GUILTY. I Didn't Know How Cute Silk Worms Are!


My children bought 4 silkworms at the Steiner School Fair a few weeks ago. I didn't think much of it, I just made sure we got a big box, that they were content and had plenty of fresh mulberry leaves. What I didn't realise was that I would grow to care for the little caterpillars as I became fascinated watching them munch away on the leaves, growing bigger each day, moulting and finally weaving their magic silk cocoons for 2 days- out of one single 900 metre thread. They then go through metamorphosis inside the cocoon and reemerge as a moth; this process itself I find brilliant. I am guilty of thinking of them as "just worms," turning a blind eye and even occasionally buying something silk, even though I had heard it was cruel. I did what we are often guilty of and played the "ignorance is bliss" card and didn't really stop and question why silk was cruel. This is crazy because I don't even kill bugs, flies, spiders- any creepy crawlies apart from mosquitoes that eat up my sensitive children! So why buy the silk... because I liked it and was selfish.

Ouch the truth hurts. 

Never again.

I feel terrible because to make silk, growers

 boil or roast them alive while they are in their cocoons

as hatching destroys the thread. After all that work.

Approximately 6,600 silkworms die to make every kilogram of silk.

In many places the leftover dead silkworms are seasoned, boiled, fried and eaten. Silk remains the world’s highest-priced natural fibre and China produces about 75% of the world’s raw silk. There are a couple of small farms in Australia but no matter where the silkworm farms, the majority are killed to reel the silk.

SilkwormsPHOTO: Silk worm cocoons in factory. Boiling of the cocoons. Silk moth emerges. Cooked "pupa", the silkworm in middle stage of metamorphosis. 

The below video gives a pretty good overview of the silkworm stages, with a rather humorous voiceover and certainly a different perspective- one I used to want to share, but after looking after these guys for a couple of months, no longer do. For me, I am continuously moulting my own "layers" of what I am ready to look at and face. Check it out and let me know if you, like me will no longer support boiling these guys for my pretty dresses.