Why I Won’t Wear Silk

Or knit with it…

Silk is a fibre made by larvae to protect them while they metamorphose into their adult form. It is very fine, soft, and strong, and when collected and made into clothing etc, is light and soft against the skin, yet very durable.

But it requires the death of thousands of creatures. The cocoons are “stifled” (they don’t call it killing), before the silk can be harvested. I don’t have any scientific knowledge of whether they feel pain or not, but to me that is beside the point.

To kill another creature to save my own life is one thing, to kill for comfort and luxury is quite another.

For an in depth explanation of silk “processing”, listen to this

Since I know that angora bunnies are farmed for their coats, and I know that bunnies are intelligent and sensitive creatures, I also won’t buy or knit with angora. And NZ possum? Four Australian possums were taken to NZ many years ago, and now they have reached plague proportions. Many people have no problem using the fur from their pelts to knit with, knowing that the animal was killed to get it. I’m just not comfortable with that.

3 thoughts on “Why I Won’t Wear Silk”

  1. I think that these are complicated questions. The possums in NZ have almost destroyed whole species of trees that are unique to those islands (eg Metrosideros excelsior), they compete with endangered (and unique) native wildlife for food, and they serve as a pool for tuberculosis infection in diary farms in some areas. I understand your point, but I think it’s about more than pelts – it’s about the survival of some local endangered species in NZ. I have no problem with trapping, poisoning and killing possums to ensure the survival of plants and animals that aren’t seen anywhere else in the world.


  2. Absolutely no question that Possums have been a disaster in NZ – just as rabbits have been in Australia. And I agree that these introduced species should never have been introduced, and that now they are here, they must be managed – I am absolutely against the cruel methods that are used. I can’t claim much knowledge of how this is done in NZ, but the introduction of Myxo and Calesi in Aus have a) killed a lot of rabbits in a very slow and excruciatingly painful way, and b) not solved the problem.

    My point comes down to this. Humanity has a propensity to want to “punish” wrongdoing, and in the abscence of the perpetrator, the animals receive the punishment. And 9 out of 10 Aussies think that the ends justify the means. I don’t.

    There are humane ways to deal with pest species, and as the ones who created the problem, I believe it is our responsibility to solve it – humanely. (Yes, I know, I live in a dream world, where mermaids sing, and everyone is kind…)


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