Q& A: Why is Silk a Subject of Concern for the Vegans?

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Honey: Bee’s regurgitation = Silk: Worm’s spit

Silk speaks of opulence and luxury but how many of us are aware of the cruelties which the insects are subjected to?

Let’s understand the life cycle first. The silk moth lays eggs which hatch and turn into larvae, which are commonly known as caterpillars or silkworms. When these worms are ready to undergo metamorphosis (transform into the next developmental stage), they form pupa. The pupa, spins a shelter around itself, from its own saliva. We refer to this as the cocoon. The pupae rest in here until they are ready for further development.

Now here’s the sad part!

To emerge from the cocoon, they would eat up the silk thread thus deteriorating silk quality. To prevent the fabric from being ruined, the pupae are killed inside the cocoon by baking or boiling them in hot water or piercing them with long needles.

These little beings spend their entire short-lived lives, spinning silk, only to be killed horrifically because we need designer dresses. Why use real silk when we have beautiful lightweight cotton, breathable muslin and sturdy jute?

FACT: Two or three thousand cocoons yield a pound of silk cloth. It takes 110 cocoons to make a tie, 630 for a blouse, 900 for a shirt, 1,700 for dress and 3000 for a heavy silk gown.


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