How do they harvest badger bristles?

Discussion in 'Shaving Brushes' started by brothers, Nov 29, 2008.

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  1. So what's up with synthetic brush bristles? Maybe I could go look it up, but does anybody know the common procedure for people seeking to make shaving brushes to get hair from badgers? Or boars? Is somebody somewhere doing something despicable to these critters?
  2. MAK


    Other posting have suggested that badger hair is a byproduct of harvesting badgers for their meat (in China).

  3. Badger burgers = Badger brushes...............:wink:

    BTW, I'll have mine with cheese, please.
  4. yep can't just shave them.. they get to be deaded,

  5. The hairs are obtained through polite requests, sometimes in exchange for high-quality badger food or chocolate.
  6. mdunn

    mdunn Moderator Emeritus

    badger is food in parts of china. the hair is taken when they are killed for food.
  7. I have two synthetic brushes (a Men-U premier, $56 online - apparently soft like badger, but probably not as luxurious - I've never used badger - but much softer than boar, and really quite soft) and an Omega Syntex (#90077, $10 on ebay, my travel brush - softer than boar but not nearly as soft as the Men-U premier) and the advantages of them I see are these: No initial animal hair smell, less to non-existent bristle loss (the better syntex brushes are claiming this - and I've yet to lose a bristle), easier to clean since the bristles don't absorb soap/cream, fast drying, use about 50% less cream/soap since bristles don't absorb soap/cream, quick to develop lather (since the bristles are usually stiffer), plus an animal is not hurt (I'm not a vegetarian and only a moderate environmentalist but why hurt something if it's not needed) - i.e. a very low maintenance, quick, efficient, long-lasting brush. The disadvantages are these: probably won't get softer with age like boar/badger, great for bowl & hand lathering but painful for face lathering (I do only mild face exfoliation with them), best for painting side-to-side or up-down motions, harder to use circular brush motions, not fancy luxurious brushes (plastic bristles & plastic handles), probably doesn't hold heat like a badger brush, and the white bristles of the Omega syntex are hard to see white soap against when you're initially putting it on your brush. So in summary, I like synthetic brushes, but it all depends what you want. I'm giving Omega syntex's to people as starter & travel brushes.
  8. This is an honest question, not meant to be a troll, but is there anything they DON'T eat in China?
  9. I desperately try to be as open minded as I can about other cultures. I try not to make any unfounded generalizations, as I am the target of them quite often living in Japan...

    But after seeing pictures of Shanghai food markets, I am tempted to say No, there isn't.
  10. From what small amount of info I can find out online I think the idea that every Badger is killed first for their meat and second for their fur is not entirely accurate.
    EDIT for content>JFR
    I can't find any source that is definitive on the topic.
    There are many on here who care about animal cruelty and many who think it's silly or misguided.
    The argument usually goes something like we should care more for the Chinese people than the Badgers they are killing.
    I don't know what's so wrong with caring about both, personally.
    Given the fact I can't be assured how the animals are slaughtered for their skins, I myself, won't purchase another one. I was stupid enough to think of Badgers being shaved much like Sheep are sheared.
  11. Jim

    Jim Moderator

    The Video mentioned above was NOT badgers. We have been down this road before more than once and it did not end well on many levels. I am calling on each of the members who post in this thread to do so with respect to others opinions and use the golden rule. Thank you.
  12. mdunn

    mdunn Moderator Emeritus

    if people are concerned about the possibility of cruelty in getting the badger hair, you could consider getting brushed made by companies holding a royal warrant (ie t&h) as the process of getting (and keeping) one means they have to meet all kind of extra standards other brushmakers do not (eg, i think they cant test on animals) and so they have to be paticularly careful about where they source materials from to ensure there is no cruelty.
  13. Siv, I hate to be the one to break it to you... but that is just a fairy tale to limit their sales losses to animal lovers. The high Omega 6 diet part is a nice touch, playing to the health and nutrition-conscious shoppers. If they knew all of their customers liked Kenny G, they would have put in a line or two about how they play soothing Kenny G music to calm the badgers.

    There are no Italian badger farms, the Chinese regularly trap badgers and use them for food. The badger hair is a byproduct of this. There is no budget for tranquilizing a vicious animal to shave it and then let the best part of it (the rest of it) walk away.
  14. Siv


    Jim, thanks for the clarification - I guess the hippy in me likes the idea of a badger lathering up and having a nice shave. Anyway, I only buy synthetic...
  15. it starts with a huge vat of NAIR.....
  16. Being a good sheeple, I was unaware of what a royal warrant was so I did what any good drone would do: Wikipedia!

    It looks like a royal warrant essentially allows the holder to advertise that he/she/it supplies a service to the royal family (in general, not specific terms).

    According to the Royal Warrant Holder's Association, "Does having a Royal Warrant mean that the products or services supplied are the best?

    No – it only means they are the preferred product or service."

    I couldn't find any restrictions on warrant holders, other than they provide a product preferred by the royal family.

    This suggests that there is no requirement to procure materials that meet a given standard. Of course, it looks like the royal warrant for cigarettes was revoked in keeping with public policy, so who knows?

    I admit, I fall into the "I have no problem with using the fur if they are killed humanely for their meat" portion of the crowd. But, I also agree that any animal deserves a humane death.

    Still thinking about this one...

    (PS: Not to counter anything said here, just trying to add to the conversation. Good decisions are made with good information)
  17. I'm pretty sure anytime you get to find out how all the cool stuff you love is made it kind of dampens the enthusiasm. I remember when I was a kid I went on a field trip to MSU's dairy store where they made all their cheeses. The only thing I brought back was cheese is gross. It took me a couple weeks before I could even stomach the stuff. Not sure what that says about my childhood disposition.
  18. I will hold on to my belief that the hair is harvested by migrant farm workers and the badgers were lied into donating the hair for balding cousins in far away countries.
  19. I noticed today that G.B.Kent of shaving brushes fame has a RW from HM the Queen for shaving brushes :eek: Thank the appropriate deity I know that it doesn't mean she uses the product personally :biggrin:
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