Glues are made of animal remains


Maneka Gandhi

Maneka Gandhi(Bihar Times)There’s an old joke about a jockey who when asked how he never lost a race , replied , “I whisper in the horse's ear: Roses are red, violets are blue. Horses that lose are made into glue.” It might be funny if it weren’t so true. 90% of Europe and America ’s old horses are slaughtered for glue.   

The primary ingredient of glue is collagen-- the main structural protein or building block of animals.  it is extracted by boiling down to a jelly the connective tissue like the skins, hoofs, bones, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage of vertebrate animals. When treated with hot water the collagen becomes soluble and the end result is either gelatin or glue.

The first actual glue factory was founded in Holland in the 1700s.    
Animal remains that are raw materials for glue include ears, tails, scraps of hide or skin, scrapings from the fleshy sides of hides, tendons and feet. Manufacturers obtain these from slaughterhouses, tanneries, and meat packing companies. Milk solids, known as casein, and albumin from cows’ blood are also used as a base for glue. It is no coincidence that the world's largest glue manufacturer is a Dairy called Borden Company. Similarly, manufacturers of fish glue obtain bones, heads, scales, and skins of fish from canneries and other processing plants.

Donkey bones, horns and hides of cows, seal brains and blood, fish skins – the list of animals used is extensive. Animal glue includes hide glue, bone glue, fish glue, blood glue and rabbit skin glue. They are generally classified into three main types: (1) those made from hide and bone, including teeth (2) those made from fish skins, and (3) those made from dried beef blood. Hide glue is used in woodworking. Besides horses, hide glue uses cows’ hooves, bones, and hides..

Hoof Glue is made by boiling down the hooves of  hooved animals  such as horses, deer and donkeys.. The process is to break the hooves into small chunks and then boil them in water until all the hoof material has been liquefied. An acid is then added to create a thick gel. The resultant product is then cooled and allowed to harden. Hoof glues have been used for things like stiffening bow strings, stiffening and adhering fabric to wood, creating thin lacquers to protect valuable objects as well as sealing glass into frames, or sealing ceramic containers. It is still used today in woodworking, specifically cabinetry.
 Skin glue uses the parings and cuttings of hides from tan-yards, the ears of oxen and sheep, the skins of rabbits, hares, cats, dogs and other animals. The best skin glue is known to be obtained from a mixture of the hide, ear and face clippings of the ox and calf. The raw material or "stock" is first steeped from two to ten weeks in lime water to remove any blood and flesh which may be attached to the skin. For art material, rabbit, sheep and deer skin glue are popular.

Rabbit skin glue is made from rabbit skin, bone, tendon and gut, and is used in making and repairing instruments, traditional woodworking, gilding and painting techniques. Fish glue was first made from the heads, bones, and skin of fish, but it tended to be too thin and less sticky. Now  fish glue is made  from the membrane of the air bladder of certain species of fish like the sturgeon. It is white  and tasteless and called isinglass or ichthocol.  It is also used in wine.

For the manufacture of bone glue the bones are supplied fresh or after having been used for making soups.
Blood glues are made from either fresh animal blood or soluble dried beef blood, a by-product of the meat packaging operation. Dried soluble blood powder is produced by evaporating the serum from fresh whole blood. Blood albumin glue is then made by mixing the dried blood powder with water and other chemicals such as lime and caustic soda. Glues based on blood albumen are light colored powders that can be dissolved in water at the time of use. Blood glues have been used in food packaging as the bonds are odorless, nontoxic, and tasteless. A typical use was the bonding of cork disks in metal bottle caps. In some countries, blood glues made of cow’s blood are used for plywood manufacture.
In actual fact, the least part of the meat industry is the actual meat it provides for eating. Its ancillary industries – leather, glue, pharmaceutical parts ,  paint, strings, cosmetics.. to name a very few are what bring  in the money to the butchers. And this is provided by a largely ignorant consumer.

 Not only do modern synthetic adhesives not require animal lives, but they offer several other advantages like superior properties, lower freight costs, longer shelf lives, reliability and flexibility of application. With animal glue finding  its way into textiles, jute, paper, dyeing, printing, furniture, plumbing, shoes, books, buildings, and automobiles, many communities that abjure animal ingredients are unwittingly using them thereby violating their religious and moral principles.  In India , animal glue is still used in the manufacture of  matches, books,  textiles, cycles, and sports goods. While the manufacturers may be aware of what they are using, the common man is not.   Starting from the traditional Indian “Bindi”  to the emery nail file and sports racquet grip, even  shoes termed as "non-leather” are sometimes glued using parts of a cow.

At present, per capita consumption of glue in America is almost 20 kg a year.  And this is set to increase as more and more manufacturing processes are using various forms of glue to replace stitching, stapling, and more expensive (and less effective) forms of fastening. Experiments with medical glues suggest that one-third of all wounds may be "stitched" with glues in the next few years.

This makes it all the more vital to phase out animal glues in favour of more humane and efficient substitutes. The short answer is RTFL - Read The "FULL" Label to find out what the particular glue you are using is made from. Where is says natural or bioadhesives , it is animal based.  Choose synthetic resins instead.  You will be saving many animals from meeting a sticky end. 



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