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Why Vegans Don’t Use Silk

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Why Vegans Don’t Use Silk

From blouses to sarongs, suits to ties, and lingerie to pajamas, silk is still widely used by the textile industry, finding its way into sheets and pillowcases as well as handkerchiefs and headscarves. What some people may not be aware of, however, are the less-obvious places silk shows up, including parachutes, bicycle tire casing, cigar bands, replacement heart valves, and sutures for surgery.

We tend to associate silk with the silkworm due to the fact that, in its production, silkworms are killed by thehundreds of millions every year. However, silk is a fiber naturally produced by a number of different insects, including spiders, whose silk reserves have also been exploited in medical and military experiments.

Although synthetic silks made fromlyocell (a type ofcellulosefiber) can be difficult to distinguish from the real thing, sadly, the archaic practice of using silk from insects remains as common as ever.

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Read more: Animal Rights, Conscious Consumer, Home, Nature, Nature & Wildlife, Wildlife

written with Christine Wells, www.GentleWorld.org

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Angel Flinn

Angel Flinn is Director of Outreach for Gentle World a non-profit educational organization whose core purpose is to help build a more peaceful society, by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making the transition.

108 comments

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3:50AM PDT on Oct 25, 2013

Human exploitation of the wonders of this planet (animal, vegetable and mineral) is mankinds biggest downfall.

4:39PM PDT on Sep 23, 2013

Thanks.

10:09AM PDT on Jul 20, 2013

Thank you Angel, for Sharing this!

1:04AM PDT on May 18, 2013

And the use of insects goes even further afield. I saw just today on TV someone promoting the increased use of insects as food. The FACT being discussed was that current food production is unsustainable (something Vegans are only too aware of). A high-profile Chinese cook here in Australia is already using meal-worms, crickets and cockroaches at her restaurant... But I am finding it difficult to imagine the hundreds of millions of tiny creatures that would be needed to keep an increasing world population fed...!?!

11:43AM PST on Jan 7, 2013

Thank you.

9:48PM PST on Dec 24, 2012

This is a thoughtful and well researched article. I completely agree. I own something that is made of silk that I bought before I knew where silk came from (I've had it for over 10 years), but I cannot stand to wear the thing (and I certainly would never purposely buy new silk items) because of the torture that went into making it. My favourite point in the article is the ending "We should not remove insects from moral consideration just because our knowledge about these tiny beings is incomplete. Being vegan is about embracing a worldview that is starkly different from the dominant premise that other beings exist simply to fulfill human desires. The reality is that we do not need to exploit insects, and there is no justification for using them as a resource for our own ends." Just wonderful. Thank you for existing and for writing this article.

4:01PM PST on Dec 14, 2012

I'll use this information if anyone asks me why I don't wear silk. Most people don't understand why vegans don't use silk, honey or wool. I try to explain but usually get blank stares. No matter. It's what right for me.

12:36PM PST on Dec 11, 2012

Thank you.

11:38AM PST on Dec 11, 2012

I learned a lot from this ~ thank you for sharing :-)

3:00AM PST on Dec 11, 2012

Glad I am not a vegan, it simplifies the moral problems encountered in everyday life.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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