage pieces given to me as gifts that I adore…can’t lie. It is hard as a person who eats a plant based diet…because living vegan (clothes/materials, etc) takes more research. I hope you find the bed you want lady! I mattress shopped with my boyfriend when he first moved here and you are right, it was so adult and fun!

  • Camille June 22, 2010, 2:13 pm

    Oh man, I wish I had the money to go mattress shopping! We could reallly use a new mattress!

  • Laura June 22, 2010, 2:15 pm

    We bought an Essentia mattress..
    Their mattresses are vegan:

    • Caitlin June 22, 2010, 2:16 pm

      thanks for passing this along!

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg June 22, 2010, 2:15 pm

    I’ve never given much thought to the silk/wool thing, but now that you bring it up, I’m really curious about it.

    We went mattress shopping last year when we moved to Altoona…lying on all of the beds is so funny! Awkward!

  • Kacy June 22, 2010, 2:15 pm

    Big bowls of veggies like that are one of my favorite meals. So easy, with so many satisfying textures.

    I’m staying out of the wool debate, but I’m glad you found one you like 🙂

  • Amanda June 22, 2010, 2:16 pm

    I can only vouch for my personal experiences, but in my experience gathering wool is not detrimental to the animal in any way. We raised sheep when I was growing up and quite honestly, the sheep were soooo much happier after we sheared them. The whole process is exactly the same as a buzz cut where they are placed on a grooming table and then you use animal grade clippers to be sure that they can handle the thick hair. You time the shearing with the seasons so that the sheep are nice and cool in the summer and they have their big wooly coats to keep them warm in the winter (at least in NY) The sheep are much more comfortable than they would be if we didn’t shear them!

    • Caitlin June 22, 2010, 2:17 pm

      I’ve heard that, too! And I can totally believe it. Who wants to walk around in a wool coat all summer?

  • Holly B June 22, 2010, 2:17 pm

    hey girl- i did a google search for “Healthy Tipping Point” and the first search result was Meghann’s blog (!!) yours wasn’t any of the following listings either…I don’t know much about SEO (search engine optimization) but wanted to let you know.

    • Caitlin June 22, 2010, 2:18 pm

      i know… its such a headache. i’ve been trying to get it fixed but no luck. 🙁

  • Mackenzie @ Whatever, Gatsby June 22, 2010, 2:19 pm

    THOSE RED SHOES YOU ARE WEARING ARE MAKING ME SWOON! Where on earth did you get them?!?! 🙂

    • Caitlin June 22, 2010, 2:21 pm

      Marshalls but they are Nine West.

  • Sarah for Real June 22, 2010, 2:20 pm

    So many things to consider! If I thought about it, I guess I’d prefer natural fabrics, like wool, silk, cotton and leather (well, not leather mattresses of course) to chemically produced plastic stuff like polyester. But my POV comes from a place of biodegradability and resources used to produce the stuff.

    • Caitlin June 22, 2010, 2:22 pm

      And THIS is exactly what does my head in about being a vegetarian – there is never a “right” answer because you’re totally right about chemicals, biodegradability, etc. Someone else mentioned the environmental impact of producing a lot of cotton, etc instead of wool and yes, that’s an issue too. It’s really complex.

      • Sarah for Real June 22, 2010, 2:23 pm

        Totally. My head will explode!

        I guess the only right answer is to sleep on the floor 😉

        • Caitlin June 22, 2010, 2:25 pm


        • Sarah for Real June 22, 2010, 2:26 pm

          BTW, I’m not suggesting you actually do that. I’m not a monk who sleeps on the floor.

          And I think my mattress is made of synthetic materials too. The best thing is probably to get something of good quality so you can keep it for a long time and get a lot of use out of it.

        • Sarah for Real June 22, 2010, 2:27 pm

          LOL, don’t get me started on CARPET!

  • Helen June 22, 2010, 2:20 pm

    It’s so good that you care about these issues. I think there is no harm to sheep being sheared for their wool. My best friend owns a farm and they have a lot of sheep. Each sheep is sheared by hand and no harm comes to them. It’s all part of nature. Sheep need to be sheared to cool them for the summer, it’s not healthy to keep them with their wool on.

  • Samantha June 22, 2010, 2:21 pm

    I purchased a Sleep Number bed and it is the best bed I’ve ever owned. I’ve suffered with back problems from sports injuries for years and aches would keep me awake at night. I was always tossing and turning and had to sleep with pillows under my knees and between my knees to maintain alignment at night. Ever since getting the Sleep Number, my night time health issues have vanished. I’m not their sales rep or anything like that, just sayin how much it helped me. I think “the matress” has a huge impact on joint and posture health and the buying decision should not be taken lightly.

    • Caitlin June 22, 2010, 2:25 pm

      I tried a sleep number bed in a hotel and loved it! i’m so glad it made such a different in your life. sleep is important!

    • Sarah for Real June 22, 2010, 2:30 pm

      Oh I want a sleep number bed. I’ve heard they really last forever? (And they ought to for the price!) Do they get “body impressions”?

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) June 22, 2010, 2:23 pm

    i’m not a vegetarian or vegan, so i can honestly say i’ve never thought about the wool/silk thing…but it makes sense! just because i eat meat doesn’t mean that i care any less about animals, and only want to support companies who create the most humane environment for them.

    good luck with the mattress shopping! keep us posted, i’d love to know what you end up getting!

  • Izzlecanoe June 22, 2010, 2:27 pm

    I grew up in sheep country in the UK, and while I am not an expert I would not call sheep farming inhumane as such. Of course there are differences between farmers but generally sheep are not kept in intensive “feedlots” the way cows are, they are free to roam fields and eat grass. They get supplemental feed in the winter and have shelter they can get into, but are not shut away. They are sheared once a year, and a skilled shearer can have the fleece off a sheep in under 2 minutes (so a few minutes of stress and then they are let out again). There are concerns about a procedure called mulesing in some parts of Australia, but companies like icebreaker mentioned above can provide you with an ethical source of wool clothing.

    • Caitlin June 22, 2010, 2:29 pm

      This is such an interesting comment! I can’t imagine someone being able to shear an entire sheep in two minutes… that’s amazing.

      • Amanda June 22, 2010, 2:45 pm

        It really can be completed quickly. Another point is that the farmer’s motive is different with sheep, rather than a typical meat animal. The sheep must be kept healthy to produce good wool. If the sheep were packed into a nasty area, their wool will be disgusting and matted and the cost to process the wool would be higher. If the farmer is looking to make money off of their operation they must produce a quality product. They don’t necessarily strive for a high animal turnover like they do in the food industry.

        • Caitlin June 22, 2010, 2:46 pm

          Excellent point!

  • Miranda @ Mirandasjeans June 22, 2010, 2:28 pm

    I know nothing of the silk or wool industry either, but I know what you mean about how fun it is to go mattress shopping. My hubby and I did it about 5 years ago. It was fun but all business. I’m happy with what we got for the money we spent at the time. 🙂 Happy Shopping

  • Elizabeth June 22, 2010, 2:29 pm

    I am also a vegetarian, and began to research the clothing industry a few months back, as I was concerned that even though sheep aren’t killed for their wool, they are bred and kept in captivity. I actually did not like what I found out. Very similar to cow kept for their milk. Not cool.


    We ended up buying a natural latex mattress on overstock.com of all places, and had it shipped to our new home for only $3 shipping.

  • Abbie June 22, 2010, 2:31 pm

    This is an informative link about the inhumane treatment of sheep for wool:


  • sarah June 22, 2010, 2:31 pm

    I’m sure plenty of small-farm sheep are treated well, but I stay away from wool (and down). I’ve heard accounts of sheep being cut during the shearing process (which also occurs before winter is over, leaving sheep susceptible to exposure). And once sheep get older, they are often sold to the slaughterhouse. I don’t really like the idea of silk, either.

  • Charlotte June 22, 2010, 2:31 pm
  • Lacey June 22, 2010, 2:39 pm

    I’ve grown up in agriculture my entire life and can say that the majority of sheep are either kept on pasture or in pens where they are not cramped and provided with clean water and feed and are well taken care of. 95% of people in the agriculture industry cherish there animals and treat them well because we know that the better an animal is treated and the happier they are the better they produce, whether it be wool, milk, meat, or babies. Yes, animals are usually sent to slaughter once they reach a certain age or lack in production, but they provide the world with so much, even vegans.

    • Caitlin June 22, 2010, 2:41 pm

      Experiences like yours give me hope for the rest of agriculture! I wish all animals were raised like that.

    • Rachel June 22, 2010, 10:56 pm

      Sorry Lacey, but that “95%” figure has absolutely no basis in reality. Whatsoever. 99 percent of the chicken consumed in this country is the product of factory farming, and the figures for beef and pork products are not much better. A happier, healthier animal doesn’t end up mattering to the producer when you can cram 10 times as many animals into the same space and make a greater profit. I’m not saying that that’s the way that farmers “like” it of course, but giant corporations (Tyson Foods, for example) often control the methods used by these “independent” growers so that the little guys are left with little choice but to put animal welfare second to a few extra cents per animal.

      Caitlin, I’m relatively new to your blog, so I don’t know if you have mentioned or read the following, but I cannot recommend it highly enough! It’s called The Ethics of What We Eat by Peter Singer and Jim Mason. It is thorough, balanced, and, as with anything pertaining to factory farming, truly disturbing! It also addresses the issues of fair trade, buying local, organic, etc. A must-read for anyone wanting to make conscientious, informed choices about how they fuel their bodies!

      • Caitlin June 22, 2010, 10:58 pm

        I’ve never heard of that book… It sounds good! Have you read Eating Animals? I really enjoyed it, and the books sound similar.

      • Lacey June 23, 2010, 9:37 am

        I know how most animals live in productiong agriculture and yes “cramming” is a problem in the poultry industry, but they are still all provided fresh food, water, and bedding. It isn’t efficent to try to raise a large amount of chickens just running around a pasture where they can be attacked by coyotes or other animals? They are kept safe and fueled yet sometimes crammed. I also realize that most animals are not kept in their “natural” environment, but even I don’t let my dog run wild even though that was their original way of life. That’s is what bothers me, ALL domesitcated animals are exactly that…domesticated. Do the people that protest agriculture in the US go to other countries and protest the consumption of dogs, cats, horses, etc? Not that I know of. Agriculture is just a domesticated way of nature. These animals are what people lived off of for thousands of years before us, the ag industry has just transformed it into a way that everyone has the option to have animal products. I would bet that my “95%” is closer to correct then one would think. The average cattle herd size in the united states is something less then 30 head of cattle, that being said, yes large production farms are what you here about, but definately not the majority. Google a recent California cheese commercial and watch the dairy families tell there story, that is what most agriculture is. I believe that people that haven’t had many true first hand experiences with ag don’t understand and just go off of what is usually publicized…the negative.

        • Caitlin June 23, 2010, 9:41 am

          Love the debate, ladies! I really am curious about much of agriculture in America is factory farmed. There are many small farms, but the rate which we consumed chicken + beef makes it hard for me to believe that most animals are happy or comfortable. It’s hard for me to find websites that I really feel are not bias (for example, the California cheese commercial was prob funded by the dairy industry). BUT the important thing is that we, as consumers, continue to discuss and debate. And decide what is good for us as individuals.

        • Lacey June 23, 2010, 10:04 am

          I completely agree that eveyone has the own opinion, but I feel some people go too far to push their opinion on others. I know the new commercials are funded by the dairy industry, in fact some of my late relatives were some of the first to form CA cheese and “Got milk?” commericals and their main objective was obviously to advertise, but also to show that much ag these days is still small family owned and run businesses, my family included. Yes there are some that have poor ethics and treatments, but that is part of the world and unfortunately even the people that treat their animals well get punished for others mistakes, through publicity.

        • Caitlin June 23, 2010, 10:32 am

          Hey Lacey! I’m curious to know more about your family’s farm… Do they provide their dairy to a bigger company or sell it themselves? Can you tell me some details about how the system works as you understand it?

        • Lacey June 23, 2010, 12:04 pm

          My family actually started a dairy and later a large bottling company in the 1950’s. The dairy has since relocated, but the milk in sold to a small company the dispenses it to bottling plants all over the country. There are still many small and local bottling plants and farms, you just have to search for them, usually through word of mouth. Most milk travels to keep the rates equal since milk insn’t evenly produced all over the country. My family’s farm has been around since the late 1940’s and passed down through generations.I grew up in an area where there were many farms and this was and still is the case with most agriculture I have experiences. No matter how big or small, lots of it is a family business.

  • MelissaNibbles June 22, 2010, 2:44 pm

    Buy a sheep and sheer him yourself. That way if you wear wool in the future, you’ll avoid the wrath of commenters.

    • Caitlin June 22, 2010, 2:45 pm

      hahah would you believe me if i looked for a house with a backyard so we could get a chicken for eggs? because i totally did.

      • Amanda June 22, 2010, 2:49 pm

        Get chickens!!! They are so much fun. I just got 25 babies and they are a pleasure. I have two that will fly up and sit on my shoulder when I come in the coop 🙂 Everyone should have that joy. It cheers you up instantly on a bad day!

      • MelissaNibbles June 22, 2010, 2:49 pm

        Yes. I’m moving and the #1 reason I chose my house was that it had more farmstands near it than the #2 choice. Oh and a big laundry room. These are my 30 year old priorities.

      • Lacey June 22, 2010, 4:09 pm

        I have 6 chickens in my yard for eggs!

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople June 22, 2010, 2:46 pm

    I never actually thought about it, but I don’t buy any wool or silk products.

    Great idea on not moving your old bed. It has lasted long enough!

  • Jessica @ Jessica Balances June 22, 2010, 2:52 pm

    Thank you for asking such though-provoking questions, Caitlin 🙂 I had never considered the conditions in which sheep are raised. That said, I am also not a vegetarian… I do hope to gradually learn more about how animals are treated and possibly reduce my meat intake, though. Anyway – I think a good blogger consistently sparks inspired discussion, and you DEFINITELY do that quite often!

  • Sara June 22, 2010, 3:05 pm

    I’m a vegetarian who doesn’t wear leather, but I think my coat is part wool, which I was trying to avoid (I’m also allergic to all things animal). I don’t know how they’re treated, so I’d rather avoid the possibility of contributing to the industry. That said, I did mention that I think my coat has wool after all. 🙁 Also just have to mention that it’s so hard to find non-leather shoes (that aren’t super expensive); I’ve been struggling with that for a dozen years now.

  • Laura June 22, 2010, 3:08 pm

    Me and my family went matress shopping once, and my little brother actually fell asleep on one of the tester matresses! it was so funny…however i don’t think the sales asisstant found it as hilarious as i did! that salad also looks delicious!!! xx

  • jenny in new york June 22, 2010, 3:09 pm

    I recall reading that sheep can often get hurt (read: cut/sliced) by the shears when careless employees “harvest” the wool. I imagine this would occur in large scale productions, where the people shearing aren’t necessarily farmers or skilled.

  • Jennifer June 22, 2010, 3:10 pm

    My husband and I have been thinking about buying a new mattress due to back issues he’s been having. After some internet research, I think the one thing I took away as far as comfort of the mattress is to lay on it in the store for 15 minutes. WAAAAAAYYYYY longer than I would have thought! But it could take that long for you to really relax and start to feel how your body actually rests on the mattress. Good luck and have fun! A new mattress is one of those things that it worth every penny you spend on it (even if you can’t find a floor model!). Have fun!!!

  • Steph June 22, 2010, 3:12 pm

    My husband and I bought a GreenSleep mattress (First purchase as a married couple) that is made from natural latex and covered in a wool mattress cover. It’s actually pretty comfortable and I can’t sleep well on any other mattress 😉 The mattress is free from pesticides and is supposed to be a natural fighter of bacteria.

  • Mellissa June 22, 2010, 3:14 pm

    Not wool related but I really recommend buying a Select Comfort bed. Best purchase we ever made! My husband and I have very different tastes in the firmness of mattresses and this was the only one that would work for us.

  • Kate June 22, 2010, 3:17 pm

    Buy NZ wool- our sheep spend their time running around in paddocks. Occasionally they’ll get nicked during shearing, but it’s kind of like a shaving cut.. There are some issues as to whether lambs should be docked or not (tails cut off)- but the reason it’s done is to stop their tails getting covered in the obvious sheep waste products! It’s also worth remembering that the sheep NEED to be shorn (I realise there wouldn’t be as many if the wool industry didn’t exist though)

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing June 22, 2010, 3:22 pm

    That’s really interesting! I was just in Ireland and well, you know there’s a lot of sheep there. They seemed to be in very humane conditions!

  • Cyclist Kate June 22, 2010, 3:30 pm

    I’m always a little hesitant to recommend this movie because it is definitely hard to watch, but it might be time to check out “Earthlings.” It’s pretty informative. Have your doggies close by so you can snuggle them. The whole movie is on YouTube.

    • Caitlin June 22, 2010, 3:33 pm

      i watched the trailer and i almost vomited – im not exaggerating. i literally heaved into the toilet and i had nightmares about that skinned fox. did you really watch the entire thing? you are hardcore.

      • Cyclist Kate June 22, 2010, 3:36 pm

        Yep–I felt pretty ill for the rest of the night. It was really hard to watch. I did watch the whole thing and again, I might not recommend it to people who are already aware of animal cruelty issues (like you), but when people laugh about the existence of these issues, I want to sit them down in a chair and make them watch it.

        • Cyclist Kate June 22, 2010, 3:38 pm

          Also–I just did a quick google search for “wool industry animal rights” and quite a bit of info came up. Full disclosure–I still use wool because I don’t like the idea of replacing everything with plastic. Just like to be aware of how I’m contributing to the whole thing so at the very least I can minimize impact and practice gratitude.

  • Kiersten June 22, 2010, 3:42 pm

    I’m a vegan and I do not eat and/or wear anything that comes from an animal. This includes silk and wool. Personally, I feel that these industries are just as bad as the leather industry. Even if the animals are not killed, there is still plenty of harm that is done to the animals.Here’s some info if you are interested: http://www.peta.org/factsheet/files/FactsheetDisplay.asp?ID=55

  • Natalie June 22, 2010, 3:49 pm

    Hey Caitlin. I don’t know much about the wool industry and I’ve always been curious to know how the sheep are treated. But I do know a little bit about silk. The silk worms are killed for industrial silk because I don’t think the developer waits for the poor little worm go through his natural course of life in producing the silk. Even more, the people who work for silk producers are severely mistreated and underpaid. But like others have said, synthetic material production can be very bad for the environment. Living humanely and modernly is very difficult so no one can be perfect. Just do your research and try your best.

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) June 22, 2010, 4:18 pm

    Wow I never even thought about this topic. But it is so interesting. I enjoyed searching some of those links that people posted and I’m intrigued.

  • Amber June 22, 2010, 4:41 pm

    I have no idea about the wool industry but reading through all these comments was interesting!

    I’m dying to know how you and hus took that last picture! Did you ask someone? Or self-timer? Haha!

    • Caitlin June 22, 2010, 4:43 pm

      self timer 🙂 i love playing with fun angles for self timer pics.

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman June 22, 2010, 4:42 pm

    I love those shoes! I love the flower and most of all I love the red. So cute!

  • MLT June 22, 2010, 4:45 pm

    This is very interesting- I never thought about wool being an animal rights issue. This is probably a really stupid question, but as a born and raised city-girl…I have seen several commenters write that the sheep like to be sheared and it’s much more comfortable for them. So my question is: If you leave the sheep alone, without human intervention, do they shed on their own in the summer? Or they committed to sweltering through the hot months? That seems like poor evolution. Or were wild sheep much less hairy and they are only this woolly because they’ve been bred this way? So many questions you’ve made me think of! 🙂

    • Caitlin June 22, 2010, 4:49 pm

      hahah that does seem like poor evolution. i don’t think they shed, but maybe someone else can answer?

      i think the issue is that sheep are domesitcated and prob wouldnt exist in the number and woolliness that they do today if it wasn’t for humans (like cows).

      • Bronwyn June 22, 2010, 6:58 pm

        you should google ‘shrek the sheep’. He is a merino sheep who avoided being sheared for 6 years! When they finally found and sheared him his fleece weighed 27.5kgs instead of the usual 4.5kgs. For a country where there is around 6 sheep for every 1 person he became pretty famous in New Zealand lol. Not sure if it answers your question but thought it might be interesting!

        • MLT June 22, 2010, 7:33 pm

          Haha! Lol. I just googled it. Holy crap. He looks like he’d have trouble eating. Or moving. Or…doing anything.

      • Caitlin June 22, 2010, 7:41 pm

        OHMIGOD shrek the sheep is awesome!

        • Bronwyn June 22, 2010, 8:07 pm

          lol glad you guys enjoyed it!
          I’ve been reading your blog for ages and love it Caitlin – I’m running my first half marathon around Lake Taupo in NZ on the 1 August – nervous! I just ran my longest distance so far last weekend (13km) and I am on track for 22km. Your blog has been awesome for giving me tips on running, nutrition and much more, so thank you!

        • Caitlin June 22, 2010, 10:11 pm

          Thank you Bronwyn! You’re going to do GREAT on your Half!

  • Helen June 22, 2010, 5:07 pm

    A bit gruesome, but I do believe that some wool producers (sheep farmers?) deliberately wound their sheep so that flies will be attracted to the open wound, rather than the wool. I’m sure that practices vary greatly and there are many humane sources of wool.

  • Vicky June 22, 2010, 5:29 pm

    I get to go mattress shopping when I get back from my study abroad! It looks like fun!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) June 22, 2010, 5:55 pm

    yay for random meals 🙂 Sometimes you can create the best combinations that way!

  • Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine June 22, 2010, 6:42 pm

    I got to go mattress shopping a few years ago! So fun, but it also made my nervous…what if I picked one I wouldn’t like after awhile? Luckily, I still love my bed 🙂 Hope you picked a good one!

  • Samantha June 22, 2010, 6:50 pm

    Hi, there…just a head’s up- if you have a Costco membership, they have great mattresses much cheaper. We got our king sized swedish foam bed for about $600, and they also have more traditional ones that are great. The membership is $45, but I couldn’t believe how expensive beds were at the mattress stores, so you are still way ahead. Just a head’s up, as I believe there is one in Charlotte- might be worth springing for the membership! I think if you order them online, they include free shipping.

    • Caitlin June 22, 2010, 7:40 pm

      oh cool! we have a costco membership. i think i really needed to actually lay on the bed, though. but its still an awesome tip! thanks for sharing.

  • Ellen June 22, 2010, 7:02 pm

    Ohh that salad sounds yummy! Never thought to put polenta or even sweet potatoes in my salads!


  • Joelle (The Pancake Girl) June 22, 2010, 7:53 pm

    Your shoes are super cute!!

    I need to branch out more with my salads.. when I started adding hummus, I felt like a big salad rebel. 😉 Hope you have a nice night!

  • Maria June 22, 2010, 7:57 pm

    Good luck with the mattress shopping! Hope you find the right fit. 🙂


  • Laura (Starloz) June 22, 2010, 8:39 pm

    Mattress shopping is stressful, each store scares with information about pressure points & back issues that came arise from the wrong mattress.

    I love your food challenge. I think everyone should do it. Clear out the fridge & freezer every 6 months or so. good idea right there!

  • gina (fitnessista) June 22, 2010, 8:41 pm

    good luck finding the perfect mattress!
    we have this one and love it: http://www.brookstone.com/sl/product/2922-the-deluxebed-by-tempur-pedic-mattress.html
    no wool or silk and super comfy

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers June 22, 2010, 8:55 pm

    I just bought my first mattress the other week haha. My husband and I went around from bed to bed just lying there….I’m sure we were a sight 😉

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers June 22, 2010, 8:55 pm

    I just bought my first mattress the other week haha. My husband and I went around from bed to bed just lying there….I’m sure we were a sight 😉

  • Kath June 22, 2010, 9:04 pm

    We have the Orig Mattress FOAM version and LOOOVE it!

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss June 22, 2010, 9:10 pm

    That has to be the most awesome table…ever. 😀

  • Sarah June 22, 2010, 9:20 pm

    The wool industry is brutal. I never knew until recently. They kill the animals prematurely, after a pretty horrible life. In most instances (especially here in Australia – it’s a big debate), they remove some of the animals SKIN. WARNING, brutal images: http://www.liveexportshame.com/mulesing/mulesing1.htm

    Much of the wool in the world comes from Australia. When you hear about Merrino wool (most companies brag when they sell it), that’s from the Australian wool industry. Here’s some more info (No brutal pics this time): http://www.savethesheep.com/f-boycottAuWool.asp

    It’s something I never thought about as a vegetarian, but now as a vegan I think about it a lot.

  • Wei-Wei June 22, 2010, 10:35 pm

    You’re right… come to think of it there are quite a few other industries that we may have never thought of that possibly might mistreat animals, as well. Brainstorm, anyone?

    I hope the packing is going well! 🙂


  • Jennifer June 22, 2010, 10:58 pm

    I am not worried about squishing silkworms. I also kill spiders.

    • Caitlin June 22, 2010, 10:58 pm

      HAHAHH this made me LOL. 🙂 Thanks for bringing some humor to the plate!

      • Caitlin June 22, 2010, 10:59 pm

        And I squish roaches, but the Husband does not. He’s the one concerned about the silkworms so I don’t feel too hypocritical.

  • Natalie @ Keep It Sassy June 22, 2010, 11:40 pm

    Ditto to all of the shoe-love comments. WANT! They’re beyond adorable. 🙂

  • Emily @ Inside/Outside June 23, 2010, 10:18 am

    the mattress shopping photos are adorable! they remind me of the Ikea scene in “500 Days of Summer”

  • Marissa June 23, 2010, 12:51 pm

    Hmm… I’d like to know how the wool industry works, too! I like to imagine little old farmers with collies herding fluffy white sheep across vast expanses of thick green grass… but realistically, that’s probably not right, is it? Sad. :[

  • Jess June 23, 2010, 1:38 pm

    Hi all,

    Just wanted to add what little expertise I have to the wool discussion. My aunt has been raising sheep her whole adult life and I have been involved in the sheering process before. The sheep don’t really “enjoy” the process…because they are being held down, so the clipper can remove the fleece in one piece; but they don’t seem to be in any real trauma or distress….just kind of like trying to give your little brother (or boyfriend!) a haircut.

    Sometimes the sheep do get cut with the clippers, but at the sheering facility that my aunt uses they use a slave that disinfects and bonds the wound instantly.

    Of course this is all on small scale (25ish sheep) so I could see things getting rougher on a large scale.

    Hope that helps!

    • Caitlin June 23, 2010, 5:10 pm

      that does help 🙂 I think i’m OK with buying wool from small farmers. I want to support agriculture that is responsible!

      • Jess June 24, 2010, 8:54 am

        Awesome! That is my line of thought, too. I’m very lucky to live in such a small farming community that usually I know who is using organic farming practices and/or free range, etc

  • peony June 24, 2010, 11:15 am

    i grew up on a farm in the uk and sheering the sheep is essential 🙂 if its not done they get flies lay eggs in their coats and it hatches into maggots that eat away at the skin and get infected

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