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Are there any nonvegan practices involved in obtaining precious metals, gemstones, and mineral jewelry?
There are several animal products that frequently are used in the production of a wide variety of jewelry. Some items -- such as pearls, mother of pearl, and leather -- are self-evident. However, beads made from bone or horn easily can be mistaken for wood, and many consumers are unaware that cameos typically are made from shell. Unfortunately, the use of silk is prevalent in the stringing of bracelets and necklaces, and it is completely concealed by the beads and findings. Therefore, if we don’t know with certainty what type of filament is used to hold our beads together, we could be buying or wearing silk without even realizing it.
In addition to being a lifestyle and diet, veganism is a philosophy that involves respect and consideration for the interconnectedness of all life and the earth that sustains us. Nevertheless, we and our world are imperfect, and a spectrum exists that occasionally makes the term "nonvegan" subjective.
Undoubtedly, there is a negative environmental impact associated with the mining of silver, gold, and gemstones used in the production of most jewelry. In addition, there are potential human rights violations and socio-political ramifications linked to mining outside the United States. As a result, some vegans abstain from wearing metal and gemstone jewelry altogether, as it is considered a luxury, not a necessity.
Of course, damaging environmental repercussions are associated with myriad choices we make every day. With many “gray areas” to consider, each of us must determine for ourselves what is and is not essential. Certainly it is valid for vegans to consider their quality of life when striving for personal balance
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