Disclaimer: This is not meant to be a debate about working with animal fibers or cruelty to animals. It's simply the thoughts and concerns of a vegetarian who loves to knit with animal fibers, but sometimes can't get past the guilt. Also, this discussion is mainly aimed at vegetarians...I don't want to offend any meat-eaters here. I have no problem with meat-eaters...my husband eats meat and so do my cats and my dog (in fact, they eat a homemade, mainly raw meat diet...that I prepare for them!), so please don't misunderstand my intentions. Thank you.
I'm not sure how many fellow vegetarian knitters are here on KH...but for those here who are knitters and vegetarians...what are your views on working with silk?
Now...I'm not a vegan. I do eat dairy, eggs, and honey...and I primarily knit with wool yarns. But...somehow I just can't seem to force myself to buy silk yarn.
I'll touch it, pet it, sniff it...dream of all the pretty things I could make with it...but when it comes time to make a decision, I simply can't buy it. I know where silk comes from...I know there is no way to get silk without the silkworm dying...and that one issue loses to my morals. *sigh*
A similar mind-game situation happened to me a couple weeks ago when I was reading an Interweave Knits magazine gifted to me by a lovely KH'er. There was an article about buffalo yarn. I immediately thought, "Hey, cool!!" and was all excited about trying it out until I finished the article and read that there is no way to get fiber from a live buffalo. The fiber is only cultivated from slaughtered (for meat) animals. Now, again, I do realize that most wool yarns I can buy commercially probably come from slaughtered sheep...but I've been trying to buy my wool from more economical sources, or second-hand. I don't like supporting slaughter houses.
I just wish there was a way to get these wonderful, natural fibers without any harm coming to the animal it came from. I suppose, though, until my husband and I can afford our 5-10 acres of land and adopt our own sheep and alpacas, I will have to make do with what I can get and just hope that the animal it came from did not suffer much.
Any thoughts from my fellow veg knitters? Thanks for reading.