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Why Vegans Don’t Use Silk

Abstaining from silk, like honey, may draw pause from new vegans. Do insects feel pain? Is it important for humans to consider the interests of insects against our own? Do insects have interests? It’s true that the depth of our understanding is limited about these issues, but that does not mean that we should ignore the moral concerns such questions present. Surveying the opinions of “experts” will yield mixed results, but any objective observer can see that insects react to stimuli, pursue pleasure, and flee from threat.

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.

 

with Christine Wells

 

Gentle World is a vegan intentional community and non-profit 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 such a transition. For more information about vegan food and other aspects of a vegan lifestyle, visit the Gentle World website and subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

 

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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