Pearls are about as classic as you can get but, can vegetarians or vegans wear pearls?
Cultured natural pearls may be worn by some vegetarians but, are not vegan friendly due to the practices used during the farming and retrieval process of creating pearls. where living creatures are often harmed or killed.
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Can Vegetarians Wear Pearls
Vegetarians choose to be vegetarians for many different reasons including some that have nothing to do with animal cruelty.
In this case, a vegetarian may not be concerned with the process in which pearls are created making them ok to wear.
Can Vegans Wear Pearls
Most vegans will not wear pearls due to living creatures being harmed in the process of creating pearls.
What Animal Makes Pearls
Pearls are made inside the shell of an oyster.
Natural pearls are extremely rare with most of the pearls found on the market being cultured.
These cultured pearls are basically created in pearl or oyster farms.
How Are Cultured Pearls Made
Cultured pearls are made when humans add a piece of oyster shell or a round bead into an oyster’s shell.
How Long Does It Take To Create A Pearl
In a natural setting, it can take between two to five years for a pearl to grow.
Since it would not be economical for oyster or pearl farmers to wait two to five years for each pearl the process is sped up.
The farmers will often change the water or the temperature which can stress out the oysters as well as speed up the pearl creation process.
Does It Irritate The Oyster When Pearls Are Being Made
The development of a pearl is caused by something irritating the oyster.
The foreign object irritates the natural environment of the oyster causing it to create and build up a protective crystalline nacre.
Over time this builds into your pearl.
Do Pearls Hurt The Oyster
We don’t believe that having a pearl growing inside an oyster hurts the creature.
Are Oysters In Pain When They Are Making A Pearl
Oysters do not have a central nervous system which is directly related to feeling pain in humans and other beings.
We are still unsure if it is possible for animals like oysters and other invertebrates to feel pain.
Most likely the oyster isn’t in pain when a pearl is growing.
The process of growing a pearl is equivalent to a minor autoimmune response like a scratch healing or the natural removal of a splinter.
Are Pearls Cancer For Oysters
A pearl is not like a cancerous tumor although it grows inside the oyster.
A pearl is a lot more like a foreign object that is within the body of the oyster like a splinter that gets into our skin.
Both of our immune systems recognize the foreign object and initiate an autoimmune response to protect the rest of the body and remove the object if possible.
How Are Pearls Harvested
Pearls are harvested by gently opening up the oyster’s shell and removing the pearl manually.
Are Farmed Oyster Used More Than Once
Young oysters that are creating quality pearls will try to be saved so they can grow more pearls.
An oyster will stay within the farm program until it is no longer producing quality pearls.
Are Oysters Killed When Pearls Are Harvested
An oyster may accidentally die in the process of removing the pearl.
Unfortunately, once an oyster is no longer producing quality pearls it is discarded and left to die.
How Many Oysters Die To Make Pearls
It is said that around a third of all oysters die each pearl farming season.
Are Pearls Cruelty Free
Pearls are not cruelty-free products.
Live oysters are being used and discarded in order to create a product for humans to wear.
Is It Ethical To Buy Pearls
If you are a vegan or someone that avoids food or products where living creatures are killed or harmed in the process of creation then pearls are not ethical.
Why Should You Not Wear Pearls
It’s always a personal choice on what products you choose to use and wear.
The main reason why you may not want to wear pearls is living creatures die in order for pearls to be made.
In addition to animal cruelty, there are beautiful vegan and cruelty-free options available instead.
Are Fake Pearls Vegan
Not all fake, synthetic, or man-made pearls are vegan-friendly.
There is more than one type of synthetic or man-made pearl on the market.
Let’s look at some of the most popular types.
Majorica pearls sometimes go by the name of Majorca pearls.
These faux pearls are made by a Spanish Brand that creates faux pearls that look very similar to real pearls.
These fake pearls start with a manufactured bead that is then coated in fish scales or mother of pearl giving it the pearl look or finish.
Are Majorica Pearls Vegan
Majorica Pearls are not vegan since the fish and mollusks need to die in order for their scales of mother of pearl coating to be used.
Swarvoski is a well-known brand that creates beautiful sparkly crystals.
This brand also makes a faux pearl product that is made by coating a crystal with a unique pearl-like iridescent coating.
Swarvoski pearls are beautiful and are a quality-made product that looks very similar to real cultured pearls.
Are Swarvoski Pearls Vegan
Swarvoski pearls are vegan-friendly.
Glass Bead Pearls
Glass bead pearls are made by taking a glass bead and coating it with iridescent paint or lacquer.
Are Glass Bead Pearls Vegan
Glass bead pearls are vegan but they look very similar to Majorica Pearls are not vegan.
It can be very hard to tell the difference in a store making is hard to know if you should make the purchase.
Is Mother Of Pearl Vegan
Mother of Pearl is often confused with regular pearls since it has a similar appearance.
These two items are very similar and are created in a very similar way.
Mother of Pearl is the lining of a mollusk’s shell which is created with the same crystalline nacre that pearls are created from.
Is Mother Of Pearl Cruelty Free
The mollusks need to die in order for the mother of pearl lining within the shell to be harvested making Mother of Pearl, not a cruelty-free product.
Can Vegans Wear Mother Of Pearl
Mother of Pearl is not a vegan product since the mollusks die in order for humans to use the product that the mollusks have created.
Is Alabone Shell Vegan
Alabone shell is another product that is made inside of the Mollusks shell that is harvested for humans to wear.
Just like the Mother of Pearl product the mollusk needs to die in order for the alabone shell to be harvested.
Is Capiz Shell Vegan
Capiz shell is not vegan and is very similar to mother of the pearl, this opalescent layer is made within the shell of mollusks and can not be harvested unless the creature dies.
Vegan Pearl Alternatives
The best vegan pearl options are Swarvoski Pearls and glass bead pearls.
Swarvoski Pearls are more expensive than glass bead pearls but, as the old saying goes “you get what you pay for”.
Either way, both options will provide you with a cruelty-free pearl.
Should Vegans Wear Vintage Pearls
You may see vintage pearls as an option for vegans.
I personally don’t suggest wearing or buying vintage pearls unless they are a family heirloom.
Wearing vintage pearls still supports the demand for real pearls.
Pearls are a classic look that will never go out of style, it brings back old Hollywood glamor and the memory of icons like Audrey Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy.
Many may not be aware of the methods used to create and farm these beautiful treasures.
Luckily if you are vegan or prefer to avoid any product where a living creature has been harmed, there are beautiful vegan options to choose from.