Thank you for that unexpected gaffaw-inducing post! The last picture was the kicker for me!
You also reminded me that I've been intending to make some wee little scarfs for several of my stuffed creatures. I thought it would be a fun quick project that I could do while visiting the family over the holidays, and use up some of my vast quantities of unusual yarn. I'd almost forgotten about that idea... So thanks for remininding me!
PETA is just as reliable as any other organization, government department, or individual: they have many things correct, and some that may not be quite right. Factory animal farming of any sort is unhealthy for the animals, while small farms and individuals are likely to be much more humane to their "products". Ultimately, if you have a question or a concern about a product or practice, do some research yourself and see what you can find out. Also, always remember that nearly everyone has a bias, and some of those biases are compassion-based, while others are profit-based...
As for vegan yarn, I just buy whatever I see that's on sale! But I am very intregued by the idea of recycling old sweaters from the thrift shop. But from what I understand, you can only successfully unravel yarn from the more expensive/handmade type sweaters that aren't cut to fit the patterns. I have yet to get adventurous in the sweater isle of my local Goodwill... Though I do buy actual yarn from the thrift shop when I see interesting skeins for sale.
Ketmga, the bed headboard and footboard idea is great. I have these in my backyard vegetable garden as a fence/trellis.
On a similar note, I found the back of a metal kitchen chair in the trash that looks pretty cool as a trellis in my little front garden. If I could find a bunck more, I could use them as fencing.
And it occured to me (after continuing the bottle fence idea line of thinking) that I could use old discarded table lamp bases to cordon the area off. There are always lots of hideously ugly ceramic and glass lamps in the trash around my city! I've already got one "planted" in my garden that looks like a very large, decorative blue and green glazed hand granade.
How about inexpensive organic, sweatshop-free shirts? I've yet to find a place to get small quantites at wholesale prices. (American Apparel has a 100 shirt minimum for the wholesale price, I think.) I was forced to buy the ones at AC Moore when I was making a small quantity of t-shirts for a non-profit organization I used to work for. I do find some at thrift shops sometimes, but it's not very reliable for larger quantities.
So, given the above comments, you know not to bother with cooked (canned, blanched, and probably frozen) produce. Also avoid things sparayed with synthetic pesticides (anything not labled organic) and really, really, avoid genetically modified foods (anything with a 5 digit produce number that starts with an "8").
What's left? Organic (a 5 digit produce number that starts with a "9") and fresh. Some will inevitably be hybrids. Apples are ALWAYS hybrids. You can't grow regular supermarket apples from seed at all - they will be very small, and probably not so tasty, like crabapples. Other than that try anything you want. I've got potatoes going right now. Just cut them into chunks and plant. (Make sure that your soil doesn't have lead in it - so you don't poison yourself! If in doubt, test it. The lead could come from gasoline spills or from old house paint.)
Tomatoes often work very well. As do peppers. Berries don't, as they take forever to grow from seed usually. Pumpkins, cukes, and others in the squash family are really fun, but be prepared to let them take over a HUGE area! Well, the cukes just need to climb a bit. Try bulbs like onions, whole scallions, garlic, etc. - they have pretty flowers that taste like the bulbs, and they grow very easily, even in shade.
Cats, even ones named "Vegetables" probably won't grow much if you plant them. But they are cute, and they like to nibble on oatgrass.
Rust is quite safe. The red soil you see in many southern US states is red because of all the rusty iron ore in the soil. As a matter of fact, I've seen gardeners recommend putting a bit of steel can into the compost or greywater if it's to be used on plants.
If you wanted to have a longerlasting can, just use an aluminum joice/soda can instead.
Cut them in a cute shape, draw on them with permanant markers, and shrink away! By the way, plastic that is Recycle #6 is the same material as shrinkydinks. It's not so common, but you can occasionally find it.
Though the aluminum can idea, with embossed images, sounds like it could look really great, too. Or how about painted rocks?
If you do chose to do something with a potentially non-waterproof material, like Sculpy (gets gooey if it's constantly wet) or a waterbased glue, do a test first...