/ PRODUCT NEWS: Tom Randall launches Sublime Brushes in the UK

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Sublime Brushes Fact Sheet, 3 kbA Professional Rock Climber Crack Weirdo + Professional Climbing Aviation Tech Wizard = The Best Climbing Brush Ever?

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Mike Highbury - on 02 Dec 2015
In reply to UKC Gear:
> A Professional Rock Climber Crack Weirdo + Professional Climbing Aviation Tech Wizard = The Best Climbing Brush Ever?

Making brushes out of boar's bristle is pathetic.
7
nufkin - on 02 Dec 2015
In reply to Mike Highbury:

> Making brushes out of boar's bristle is pathetic

Depends how they persuade the boars to relinquish their bristles
drolex - on 02 Dec 2015
In reply to UKC Gear:
"reinvention of the climbing brush"? It's a big toothbrush FFS

"even more important for newer climbers whose hands aren't that strong yet and rely more on a hold's natural friction". I appreciate there might be some innovation here, but the PR team should tone down a little bit. Even by today's ridiculous PR standards, it's completely over the top.
Post edited at 12:16
2
Mick Ward - on 02 Dec 2015
In reply to drolex:

> "reinvention of the climbing brush"? It's a big toothbrush FFS

Well, maybe... and maybe not. Certainly the last time this project was discussed on these august forums, the general view from the armchair critics was similar to yours'. And that got me wondering - cos Tom Randall (never met him, so not cronyism!) certainly seems like a pretty upfront, honest guy - and obviously hyper-motivated. Would he really get so intense about something with only marginal impact?

And then I reminisced about our general acceptance of change. I can remember folk deriding bouldering mats ("Bloody hell, beer towels were good enough for us!") and clipsticks ("Bloody cheating sticks!") But, of course, (nearly) all of us are using mats and clipsticks now.

And then I went climbing with someone who (unlike me!) really does know his stuff. When I was scrattling around for some pathetic excuse for a brush, he produced an alternative. "It's absolutely brilliant!" he enthused. "Aren't Tom Randall and some other guy producing one?" I asked. "Yep, this is it!" he replied.

Mick
2
John2 - on 02 Dec 2015
In reply to Mick Ward:

Well I suppose if you don't find it any use for climbing you can use it on your teeth.
Lead dnf - on 02 Dec 2015
In reply to UKC Gear:

Thanks but I'll stick to Oral B.
Mick Ward - on 02 Dec 2015
In reply to John2:

And you can snooze on mats. (I know - I have!)

But, as someone who's done far too much highballing above proverbial muddy towels, worrying about landings, belatedly accepting bouldering mats is finally setting me free to put in maximum effort.

And if I could have been so conservative (and wrong!) about mats, I'm prepared to learn the lesson and be more open-minded about other stuff.

Mick
1
faffergotgunz - on 02 Dec 2015
In reply to UKC Gear:

Cuttin edge lol! Dis iz an old brush man! Wtf! We use electrik brushez now innit.

Blast da holdz clean bruv in super quick time innit.
2
drolex - on 02 Dec 2015
In reply to Mick Ward:

Don't get me wrong, it might the best brush for climbing purposes ever. i wouldn't doubt it. But conceptually, it is still a brush. It is not a reinvention. I am not attacking the product, I am attacking the communication about it, I find it ridiculous.
1
tony on 02 Dec 2015
In reply to drolex:

> But conceptually, it is still a brush. It is not a reinvention. I am not attacking the product, I am attacking the communication about it, I find it ridiculous.

Quite. But what's most disappointing is the lack of any useful guide as to how much better the Premium Brush is compared with the Classic Nylon brush. How many grades harder will you be able to climb with the Premium brush? There are over twice as many bristles in the Premium version, but it's only £1.25 more expensive, so how much better is it? We need these things quantified!
Hat Dude on 02 Dec 2015
In reply to drolex:

"Conceived in February 2014, the brush has taken up every minute of Ransom and Tom’s time."

Apart from Tom training hard to get some pretty impressive muscles and doing some equally impressive routes ;-)
cheese@4p - on 06 Dec 2015
In reply to UKC Gear:

I can't believe how many are taking the marketing at face value. Surely a spoof no?
snoop6060 - on 06 Dec 2015
In reply to cheese@4p:

Anyone know how much hash you can stash in the handle?
3leggeddog on 07 Dec 2015
In reply to UKC Gear:
I have a small wager with myself.

On the day I see an electric brush used to clean a hold, I will reward myself with a pint and smug satisfaction that my cynicism was justified all along.

That day just got a whole load closer
Post edited at 03:02
Andy Gamisou - on 07 Dec 2015
In reply to cheese@4p:


> I can't believe how many are taking the marketing at face value. Surely a spoof no?

No.
Post edited at 06:16
2
ericinbristol - on 07 Dec 2015
In reply to Lead dnf:

Best username I have seen in a while
TomPR on 07 Dec 2015
In reply to drolex:

Thanks for funny, insightful and questioning comments everyone!

So to answer a few things:

1. Yes it is a toothbrush. Can you reinvent the wheel? No probably not.... But you can spend a long time thinking about how to improve it. That's what we've done here. We've put our very best effort in and we've thought about it long and hard. Personally, I think that's the way forward for me on everything (my climbing, lifestyle, work, etc) and I hope that you find the product reflects that. If it doesn't then that's fine! We can agree to disagree .

2. Wording / writing / quotes: the reality of this situation is that sometimes it's me saying something, sometimes it's my partner, sometimes it's the distributor or UKC editor. All you've got to remember is that it's better that the Daily Mail, but you're quite right in saying there isn't a perfect level achieved here. We shall strive for more.

3. Trying it out. Much that you can read whatever you want into this brush, the best decider is go out there and use one. If you like it, then great and if you don't please let us know why and we want to make things better each year. Anyone who knows me through climbing will know I'm a pretty upfront person who's happy to constant re-evaluate and make improvements and I'm really passionate about working in the climbing industry. What other community has such a nice set of people to work with and work for?!

Hope that helps? Maybe?

Tom

4
ex0 - on 07 Dec 2015
In reply to TomPR:

> 3. Trying it out. Much that you can read whatever you want into this brush, the best decider is go out there and use one.

I accept your gracious offer. Please PM me for my address so that you can forward me a trial brush.
TomPR on 07 Dec 2015
In reply to ex0:

I like your confident offer acceptance! I'll get in touch and send you one for trial. You have to let know whether you think it's good or bad though
Mick Ward - on 07 Dec 2015
In reply to ex0:

And why.

Mick
PPP - on 07 Dec 2015
In reply to ex0:

Only if you are going to write 500 word review.

Surely we could crowdfund you few more, additional 1000 words for each brush you receive? Though deWOODSTOK ( http://www.rockrun.com/dewoodstok-stick-brush ) would require at least twice more words.
sfletch on 07 Dec 2015
In reply to UKC Gear:

These are awesome. Just found them 2 for 18p on a website for a shop that sounds like Desco. Price seems a bit steep on here but it always pays to shop around.

They also do 3 for a quid that provide a 'medium clean'. Useful stuff.
Si dH - on 07 Dec 2015
In reply to TomPR:

Tom, any idea how the longevity of these should compare to lapis brushes?
ex0 - on 17 Dec 2015
In reply to TomPR:

Heh I was just joking but Tom really did email me right after I posted and got a brush sent out to me.

Here's my thoughts - 3 sessions in and people keep stealing it off me to brush their own problems because it really does do the job well. Prob due to the amount of bristles it removes much more chalk than lapis brushes do and with a lot less force, so I figure it won't have the unfortunate issue that lapis brushes do where the front sections wears down MUCH faster than the rest of the brush which reduces its usefulness real fast. Hefty as shit so it's not going to break like plastic lapis do. Gun to my head the only issue is that it's a pain to hold between the teeth when climbing up to brush something above arm length. For me personally it's only a couple quid more than a wooden lapis and it looks like it'll last a lot longer, so it's a no brainer to switch to this brush instead of woodies.

Here's some comparison shots next to an almost deceased wooden lapis (since I couldn't find comparisons anywhere else and I doubt any official marketing from Sublime Climbing is going to hold them right up next to their direct competitor): http://i.imgur.com/UvSsEg5.jpg // http://i.imgur.com/5d...

Here's a shot compared to the woodie above and an old plastic one: http://i.imgur.com/aEforZf.jpg

And finally the grand collection (the ones I have left anyway, I've binned about a dozen each of plastic and wooden lapis over the years): http://i.imgur.com/qk8guVV.jpg

Cheers Tom.
Morgan Woods - on 18 Dec 2015
In reply to UKC Gear:

"The Sublime Climbing Brush allows climbers to effortlessly clean holds on your climbing routes or boulder problems"

Is there really zero effort involved?
Mick Ward - on 18 Dec 2015
In reply to ex0:

> Heh I was just joking but Tom really did email me right after I posted and got a brush sent out to me.

Good review. The proof of the pudding:

> Here's my thoughts - 3 sessions in and people keep stealing it off me to brush their own problems because it really does do the job well.

Mick
maybe_si - on 18 Dec 2015
In reply to UKC Gear:

Where can you buy these?? After (minimal) research online I can't see how to actually get one?!
ex0 - on 18 Dec 2015
In reply to Mick Ward:

There was no way to post without it sounding like a review. He did take time out of his day to email me and then sent me his product for nothing, it was the least I could do to post my thoughts as he requested above. If it had been shit I would have had no problem posting that was the case (like I did with unicorn chalk, which I said before using it was daylight robbery and I still consider absolute daylight robbery after having tried it).

Ignore the writing and just look at the pics, they speak for themselves I reckon.
sxrxg - on 18 Dec 2015
In reply to UKC Gear:

These brushes look good and I'm sure are brilliant for brushing slopers on grit however they suffer from the same design flaw as lots of others (lapis, moon, etc) that the head is massive and therefore it is difficult to brush small pockets/crimps as the plastic/wood of the frame hits the rock. I wish someone would make a interdental style climbing brush with 360 degrees of bristles around the head to allow brushing of those small holds that often accumulate chalk (I currently use a Metolius M16 brush with a tiny brush for this however it uses stiff nylon that doesn't seem to be as good as boars hair, also the plastic of the frame still sometimes smacks the rock even though it is small).
1
PPP - on 18 Dec 2015
In reply to sxrxg:

http://media.therange.co.uk/pws/client/images/catalogue/products/471850/zoom/471850.jpg

Comes with a holder and a carabiner hole. Sorry, couldn't resist!
chris fox on 18 Dec 2015
In reply to maybe_si:

I'll lend you mine when you come back up north Si
3leggeddog on 18 Dec 2015
In reply to sxrxg:

> These brushes look good and I'm sure are brilliant for brushing slopers on grit however they suffer from the same design flaw as lots of others (lapis, moon, etc) that the head is massive and therefore it is difficult to brush small pockets/crimps as the plastic/wood of the frame hits the rock. I wish someone would make a interdental style climbing brush with 360 degrees of bristles around the head to allow brushing of those small holds that often accumulate chalk (I currently use a Metolius M16 brush with a tiny brush for this however it uses stiff nylon that doesn't seem to be as good as boars hair, also the plastic of the frame still sometimes smacks the rock even though it is small).

My pint gets closer and closer, go do it, oral B electric at the crag, make my xmas
Mick Ward - on 18 Dec 2015
In reply to ex0:

What you did was great. You said what you honestly thought. That's all we can ask of anybody. Thank you.

Mick
ex0 - on 18 Dec 2015
In reply to Mick Ward:

My bad Mick, I was fairly sure you were being subtly sarcastic in your original post, hence my response!

Cheers.
TomPR on 18 Dec 2015
In reply to maybe_si:

Hi Si, they've only recently arrived in the UK, so the main stockists (Beta Climbing Designs) are busy getting them out to all the UK climbing walls and shops at the moment. If you let me know your local wall I can help ease the process along if you want.

If that fails, I'm sure I can make something work.

Tom
TomPR on 18 Dec 2015
In reply to sxrxg:

You're quite right in saying that the 360 degree bristle idea would be really effective - it would still have some limitations though and it's about trying to hit as many of the key elements as possible when you design something, although I think you'll know this already. If you managed to make a prototype, I'd love to see it.

On the "plastic part hitting the rock" I think you'll find a difference with this brush as we've almost totally eliminated the rim on the head through a bit of design time and lots of thinking!

Anyway, have look at one when you see it and we can always agree to disagree

Tom

ericinbristol - on 18 Dec 2015
In reply to TomPR:

Hi Tom

Could you please indicate the ethical sourcing of the boar's hair bristles you use?
1
bpmclimb on 19 Dec 2015
In reply to ericinbristol:

Yes, that information is conspicuously absent from the article, since it mentions recycling and "the morals of the climbing community". Let's hope it's UK bristle, and especially not imported from the far East.
1
winhill - on 19 Dec 2015
In reply to ericinbristol:

> Could you please indicate the ethical sourcing of the boar's hair bristles you use?

Could you please indicate which, out of the thousands of international conventions on boar hair production, are the ones you would use?
5
winhill - on 19 Dec 2015
In reply to bpmclimb:

> Let's hope it's UK bristle, and especially not imported from the far East.

Can you give us a clue a to your understanding of the scale of boar hair production in the UK?

In particular it would be helpful if you could indicate the breeds used in the UK and their hair density.

3
ericinbristol - on 19 Dec 2015
In reply to winhill:

It sounds like you are being facetious? I know almost nothing about boar hair production e.g. do they shave the hair off and it regrows? Is your underlying point that it is essentially unregulated and that there is no such thing as even relatively ethical sourcing of such a product?
2
ericinbristol - on 19 Dec 2015
In reply to winhill:
I read your reply to bpmclimb and am still none the wiser. It sounds like something you have some expertise on and it would be good to hear what you know. I think what he was getting at was a general expectation that such an industry in the UK would be better regulated in terms of animal welfare but perhaps you are making the point that board in the Far East are of different breeds more suited to brushes?
Post edited at 13:01
2
bpmclimb on 20 Dec 2015
In reply to winhill:

> Can you give us a clue a to your understanding of the scale of boar hair production in the UK?

Sorry, no idea about the scale. Is that relevant? Whatever the scale, I strongly suspect that bristle is more humanely produced than that from elsewhere. China, in particular, has a pretty awful track record regarding the treatment of animals, with the production of bristle having been flagged as particularly cruel.

> In particular it would be helpful if you could indicate the breeds used in the UK and their hair density.

I don't know these facts, and can't see their relevance. You don't actually want to know them anyway.
1
ericinbristol - on 20 Dec 2015
In reply to bpmclimb:

winhill seems to be another one on here who gratuitously sneers at reasonable points. Yawn.
2
bpmclimb on 24 Dec 2015
In reply to ericinbristol:

I've Emailed the company to ask for information on the bristles. No reply so far ............
Si dH - on 24 Dec 2015
In reply to bpmclimb:

Can't you just support a new home-grown business trying to introduce an improved product (the current options are imported and wear out quickly) rather than trying to pick holes?
As far as I can tell you aren't a boulderer anyway so probably would never buy one regardless. It seems you have just come on here to demonstrate your righteousness.
5
Timmd on 24 Dec 2015
In reply to Si dH:
> Can't you just support a new home-grown business trying to introduce an improved product (the current options are imported and wear out quickly) rather than trying to pick holes?

> As far as I can tell you aren't a boulderer anyway so probably would never buy one regardless. It seems you have just come on here to demonstrate your righteousness.

Or it could be that he genuinely care?

Happy Christmas
Post edited at 12:22
1
ericinbristol - on 24 Dec 2015
In reply to Si dH:

Querying potential animal cruelty is not mere picking of holes. It is a legitimate concern which I share.

As for bpmclimb, he stands out as reasonable, balanced person so your personal go at him is unwarranted. No idea if he will buy one of the brushes.

For myself, if the boar bristle is ethically sourced, I will buy a brush from the company - a nylon bristle one but obviously the company still gets money from me.
ericinbristol - on 24 Dec 2015
In reply to bpmclimb:

Thanks for doing that. Please do keep us posted.
Timmd on 24 Dec 2015
In reply to ericinbristol:
> winhill seems to be another one on here who gratuitously sneers at reasonable points. Yawn.

It can seem like an attempt at being clever with some posters.
Post edited at 14:47
1
bpmclimb on 24 Dec 2015
In reply to Si dH:
> Can't you just support a new home-grown business trying to introduce an improved product (the current options are imported and wear out quickly) rather than trying to pick holes?

> As far as I can tell you aren't a boulderer anyway so probably would never buy one regardless. It seems you have just come on here to demonstrate your righteousness.


I assume from your reply that animal welfare in general is not near the top of your list of ethical concerns. In fact, given that people who do profess to care are (apparently) immediately assumed by you to be demonstrating their righteousness, perhaps we can take it that such issues aren't on your list at all.

BTW FYI I do boulder, I'm just not into logging problems like I do routes.
Post edited at 17:07
1poundSOCKS - on 24 Dec 2015
In reply to Si dH:

> As far as I can tell you aren't a boulderer anyway so probably would never buy one regardless

Brushes can be used to clean the holds on routes too.
winhill - on 24 Dec 2015
In reply to ericinbristol

> As for bpmclimb, he stands out as reasonable, balanced person so your personal go at him is unwarranted.

Why is he lying that the production of bristle has been "flagged as particularly cruel" then?

> For myself, if the boar bristle is ethically sourced

You've already said you have no idea what ethically sourced bristle is, so how would you tell?
9
bpmclimb on 25 Dec 2015
In reply to winhill:

Please take a deep breath, calm down, and stop flinging around careless accusations. I'm not lying about anything. There are certain products that have become fairly well known as being associated with cruel practices. Foie gras and veal are two common examples. It's perhaps a little less well known, but bristle is also high on this list. I won't go into the gory details, but at its worst it's utterly disgraceful. Large amounts of the world's commercial bristle comes from the far East, especially China, which is exactly where these unusually cruel methods are most prevalent. Now I'm not saying that all imported bristle is inhumanely harvested, but a significant proportion of it certainly is. Furthermore, it's often impossible to identify the source of the bristle on a given product, because the batches are often mixed before reaching their final destination. There are some manufacturers who ensure that all their bristle is humanely sourced, but these are very much in the minority, and you can normally tell which because they use the fact as a selling point.

Today Sublime Climbing sent me a helpful reply to my Email, saying that they could not be sure about the exact source of their bristle, since they buy it in mixed batches; for customers with these concerns they recommend the synthetic model of their brush.
winhill - on 25 Dec 2015
In reply to bpmclimb:

> Please take a deep breath, calm down, and stop flinging around careless accusations. I'm not lying about anything.

Then simply post some evidence. Every post you make eschews the opportunity to do so. Bristle is high on who's list?

You have nothing here except for prissiness.
10
bpmclimb on 25 Dec 2015
In reply to winhill:

The situation with bristle is pretty well documented, and actually quite shocking. I'm not going to sit here for an hour compiling a list of references and sources for you. The evidence is readily available. If you care, have a look. If you can't be bothered, don't.
4
winhill - on 25 Dec 2015
In reply to bpmclimb:

> The situation with bristle is pretty well documented, and actually quite shocking.

No it's not, that's the third time you've lied about it now.

Bear in mind you insist on UK bristle and then cannot even see the relevance that there is no UK bristle, so your knowledge gap here is cavernous, there's no way anyone should take you're word for anything. Simply post the great bristle controversy evidence and clear it all up. If you were that bothered about it you would take the very useful opportunity to educate people about it.
11
Big Lee - on 25 Dec 2015
In reply to winhill:

So what are your own views on bristle? I can't tell if you are well educated on the subject or know nothing because you are entirely critising someone else's views without without putting forward your own. Different viewpoints is what makes good debate. I'll admit I know nothing on the subject but interested nonetheless.
deacondeacon - on 25 Dec 2015
In reply to UKC Gear:

Well, I've just had one in my stocking. If Santas ok with it I'm ok with it.
Damo on 25 Dec 2015
In reply to winhill:

"...the pig is forcibly held immobile underfoot by one person while its hair is painfully yanked out by another person, the pig all the while in full consciousness, screaming in pain. The price of plucked pig hair/bristles is double that which have been cut."
http://www.bwcindia.org/web/awareness/learnabout/Animalhairandbrushes.html

https://ecotoothbrush.wordpress.com/2014/05/13/boar-bristle-humane/
https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080531063004AAFM5Sc
http://www.empathyforanimals.org/there-is-no-need-for-a-hair-scare-just-be-aware/
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=277930

That took less than five minutes.
bpmclimb on 25 Dec 2015
In reply to winhill:

> No it's not, that's the third time you've lied about it now.

Ok, that's enough of the personal attacks! I already had some knowledge of this issue, but never claimed my knowledge was complete. I joined this thread seeking further information about a product. You seem determined to be plain nasty for no good reason, so I'm going to have to disregard any more posts from you. Go and eat some mince pies or something!

tspoon1981 on 25 Dec 2015
In reply to Damo:

Can you find any sources that aren't message boards, anecdotal evidence or biased? I tried and couldn't, and tried multiple variations on the "boar bristle humane" theme when searching. If it is truly cruel, surely there will be some well written and documented research that's easily searchable
Dr.S at work - on 25 Dec 2015
In reply to tspoon1981:
> If it is truly cruel, surely there will be some well written and documented research that's easily searchable

Not necessarily, only if the practice is carried out in a country that is likely to conduct research to see if it is cruel. (i.e. somewhere like NZ which has an admirable record of trying to establish the answers to farming welfare questions)


edit - and when I say cruel, I of course mean aversive, very hard to establish cruelty as thats a moral judgment
Post edited at 11:06
tspoon1981 on 25 Dec 2015
In reply to Dr.S at work:

True, by cruel, I meant humane.

Although, I still don't believe that yahoo answers, straight dope message boards and hearsay are legitimate sources for backing up an argument.
Damo on 25 Dec 2015
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> edit - and when I say cruel, I of course mean aversive, very hard to establish cruelty as thats a moral judgment

Yes. Growing up in Australia, in a major wool growing area, the mulesing of sheep was just common practice. When it eventually became an issue in Europe (and elsewhere) due to media coverage and evolving attitudes, it was a big shock to some here that it was even an issue - regardless of the good intentions in the origins of the practice.

Nobody was intentionally cruel, they had just accepted something that became unacceptable, in addition to most end-users not knowing of the practice, until animal rights activists used the web and social media to spread awareness.
bpmclimb on 25 Dec 2015
In reply to Damo:

I've just Emailed PETA asking for reliable documentation of research on bristle production. I also pointed them to this thread.
3
winhill - on 25 Dec 2015
In reply to bpmclimb:

> Ok, that's enough of the personal attacks!

Interesting, here you are lying about someone else's behaviour, whilst claiming that it is yourself who is being attacked! What a princess.

> I already had some knowledge of this issue

But none worth passing on to anyone else.

> You seem determined to be plain nasty for no good reason,

Again, part of the Princess Syndrome you have is that you don't regard your own actions as nasty or aggressive, which is exactly what they are.

If you had a genuine story to tell here then you would post it, in the hope fewer boars were harmed but you haven't tried, because this isn't about animals it's about you.


18
winhill - on 25 Dec 2015
In reply to Damo:

> "...the pig is forcibly held immobile underfoot by one person while its hair is painfully yanked out by another person, the pig all the while in full consciousness, screaming in pain. The price of plucked pig hair/bristles is double that which have been cut."


You do realise that is the sole and only reference to the "Bristle Hair and Brush Manufacturers Association" on the interwebs?


"Boar bristles, too? Yes, in fact these boars are told to be “sheared” like sheep after they are slaughtered." OMFG!!! say it ain't so. What, exactly do you think this is and why have you posted it?

> That took less than five minutes.

I can believe that, do you have any actual evidence rather than this rubbish?
9
bpmclimb on 25 Dec 2015
In reply to all:

Update: PETA won't be able to help until 4th Jan (if at all). I've also just contacted the Vegan Society to see what they have by way of documentation credible enough to convince the doubters.
1
winhill - on 26 Dec 2015
In reply to bpmclimb:

> Update: PETA won't be able to help until 4th Jan (if at all). I've also just contacted the Vegan Society to see what they have by way of documentation credible enough to convince the doubters.

This is too late now, you're admitting that you've got no idea. Getting someone else in to fight your battles, in the hope that your big brother can give someone a wedgie doesn't reflect on your earlier behaviour. It doesn't matter if the Vegan Society says that anyone using a bristle brush is worse than Hitler because it was you who decided to indulge in this vacuous trollery in the first place.

It confirms that you're a princess who doesn't understand ethical behaviour because you think it will help if you get someone else to do it for you, it's a total dilution of responsibility.

If you want to start doing something ethical just apologise for trolling someone as nice as Tom and move on.
16
bpmclimb on 26 Dec 2015
In reply to winhill:

I suggest we stop the nasty side of this, and move on - what do you say? It is Christmas, after all. Let me have another go at explaining where I'm coming from .....

I've been vegan for 25 years or so; I care about animal welfare, and try to stay current with issues relating to animal cruelty. I have in the past been paid to write book reviews and magazine articles on various related subjects. I've also been involved in investigative journalism, and am used to the process of checking sources and attempting to distinguish information from misinformation. I try to avoid animal products myself, particularly those which have been connected with an unusual level of cruelty in their production.

I've been aware for some time that it can be difficult to produce cast-iron evidence of cruel practices - evidence of the sort that will be compelling enough to everybody. As someone pointed out above, it's not an area where we often get government-sponsored research and official reports. What we tend to have to deal with is varying amounts of evidence of a more anecdotal nature, and what we have to do (assuming we care enough to think about it at all) is to make assessments based on the balance of probability.

Obviously, people will differ as to what amount of circumstantial evidence constitutes proof (or, rather, near-certainty: arguably the best that can ever be achieved). There are undoubtedly people out there who will, in a woolly-headed way, readily soak up the latest rumour as fact; there are also people who will resist the truth of something no matter what arguments are laid before them. And the whole spectrum in between.

For myself, I am convinced that there is a big problem in the bristle industry. Much of the world's bristle comes from China, which has an awful record regarding the treatment of animals, and when allegations appear about particularly cruel methods of harvesting bristle, it's not too much of a stretch to think that they are probably true. It certainly seems way more probable than the alternative: to take it as a hoax, as deliberate misinformation. In view of the sheer amount I've heard about it, over many years, much of which from sources and people known to me (and whom I have no good reason to mistrust), the latter scenario seems vanishingly improbable to me.

However, I do concede that the hoax scenario is theoretically possible, and that some people may be more taken with the idea than I am. Therefore, although I remain to all intents and purposes convinced of the reality of the bristle situation myself, I am motivated by this thread to search for the most credible available research on the subject.

Outside of the bristle situation, about which I feel strongly, I've nothing in particular against Sublime Brushes, and I'm sure that Tom is very nice! However, they themselves have confirmed that they can't be sure about the source of the bristle on their brushes. They have taken no particular steps to ensure that it has been humanely acquired, and are making no claims to that effect. I conclude from this (and all the foregoing) that the probability of a significant proportion of the bristle in these brushes having been inhumanely acquired is very high; therefore I would boycott the product for that reason. Others may, of course, draw different conclusions, and make different choices as consumers.


jezb1 - on 26 Dec 2015
In reply to bpmclimb:

> I suggest we stop the nasty side of this, and move on - what do you say? It is Christmas, after all.

Wise idea! Tiffs on the internet just make everyone look silly.
BigTizzle - on 26 Dec 2015
In reply to UKC Gear:

Anyone seen a UK source for these? Shipping from the US is $15 which essentially doubles the cost
remus - on 26 Dec 2015
In reply to BigTizzle:

Theyre selling them in the works in sheffield, and TCA bristol + glasgow. Not sure about other places but i imagine there are more (or will be very shortly).
Damo on 27 Dec 2015
In reply to bpmclimb:

> ... It is Christmas, after all.

http://betamonkeys.co.uk/christmas2015/
winhill - on 27 Dec 2015
In reply to bpmclimb:

> For myself, I am convinced that there is a big problem in the bristle industry. Much of the world's bristle comes from China, which has an awful record regarding the treatment of animals, and when allegations appear about particularly cruel methods of harvesting bristle, it's not too much of a stretch to think that they are probably true. It certainly seems way more probable than the alternative: to take it as a hoax, as deliberate misinformation. In view of the sheer amount I've heard about it, over many years, much of which from sources and people known to me (and whom I have no good reason to mistrust), the latter scenario seems vanishingly improbable to me.

This is another transparent and self-serving lie. Don't bleat about the spirit of Christmas whilst you double-down and repeatedly lie on this thread. You still haven't been able to identify a UK source for your bristle, you still haven't been able to demonstrate a mechanism of cruelty and now you have been found out in lying about the well documented controversy, you're claiming it was a FOAF who told you.

You wouldn't have made any of these mistakes if you had any genuine knowledge about the situation or if there was a genuine bristle controversy that you could point to.

It is precisely because bristle is such an innocuous by product that you've had to resort to constructing this deluded Jackanory.
11
jsmcfarland - on 27 Dec 2015
In reply to winhill:

The funniest thing about this thread is you thinking the Chinese have any regard for animal welfare whatsoever. I go further than BPM and believe that no animal product can be 'cruelty free' by its very nature, but for those people who like to delude themselves that there is a humane way to source certain animal products and still keep costs down, are you serious?

(from a life-long vegan, not that it matters)
2
winhill - on 28 Dec 2015
In reply to jsmcfarland:

> The funniest thing about this thread is you thinking the Chinese have any regard for animal welfare whatsoever.

Yes, because all the Chinese think the same, act the same and eat the same. You can tell this because they all look the same.

It might well be true that Taoism and Buddhism were vegetarian and vegan religions but in modern China it's better to think of people as tropistic automatons, workers bees without individual agency, fulfilling a single destiny.

It might well be true that pig consumption has increased 5 fold in the past 25 years but don't blame rich western vegans for empowering the population to buy some of the 500 million pigs slaughtered annually, because their bodies are temples and they themselves don't consume dead animals, they merely pay other people to kill them.

So they are whiter than white and have not contributed to those 500 million annual pig deaths in the slightest. No way.

Yours sincerely

Ho Lee Fuk
Sichuan Province
9
bpmclimb on 31 Dec 2015
In reply to winhill:

You still haven't been able to identify a UK source for your bristle, you still haven't been able to demonstrate a mechanism of cruelty and now you have been found out in lying about the well documented controversy, you're claiming it was a FOAF who told you.



I said "let's hope it's UK bristle, and especially not imported from the Far East" because it seemed reasonable to assume that bristle from UK-farmed boar would be commercially used, being a potentially valuable product. I don't know for a fact, however, that any bristle is commercially produced in the UK. It also seemed reasonable to assume that (in the UK at least) if boar were regularly pinned down (unanaesthetised) and their bristles pulled out with pliers, the facts would become known, and there would be an outcry. My basic point was that much of the world's bristle comes from China, but, effectively, any ethically-sourced bristle would have to come from elsewhere, because a specific code of humane practice would be needed: Chinese boar farming practices are largely unregulated, and cruel practices tend to stay much more hidden, and for much longer. Say what you like, the humane treatment of animals is simply not on the agenda in China, and the information that has emerged in recent years paints a very black picture indeed.

"Demonstrating a mechanism of cruelty" (sounds alarming!): I am waiting to hear from a number of organisations (offices have been closed for Christmas), after which I very much hope to post links to documents and at least one video which specifically relate to the bristle industry. In the meantime, for anyone who doubts the Chinese penchant for cruelty to animals in general, do a bit of surfing. Maybe Google "Chinese fur farming", or check out the PETA website on that topic. You'll need a strong stomach.

Regarding the FOAF comment: I didn't say that, or anything like it. The controversy exists, as does the evidence - I've seen some of it myself, a few years ago; however, it has proved difficult to turn up with a quick bit of Googling. So, yes, in terms of what is immediately available with minimal effort, not as well-documented as I anticipated. Unfortunately this is often the nature of it: governments are not quick to publicize details of institutionalised bad practices; even in the West well-funded and officially-reported investigations are very thin on the ground. What we do get tends to come from well-motivated but relatively poorly-funded independent organisations, usually working under the constant threat of crippling legal action. It's no surprise that their archived material tends not to be left in the public domain.

On a different tack, I'm curious about why you're so angry about this. My posts on this thread, I think you'll have to agree, have been reasonably calm and tolerably polite (despite the subject matter being something about which I feel strongly), a style in which one should be able to debate, I think, regardless of differences of opinion. Yours have been consistently and unnecessarily rude, and have verged on ranting at times. The number of times you've used the words lying or liar outnumbers my posts about three to one - I can almost feel the flecks of spittle hitting my face! I had a quick look at some of your other recent posts, and they don't generally seem unduly ruffled or aggressive. I can only assume it's the subject under discussion: it seems you're one of those people who've developed a pathological hatred of "animal rights types" (for want of a better term).

Judging by a recent thread with a political slant, you clearly have some intelligence, and some skill with language, but in this matter I think your anger has clouded your better judgement. You have now stated that "... bristle is such an innocuous by product ...". I don't see how any reasonable person could state that as plain fact, not allowing (at the very least) for some uncertainty in the matter. Earlier in the thread you threw out the accusation "this isn't about the animals, it's about you". I would hope that by volunteering some historical details about myself I have shown that I do genuinely care about animal welfare, enough to have made some long-term commitments. Let me now turn it round, and ask if you yourself have any genuine desire to get to the bottom of this. Do you think animal abuse is something we should be concerned about? Because what seems of paramount importance to you is to find a way, any way, in which to dismiss any allegations of animal cruelty.






Aonach on 31 Dec 2015
In reply to bpmclimb:

Even in the site's current diminished state this is one of the most unedifying threads on UKC.
1
bpmclimb on 31 Dec 2015
In reply to Aonach:

Diminished state?
1poundSOCKS - on 31 Dec 2015
In reply to bpmclimb:

> Diminished state?

Just Google 'rose tinted specs'.
Timmd on 01 Jan 2016
In reply to winhill:
> This is too late now, you're admitting that you've got no idea. Getting someone else in to fight your battles, in the hope that your big brother can give someone a wedgie doesn't reflect on your earlier behaviour. It doesn't matter if the Vegan Society says that anyone using a bristle brush is worse than Hitler because it was you who decided to indulge in this vacuous trollery in the first place.

> It confirms that you're a princess who doesn't understand ethical behaviour because you think it will help if you get someone else to do it for you, it's a total dilution of responsibility.

> If you want to start doing something ethical just apologise for trolling someone as nice as Tom and move on.

Stop being a bully winhill.
Post edited at 00:41
1
1poundSOCKS - on 01 Jan 2016
In reply to Timmd:

> Stop being a bully winhill.

Well said.

Hopefully Tom can confirm the oil used to make the plastic bits has only been sourced from non-despicable regimes.
Timmd on 01 Jan 2016
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:
It's how winhill has called the other person prissy and said they have a princess syndrome and are looking for their older brother to give somebody a wedgie.

He almost sounds like somebody from the playground trying to shut somebody up by having digs at them, and personal insults have nothing to do with bristles.

That's my 2p's worth anyway.
Post edited at 17:07
1poundSOCKS - on 01 Jan 2016
In reply to Timmd:

I was serious with the well said BTW. Things were getting a bit silly, considering it's just a brush!
Timmd on 01 Jan 2016
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

Silly and pretty unfriendly.
1poundSOCKS - on 01 Jan 2016
In reply to 1poundSOCKS:

> it's just a brush!

Err, sorry Mr. Randall, obviously it's the best brush on the market.
Wsdconst - on 02 Jan 2016
In reply to UKC Gear:

They've got to be worth the extra money for the inbuilt spliff holder.
Gwain - on 04 Jan 2016
In reply to 3leggeddog:
Think I've found it for you. Expect to see them at the crag soon!

http://image.made-in-china.com/4f0j00aevtEHGnJgcF/Electric-Toilet-Brush.jpg

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