Always odd to see the Mataura swimming pool entrance right opposite the HUGE slaughterhouse. An industry town indeed!
Nearby is a tribute to “million dollar” “racehorse” Cardigan Bay – also with the huge slaughterhouse directly visible behind the monument!
The victorious Managing-Director Alex Derbie looks sort of like a cross between US President Harry Truman and US actor James Cromwell. Vegetarian before starring as an animal farmer in “Babe”, Cromwell went Vegan while making the movie :-)
“He says of his Babe character Farmer Hoggett, “I think the character I played had an ability to see animals as sentient beings, with as much a destiny and a drive and aspiration as he had. That dichotomy is true of everybody. People eat unconscious of what goes into the making of the food that is in front of them.” He also discussed his views on having companion animals, “First, I disagree with two of those words—’to own’ and ‘pet.’ You can’t own another creature…They’re not pets. ‘Pets’ has a connotation that we’re a superior species and they are an inferior species. We’re here to take care of them because they can’t make it on their own. They are companion animals, hopefully, if they choose to be, and we certainly do not own them,” he said.”
Jordan’s father remembers this pelting machine being introduced the the slaughterhouse at the time he worked on the killing chain. It initially malfunctioned, and would quote “rip the shit” out of the sheeps skin instead of pulling their skins off cleanly. The workers who knew they were going to lose their jobs due to this machine laughed and laughed, while the engineers panicked and tried their best to correct its operation. Presumably they’ve succeeded, and it and its successors flawlessly skin sheep.
An unusual business is the wool and animal skin side of slaughterhouses. Even the baby sheep killed due to farmers planning the pregnancies incorrectly, so babies are born into terrible snow provide profitable. The babies who die are dumped in “slink piles”, clumps of dead lambs to be “processed” into skins.
“Knight of New Zealand” as the business is now called have wares on display at the Invercargill airport, as an example of local industry.
Company website on “Unique Materials”, meaning these “slink skins” “New Zealand has a large sheep population (currently 40 million) in a relatively small geographical area.
As is quite normal in the animal world, there is a natural attrition rate of around 10%. In the spring lambing season, millions of new lambs are born. During this season, the weather can be fickle; many cold fronts sweep the New Zealand countryside, particularly in the high Hill Country farms.
This can result in higher lamb losses than would be the norm.
Knight of New Zealand uses this unique material selected by nature to produce a collection of super lightweight but warm garments for both Ladieswear and Menswear. These skins, known as Curly lamb in Europe due to the fine natural curls in the wool, or Shearling in the USA, are incredibly soft and lightweight and are an ideal material for making fine soft apparel.
The 100% natural baby virgin wool forms an ideal insulation against the cold on the inside, and the reverse side of the skin is buffed to form a soft silky suede or a soft napa finish. Because the skins are from such a young animal, the natural skin fibres are tightly interlocked to form a fine lightweight but strong, durable material. Knight’s Babylamb garments weigh only a fraction of the weight of a traditional Shearling jacket and yet retain all the warmth that only fine natural wool can offer.
Garments made from these skins make an ideal “travelling companion” as any creases caused by overhead locker or suitcase storage will fall out very quickly when worn as they warm up with your natural body heat.
The small size of the pelts means that it usually takes
around 30 skins to make a single jacket!”
I think I’ll stick to wearing vegan clothing thanks! Even areas where animal skin is traditionally worn such as by police officers, military and racing drivers have moved over to wearing natural vegan materials, or synthetics for reasons of performance, light weight and waterproofing.