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  1. #1

    Question What Do You Make of This Ethics Convo?

    I'd like your opinion on a recent exchange I've had with a supplier of materials.

    I respect this supplier, as they've been very pleasantly responsive to me, and I know that they have a presence on here. If they see this, I hope they know I have no intention of de-legitimizing their business in any way, and that by posting this, I am only seeking guidance from those who have been in a similar position as I find myself in presently.

    Anyway, I found this source of civet paste and musk tincture, claiming ethical sources (fyi, I'm counting "ethical" here as the animal is not kept in anything even close to abusive conditions, nor killed for its resources):

    "I do have access to musk tinctures and grains that are said to be ethically obtained. I also sell civet paste on the site which is what the industry uses (which must be ethically obtained)."

    This is what I replied:

    -- "Upon a little more reflection, I do have just one more question before I purchase that. As I understand it, the civet paste is extracted when the animal is frightened. The musk pod could be easily extracted from an already-dead creature, but how would the civet paste then be collected without some form of entrapment and distress?"

    And the response:

    "I have requested a Leaping Bunny document for the civet absolute to assure cruelty-free.
    Will let you know for sure as soon as possible.
    https://www.leapingbunny.org/"


    So naturally, I'm skeptical. I don't see how one could ethically source civet, and the phrasing surrounding the musk "SAID TO BE" ethically sourced was unclear.

    Plus, leaping bunny certifications don't mean much to me. Like PETA certifications, LB is a voluntary pledge these companies take, which doesn't hold them very accountable.

    So onto the very next response:

    Here is the response from robertet (charabot) regarding civet absolute.
    "We confirm that this product is under CITES. According to our supplier, “Civets (animals) are raised in captivity mainly in Ethiopia. Animals secrete at the level of these perineal glands a paste that is collected every week (a few grams at a time), without giving them pain, with the help of a spoon. It should be noted that even in the wild, civets must periodically release its glandular secretion: to do this, it rubs against stones and tree trunks”.


    Firstly, the whole leaping bunny thing was left in the dust, and now I'm receiving what is clearly a vague answer from the supplier. I simply cannot tell if there is any way of knowing the conditions these civets are kept in; or if the musk tincture is "found" or "harvested."

    Should I press on with the latter questions? If you were in this perfume supplier's shoes, would you be annoyed to all getout with me, or do you think these are reasonable questions?

    Thanks!

    (P.S. - If we could avoid debating the ethics question, I'd greatly appreciate it. In my view, anything that subjugates animals to unsavory treatment or kills them for a single resource is unethical, so I'd like to keep this post's discussion within the realm of what I consider acceptable means of use for the proposed materials).

  2. #2

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    Default Re: What Do You Make of This Ethics Convo?

    Ethical arguments aside, and me not being an expert, I find it implausible that musk pods are extracted from decomposing carcasses found in the forest. As for civet, harder to know. I think the seller has been unusually receptive to your questions, but short of you visiting the farm, I don't see how you could guarantee proper treatment for the animal.

    From a marketing perspective, I wonder whether using these products, no matter how ethical, might alienate potential buyers. If a buyer is really concerned, he'd likely avoid any natural musk or civet. If he is not concerned, he won't care about how these materials are obtained.

    cacio

  3. #3

    Default Re: What Do You Make of This Ethics Convo?

    I find it implausible, as well, but I'm sure stranger things have happened. So I hold out hope.

    I can't stress enough how great this supplier has been in dealing with me, I'm certainly very thankful for that

  4. #4

    Default Re: What Do You Make of This Ethics Convo?

    It would be great to be able to know how musk pods and civet paste *are* collected, whether there is a humane process to do it, and whether this humane process is applied. Sadly, since information on this seems very scarce, it seems like the supply chain is hiding something. Who wouldn't proud themselves nowadays on ethically procured luxury goods of animal origin? It would be a huge selling point!

    Fun fact unrelated to fragrance: some down that is found in jackets and duvets is collected from goose and duck carcasses that are processed for their meat, however, there are still instances in the supply chain where down and feathers are plucked live and left to regrow on the animal because it's cheaper. And then, there's this:

    http://www.bbc.com/travel/gallery/20...expensive-down

    Why am I mentioning this? Because there's different ways of doing things, but sadly, the market wants cheap commodities at high volume in most cases. An inexpensive down jacket may have been filled with down taken from a live animal and cost $45, and on the other side of the spectrum, you got sustainably harvested down duvets which cost up to $15k.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What Do You Make of This Ethics Convo?

    I agree with cacio.
    If I cared about animal cruelty I would not trust these third party pledges and would do my own due diligence.
    You need to see the farm for civet and musk carcass harvesting.
    Supplier only knows what the source is telling them. And who know how many layers are between musk tincture maker and the harvester.
    Also by using deer musk you are endangering them cause you are creating demand. If I were you I would just stay away from musk and civet completely.
    Beauty needs no morality or righteousness.
    It, like nature, does not give a shit

  6. #6

    Default Re: What Do You Make of This Ethics Convo?

    The only animal product you can use without a bad conscience is white ambergris.

  7. #7

    Default Re: What Do You Make of This Ethics Convo?

    Forgive my incredulous response, but I have to call that statement into question. There seems to be a lot of back-and-forth as to what is actually happening behind the scenes with some types of animalics, and I've seen some posts that contradict your assertion. Some people say musk can be scavenged or otherwise simply harvested without death involved; so I suppose my greatest concern is the civet.

    Also, hyraceum is, theoretically, without any possibility of cruelty.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What Do You Make of This Ethics Convo?

    Quote Originally Posted by SubUmbra View Post
    Forgive my incredulous response, but I have to call that statement into question. There seems to be a lot of back-and-forth as to what is actually happening behind the scenes with some types of animalics, and I've seen some posts that contradict your assertion. Some people say musk can be scavenged or otherwise simply harvested without death involved; so I suppose my greatest concern is the civet.

    Also, hyraceum is, theoretically, without any possibility of cruelty.
    I think I do not understand what you are trying to ask .
    Are you asking whether civet can be extracted humanely ?
    Or do you want to know whether the animal product you want to use are cruelty-free?
    Most of the responses so far were answering the later.
    Beauty needs no morality or righteousness.
    It, like nature, does not give a shit

  9. #9

    Default Re: What Do You Make of This Ethics Convo?

    Sorry, I made a formatting error, I was trying to respond to birdie above, where they said:

    "The only animal product you can use without a bad conscience is white ambergris."

  10. #10

    Default Re: What Do You Make of This Ethics Convo?

    Quote Originally Posted by epapsiou View Post
    Supplier only knows what the source is telling them. And who know how many layers are between musk tincture maker and the harvester.
    Also by using deer musk you are endangering them cause you are creating demand. If I were you I would just stay away from musk and civet completely.
    For this problem you mention, do you reckon there ought to be stricter standards for clarity's sake? Nobody likes to limit business, and I'm not suggesting that be done, but I do believe in a fair degree of customer transparency and so many aspects of this industry are murky.

  11. #11

    Default Re: What Do You Make of This Ethics Convo?

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    From a marketing perspective, I wonder whether using these products, no matter how ethical, might alienate potential buyers. If a buyer is really concerned, he'd likely avoid any natural musk or civet. If he is not concerned, he won't care about how these materials are obtained.

    cacio
    Thank you -- as someone who is a potential buyer, I do feel fairly alienated. On the one hand, I am generally interested in some of these materials, but on the other hand, I would hope that there are certain standards of customer transparency involved that there are in other industries.

    Though, when it comes to animal products in general, I find there can be wildly different standards of transparency.

    I don't want to force my animal treatment opinions on anyone else, but I do strongly feel that businesses in any industry should hold themselves to a certain standard of transparency and then let the customers decide (NOT in any way trying to suggest that the supply house I'm dealing with didn't do that - they've been great).

  12. #12
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    Default Re: What Do You Make of This Ethics Convo?

    Quote Originally Posted by SubUmbra View Post
    I don't want to force my animal treatment opinions on anyone else, but I do strongly feel that businesses in any industry should hold themselves to a certain standard of transparency and then let the customers decide


    Well, you are indeed telling them to conform to *your* standards.
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    In addition to Our own PK line, we make Custom Bespoke Perfumes, perfumes for Entrepreneurs needing scents for perfumes or products, Custom Wedding Perfumes, and even Special Event Perfumes.

  13. #13

    Default Re: What Do You Make of This Ethics Convo?

    It's pretty obvious you're going to have to settle for hyraceum and beach-harvested ambergris.
    Currently wearing: Le Vetiver by Carven

  14. #14

    Default Re: What Do You Make of This Ethics Convo?

    Quote Originally Posted by SubUmbra View Post
    Thank you -- as someone who is a potential buyer, I do feel fairly alienated. On the one hand, I am generally interested in some of these materials, but on the other hand, I would hope that there are certain standards of customer transparency involved that there are in other industries.

    Though, when it comes to animal products in general, I find there can be wildly different standards of transparency.

    I don't want to force my animal treatment opinions on anyone else, but I do strongly feel that businesses in any industry should hold themselves to a certain standard of transparency and then let the customers decide (NOT in any way trying to suggest that the supply house I'm dealing with didn't do that - they've been great).
    There is no "ethical" way to harvest civet paste and musk deer grains. None. That should be the only transparency you need and the vendors are looking the other way or have a high level of gullibility if they believe otherwise.

    If you don't want to support those endeavours you don't buy those products.

  15. #15

    Default Re: What Do You Make of This Ethics Convo?

    Quote Originally Posted by SubUmbra View Post
    Forgive my incredulous response, but I have to call that statement into question. There seems to be a lot of back-and-forth as to what is actually happening behind the scenes with some types of animalics, and I've seen some posts that contradict your assertion. Some people say musk can be scavenged or otherwise simply harvested without death involved; so I suppose my greatest concern is the civet.

    Also, hyraceum is, theoretically, without any possibility of cruelty.
    If you think they can remove the musk gland from a deer without either killing it or causing great pain (and presumably death from bleeding) I think you have made up your mind already. Civet is scraped off the anal glands of civet cats that are kept in small cages. If that sounds ethical go for it. It doesn't to me. Hyraceum I didn't know of.

  16. #16

    Default Re: What Do You Make of This Ethics Convo?

    Quote Originally Posted by pkiler View Post
    Well, you are indeed telling them to conform to *your* standards.
    I'm not telling anyone they have to believe anything, just expressing the back-and-forth quality of this topic, you know? Wishing for transparency isn't the same as saying "you MUST have transparency to be ethical."

  17. #17

    Default Re: What Do You Make of This Ethics Convo?

    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life View Post
    It's pretty obvious you're going to have to settle for hyraceum and beach-harvested ambergris.
    It seems that way after bringing the discussion up. Oh well! Those materials are certainly just as interesting to my nose

  18. #18

    Default Re: What Do You Make of This Ethics Convo?

    Quote Originally Posted by I.D.Adam View Post
    There is no "ethical" way to harvest civet paste and musk deer grains. None. That should be the only transparency you need and the vendors are looking the other way or have a high level of gullibility if they believe otherwise.

    If you don't want to support those endeavours you don't buy those products.
    I appreciate your bluntness - I created this thread explicitly because I've seen differing opinions on the availability of "found" musk (and confusion as to the nature of civet paste harvesting). It seems you and others who've replied agree strongly that there is no ethical way to obtain these materials, so that is good enough for me! Thank you.

  19. #19

    Default Re: What Do You Make of This Ethics Convo?

    Quote Originally Posted by birdie View Post
    If you think they can remove the musk gland from a deer without either killing it or causing great pain (and presumably death from bleeding) I think you have made up your mind already. Civet is scraped off the anal glands of civet cats that are kept in small cages. If that sounds ethical go for it. It doesn't to me. Hyraceum I didn't know of.
    I agree, it doesn't: you'll see in another reply above that the reason I started this thread is because I have seen differing statements on the nature of these sources and how they go about harvesting. I didn't know if anyone knew more specifically about how some of these sources go about it, but it seems pretty strongly in everyones' replies that there is no known source that would match what I've described as "ethical," so that's indeed enough for me to make a better decision. Thank you!

  20. #20
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    Default Re: What Do You Make of This Ethics Convo?

    As far as I know there is no way at all to collect civet paste ordeer musk without cruelty. Some musk deer are farmed for their musk in China, but this means keeping a wild animal in a high walled enclosure and they are natually roamers and used to woods. The musk is collected by extraction from t he live animal, and can't see how this is not cruel or not painful or at very least distressing.

    Civet are kept in Africa in cages. Wild beavers are killed for their castoreum sacks. Overall, if you give a gnat's woopsie about cruelty to WILD animals you will not use these products for perfume. Of course there is the argument that we eat meat, ect, but this is for vanity, not for food.

    Beach collected ambergris and hyraceum seem ethical animalics, For the others there are great substitutes with super synthetics that recreate the experience. Of course nothing will ever be exactly like a natural, but for the price of not letting animals suffer for our luxury, I think it's time we all adapted and stopped supporting these practices.

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