In celebration of World Vegetarian Day on every 1st of October, and World Vegan Day on every 1st of November, we would like to share a few commonly used decoration items in interior design that are not really vegan, and therefore NOT cruelty-free.
DOWN IS NOT VEGAN
The undercoating of a bird’s feathers is called down. More specifically, it’s the bottom, fluffy part of a bird’s feather.
Even though ducks and geese both live in the water, moisture will quickly destroy your down or feather pillow. If you live in a humid climate, your pillows absorb this moisture over time.
Disadvantages of down pillows:
-Requires consistent fluffing to maintain its loft
-Difficult to clean
-Lack of firm options
-Cruelty to birds!
For many individuals with allergies and/or asthma, feather-filled pillows (and quilts) can be a serious health risk. New or old feather items emit millions of respirable feather fragments. Older feather items, particularly pillows, can be severely infested with dust mites.
WOOL IS NOT VEGAN
Many people believe that shearing sheep helps animals who might otherwise be burdened with too much wool, but without human interference, sheep grow just enough wool to protect themselves from temperature extremes.
Over many generations farmers have bred sheep to have so much skin (more skin=more wool=more profit!) that the wrinkles around the sheep's bum can lead to deadly flies. The farmers' solution? Mulesing-carving huge strips of flesh off the backs of lambs’ legs and around their tails. This is done to cause smooth, scarred skin that won’t harbor fly eggs.
Disadvantages of wool furnishings:
-Affected by insects
-Shrinks with heat and moisture
-Needs special care
-Scratchy on skin
-Weakens when wet
-Harmed by perspiration
How is this even legal? I mean if that happened to a kitten or a puppy, the abuser would be charged with animal cruelty. If there’s anything that experience has taught us, it’s that animal cruelty, testing and even consumption can cause severe and global harm.
OSTRICH FEATHERS ARE NOT VEGAN
Ostrich feathers are used for house decorations, feather boas, masks, costumes or feather dusters. Most ostrich feathers you see on the market have been dyed in different colors.
Ostriches used to be raised exclusively for their feathers, but are now also raised commercially for their meat and leather. They are kept in large farms in groups of thousands, where they are plucked alive. The usual method of plucking ostriches, is to drive them into an enclosure small enough so they cannot kick or turn around. Workers will then remove the feathers. This is usually done every 7 months of their lives. They are also plucked after they are slaughtered. Like down, feathers also cause allergies, and is cruel to these magnificent avian creatures.
ANGORA IS NOT VEGAN
Angora wool, used in everything from sweaters to rugs and pillows, comes from angora rabbits who have extremely soft, thick coats.
Angora rabbits who are sheared have their feet tightly tethered, and they are suspended in the air or stretched across boards. The sharp cutting tools inevitably wound them as they struggle desperately to escape. Female rabbits produce more wool than do males, so on larger farms, male rabbits who are not destined to be breeders are killed at birth.
SHAGREEN IS NOT VEGAN
The luxury industry loves an exotic skin. Yes, there's prosaic cow leather, but recently we've seen python, crocodile and a return to the Art Deco favorite, stingray – also known as shagreen.
A quarter of stingray species are actually threatened with extinction. The freshwater Mekong stingray has experienced a population decline of 50% over the past 20 years.
Republic Act No. 10654 bans and punishes the catching and breeding of stingrays and indigenous marine life in the Philippines. If there’s anything that experience has taught us, it’s that animal cruelty, testing and even consumption can cause severe and global harm.
Have you been specifying or using these cruel materials in your design? Do you think we, as humans, can do better in making vegan and animal-friendly environments? If you want to know more about vegan interior design, let us know and we will be glad to help. Our interior designer is certified by VeganDesign.org to implement interior design that is cruelty-free. Also, show some love by subscribing to this Blog above, liking our Facebook Page, our Houzz profile, or following our Instagram. Thank you for your continued support. Much love xoxo