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Bloom or Gloom?
What is the vegan standpoint on buying
cut flowers? Is it wrong to take them from nature?
are beautiful to behold and add much pleasure and joy
to our lives. They also provide food for insects, such
as bees and butterflies, and many other animals. Flowers
are the fundamental component in the pollination cycle.
Without flowers, the world would not only be dreary;
life as we know it would cease to exist.
In moderation, there should be no harm
in bringing a small bouquet into our homes to give us
cheer. Most flowers have a short life span that can
sometimes be extended by careful tending when brought
indoors, and nearly all cut flowers can be dried and
enjoyed for years, thereby eliminating the need to continually
Surprisingly, the flower industry is
one of the heaviest users of agricultural chemicals.
In addition, more than half of the fresh-cut flowers
sold in the United States are imported from countries
whose environmental standards are much less stringent
than ours. Chemicals that are banned in the U.S. often
find their way into the country through imported fruits,
vegetables, and flowers.
There is nothing inherently unvegan
about purchasing fresh-cut flowers, but as with most
vegan concerns, we must take into account the broader
picture. It is important to be aware of the ecological
impact of our floral purchases and, whenever possible,
to know their source. At the same time, we must also
acknowledge the delight we derive from flowers -- whether
in a garden or in a vase -- and learn how to maintain
a comfortable and responsible balance between austerity
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