The Case for No-kill Mutton Tallow

During my travels, I’ve met lots of vegetarian woodworkers. And their No. 1 complaint about the woodworking industry is how sheep must be slaughtered to lubricate hand woodworking tools.

Yes, the mighty paraffin/home canning industry has tried to provide an ethical substitute called Gulf Wax – the tofurky of the tool-lubrication world. But nothing compares to slick, silky rendered sheep guts.

Like many meat-eaters, I dismissed these complaints at first. But after some beers thought, I had a revelation.

And that’s why today I am urging the mutton tallow industry to unite with the liposuction community to give us “no-kill mutton tallow.”

Think of it: Sheep could be fattened as per usual. Then, when sufficiently obese, their fat could be safely removed using liposuction and then rendered into tallow, leaving the sheep both unharmed and sexier (to other sheep – not me).

Mutton tallow could then fill your nostrils with the smell of “hot lambchop” without the nagging guilt that some sheep had to die so your handsaw could mindlessly butcher trees with less friction.

So please, sign the petition below stating that you support “no-kill” mutton tallow. Because the next glob of sheep fat that you smear across your tool could have come from a sheep in your town.

— Christopher Schwarz

About Lost Art Press

Publisher of woodworking books and videos specializing in hand tool techniques.
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54 Responses to The Case for No-kill Mutton Tallow

  1. Ben St. John says:

    As if sheep need any help to be sexy…

  2. Mike Dyer says:

    No more beer for you tonight!

  3. Michael Morin says:

    This is so easy…use beeswax…it lubrication characteristics are clear!

  4. Chris says:

    Hmm…I like that smell and taste to be honest. God can you chime in…these animals are here for us right?

  5. Dave says:

    Oh my. That made laugh.

  6. thumphr says:

    Isn’t this what sho vaca are for? DIY sheeposuction

  7. michael says:

    I bet there are a lot of vegans and PETA woodworkers that are followers of this blog and for them, there are several alternatives: beeswax (totally renewable resource assuming the bees survive) or paraffin wax (okay so that’s a non renewable product)

    There’s always lanoline wich is a wax and as far as I know derived from the wool without the sheep being turned into mutton chops.

    • Christopher Hawkins says:

      Driving 1000 miles in a Prius will use more dino juice than 99.9% of us will use lubricating tools. I’m not worried.

  8. wood_wench says:

    You’re going to H-E-double tooth picks.
    You know that? Right??

  9. Scribe says:

    You’re looking at this the wrong way. Plastic surgeons are performing hundreds of liposuctions each and every day in the U.S. What becomes of the fat they remove from people? You see where I’m going here, don’t you? Let’s just hypothetically say Chris Schwarz backs an unmarked van up to the doctor’s dumpster at midnight. Before you know it, Lost Art Press suddenly has a new, vegetarian-friendly tool lubricant for sale. We’ll call it “Soylent Grease”.

  10. You were having these beers with Tyler Durden?

  11. Robert Justiana says:

    Does it really have to be mutton tallow? Why not leave the sheep alone and take the Tyler Durden approach. It would need a catchy name…

  12. Yes, Chris, God did say that. So if you want guilt-free sheep tallow, make good friends with your Jewish neighbors. They’re going to eat (and yes, kill) the sheep anyway, and they’re going to get someone who wants the tallow. No need to slaughter yet another unwitting ewe just to get the tallow.

  13. Pete says:

    Ah a movie fan…

    But why not?

  14. TJ says:

    Holy crap! I just peed a little. Hilarious!

  15. Jeff Skory says:

    Chris, please tell me which microbrews you have been drinking of late. I really want to get some. Lol.

    • Lane says:

      It’s not exactly a microbrew, but Weyerbacher’s Blithering Idiot is a good candidate. 😉

      • Jeff Skory says:

        Of course it’s a microbrew! Barley Wines are my favorite type of brew. The description on Beer Advocate sounds wonderful. 🙂

  16. stanberryk says:

    LM-O Good one Chris. Hey how about stem-cell fat?

  17. Scott S. says:

    What about the sheep herder? Nobody thinks about that guy and his family.

  18. Charles G says:

    After a couple of Troegenators and a Raison D’Etre, your suggestion makes a lot of sense to this vegetarian woodworker. Please note that many vegans take offense to the use of our friendly bees’ productive efforts, but I think they would be totally OK with svelte sheep.

  19. Art says:

    Man, first Serta puts them out of the counting business and now you want them to get out of the wax business. Have you no heart! What about the guys that make mint jelly???

  20. burbidge says:

    I only use naturally fallen sheep (or those found near roads)…

  21. Robert says:

    Now if we only had a mascot or something to really help the movement…
    Anyone got a spare sock?

  22. John Cashman says:

    Lamb. Mmmmm. Tasty.

    But I would never kill one.

  23. David Pickett says:

    Schwarz – stop wittering and pass the mint sauce.

  24. Lewis Ward says:

    Vegans tend to not eat honey because it’s animal slavery. Roadkill deer tallow could work fine. The rutting season starts soon so there should be plenty available. News flash: Genetically modified soybeans that produce animal fat lipids for lubricating plane soles.
    That’s will undercut the Camilla Oil users. Japan is protesting the release of the new soybean oil.

  25. jwatriss says:

    The women in my life will instruct you in the error of your ways, Schwartz. You’re propogating myths about the self image and self esteem of sheep. Bad enough they feel outcast for being fat, and feel the need to surgically trim down to feel ok joining the herd. But now they’re not only being made to feel overweight, but threatened with death if they don’t get us all lubed up. Is that really just their lot in life? Is that all they are to you? Just pieces of meat dressed up in a sweater?

    You’re gonna get us all killed, man.

  26. Scott says:

    Can human adipose be procured for tallow? Could you make tallow from human adipose? Just approach some sort of liposuction clinic and voila! Instant tallow.

  27. Is it just me, or is “hot lambchop” a good stripper name for a sexier post-op sheep? Thanks for the laugh. I am enjoying the recent, liberated (from sanity) editorial direction of Lost Art Press.

  28. Brian Williams says:

    I live only for ewe. Oy. I know, bad comment (go sit in the corner), but I just felt sheepish leaving that one alone. I should probably go on the lamb.

  29. Chuck N says:

    You’re in trouble now. The vegan community has no sense of humor about itself.

  30. Harlan Janes says:

    If you wrote this while in Chicago for an evening, maybe we can find some better venues for you to try next time?

  31. Wes Smith says:

    What’s next.. Halal hardwood?

  32. Antti Nannimus says:


    Isn’t there an old song called the “Sheep’s Too Fat For Me” polka? If so, it seems the germ of your idea has been around for a long time in the beer halls!

    Have a nice day,

  33. Dave says:

    I believe it was John Long who once said: “If God didn’t want us to eat it, he wouldn’t have made it taste so good!” Or it may have been Jim Bridwell. Can’t remember.

  34. Bill Sias says:

    Man, this comment section needs a Like button desperately!

  35. William Duffield says:

    I don’t get it. Bill Tindall, fine period cabinetmaker, toolmaker, metallurgist, and sheep farmer, gives tallow away to fellow woodworkers, because there is no market for it, and in the past he had to bury it. Let’s hope the Schwarz Effect kicks in here, and no more of this valuable commodity goes into the cockroaches’ future petroleum reserves.

    • lostartpress says:

      No market for it?

      Lee Valley sold out of it. It was on backorder for months. Sheep tallow is gold.

      • Antti Nannimus says:

        It may be gold, but at the moment, mutton tallow is in stock, and $2.95 the ounce at Lee Valley. Time to stock up then, since gold was $1655 at yesterday’s close. We take your point though.

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