Sometimes you are just going about life when you learn the most interesting things. For example, I learned on “Good Mythical Morning, the Eating Chicken with Our Feet/Breaking Law” episode that it is illegal to sell dog hair in Delaware. Upon further investigation, I learned that it is illegal to sell dog and cat hair in New York also. People can sell dog hair on eBay, so this got me wondering just why is it illegal, and why would people want to buy it.
You see, I have an overabundance of dog and cat hair at my house. I want to get rid of it, not accumulate more of it. Yet, upon learning about this market for such hair, my mind kept returning to ways of bringing in income with my excess pet fur. Lucky for me, you see, I don’t live in Delaware or New York!
What could people possibly do with dog and cat hair? Well, I’m glad that you asked! Containment booms use it to absorb oil during disastrous spills. You can also use it as a natural critter repellent. I did try to repel deer from my garden one year with our dog’s fur, but I must not have used enough because the deer still came. When you’re done with that use, you can work it into your soil or add it to your compost. Dog and cat hair is also used to make clothes (dog wools coat) and in knitting or crocheting projects such as mittens or blankets. Some say it is even warmer than sheep’s wool. Hmmm. Another use is homemade jewelry. None of these uses had ever occurred to me. The only uses I ever thought of were to make a toupee for my dad (Sorry, Dad) or stuffing pillows with it, but I was afraid such stuffing would be an allergen.
The Dog and Cat Fur Prohibition Enforcement Act of 2000 and the Dog and Cat Protection Act of 2000, which prohibits the export, import, manufacture, or sale of dog or cat fur products, tells me that selling dog and cat fur must be serious business. It must have gotten out of hand. Since it is regulated, there must be standards.
How I never realized that I was sitting on a fortune all these years is beyond me. Here we are actually throwing our dog and cat fur away! Talk about waste, huh? My chocolate lab sheds year round. Even after brushing off Piggly Wiggly-sized plastic grocery bagfuls of fur, we can still sweep the floor to get three or more dustpans of it. Then we have our three cats in varying shades of gray, black and white, and tabby tiger. It makes me sick that I didn’t know about this form of income before.
That there is a market for it just goes to show how sheltered I have been. Here the stuff that has been upsetting me could have been paying for fancy vacations. Why, incredible as it might seem, I could have actually been happy about all that light, fluffy, clingy hair that escapes my broom and finds its way into and onto everything in the house. I’ve been so ungrateful and such a grumbler, tossing it away into the trash.
It just goes to show that one person’s trash is another’s treasure. I suppose I better go visit YouTube now for my tutorial on knitting mittens from dog and cat hair. It may take me awhile to learn all this business about weaving and looms and making yarn since I’m not the world’s craftiest person. Still, like I said, you learn something new every day.
What is something bizarre that you have learned recently?