Friday, December 30, 2011

Nature Made or Man Made?

Sea sponges are really cool. I've always liked them. They are kinda weird. I looked them up: "The Sea Sponge is not a coral, and is not a plant, rather it is classified as an animal which has neither brain nor central nervous system. Sea Sponges live on the ocean floor, they attach themselves permanently to a solid location under the water and they do not move around." Cool, right? They reproduce by budding or breaking off or just catching errant free-flowing sperm from one another! They fascinate me. And sponges are everywhere in our lives, but mostly the fake kind, not the real "animals".

Someone gave me a real natural sea sponge for use in the shower. I'd been using a synthetic one that was also given to me. I've used a loofah before too, but those can be really scratchy. But I like them because they are natural. As, of course, are sea sponges. I really hadn't used one before, I guess, because after trying it, I had to wonder why I don't always use them. It's the perfect blend of soft and scratchy. Mother Nature provides. But, then I got to thinking. I think a lot in the shower. Good ideas come up in there.

Sea sponges are animals. Does that mean vegans are against them? I brought the question to social media, as I have lots of vegan acquaintances. Hazard of the trade. (Little joke there.) I mean, if using worms for composting is a no-no because you are "enslaving" worms by doing that, then surely being so bold as to use a dead animal to exfoliate is a giant oops. The discussion was pretty... enlightening. I thought I would share.

It would seem loofahs are preferable because they are plants and sponges are animals and animals are a "no" even though they really have no brains or awareness... just basic functions. About as alive as a plant, right? So where's the line? Is wool a no? That comes from an animal. But no animal is killed for it. Someone said, no, sea sponges are taken from the ocean and are over-harvested. (Isn't everything?) Another respected friend said, why not use a cloth? Well... there's a sticky wicket. How eco-friendly is cotton? Not very. MASSIVE amounts of pesticide there. Organic cotton? Well, better, but... Bamboo? All these things still require processing which takes chemicals and energy. Sea sponges require... harvesting and drying. They are insanely regenerative, and if harvested responsibly and properly, they are fine. Plus, I would think, an added bonus is the desire to keep the water where they live and breed clean and free from pollutants. So, that's a good thing, right? You don't genetically modify them, you don't pump them full of chemicals or growth hormone, you just let them grow. You let them grow in a healthy ocean environment. To me, that's better than producing cotton. There is incentive to keep their home pristine. That's pretty high up there in my book.

And did I mention that they are the perfect blend of soft and scratchy?

None of the points against really washed for me. (Small pun intended.) Cloth instead? No, manufacturing cloth is probably bigger harm in the long run. Over-harvested? Not if done properly and sustainable, which is easy to do. Animal? I wear leather, I eat meat, so that's not really there for me as an argument. Loofah instead? Maybe sometimes. To me, it boils down to this: Man manufactures, but Mother Nature provides. Why not take care of her so she can continue to do so? Awareness, people. There it is.

I shall continue to use my sea sponge with my Dr. Bronner's soap. And I will thank the Mother every time. (And Dr. Bronner too, I guess.) Will I run out and buy another when this one has finished? Maybe. I'll find a place that harvests them responsibly, of course. Synthetic sponge? Nope. Natural? Yes. Do I need them for dishes, for make-up? No. There are other good things for that. But for this, Nature provides, and I'm good with that.

Good info found on: