On Bats and Bones

I’ve been sitting on a supplier for a while. Their minimum order is $100 so I wanted to be sure I’d use whatever it was I ordered so much of. I just realized a couple of weeks ago that they had bat skulls and dried hanging bats. If you’re in the Vulture Culture movement (let me google that for you) then I’m sure you’ve seen the framed bats with outstretched wings, and the adorable teeny tiny beetle skulls in curio pendants, reliquaries, ossuaries, and little glass domes.

Did you know, though, that there aren’t bat “breeders?” At least not breeders who are breeding to provide people to wear in cute little interesting double-sided acrylic lockets? The bats that people buy are captured from colonies in second or third world countries and probably have their necks broken immediately, or they’re just thrown into bags til they smother. I’m sure there are some jewelers and collectors who know about the bats they’re being sold, but I also believe that there are tons of people who don’t know a damn thing about bats, and that they may have bough an animal listed on CITES as endangered.  If you aren’t sure, go ahead and put in the name of the creature you want or have here on this website. Hopefully nothing comes up for you.

All the same, CITES or not, I believe that it’s both morally and ethically wrong to kill things specifically for jewelry. I love that the things I use are byproducts of the animal industry. Hunters, meat eaters, taxidermists, jewelers like myself… we all use parts of the animal that would probably be just thrown out. We are, in essence, reducing, reusing, and recycling. Soon we hope to have quail. I am excited to start learning to grow our own food sources, and to get more control about what we put into our bodies. The things we don’t use, like skulls, wings, feathers, feet, maybe even some of the bones… will eventually make their way into my jewelry. The eggs will feed us and our pets, and the meat will eventually feed us all too. We’ll eventually transition into rabbits, chickens, ducks, and maybe even goats and pigs.

If you know me at all, you already know I’m a total control freak. Of course I want control over my food sources, and to be able to use things I raise to make my jewelry, because I can then be sure that the animals weren’t mistreated before I turn them into something beautiful when they’re gone.

SO, to shorten this up because it’s almost 3am… I won’t be making framed bat displays. I won’t be making really cool little bat skull curios. I won’t sell tiny little bat tails in a tiny little vial. Being able to say that yes, the bones I use ARE ethically gathered, is important to me.  Yeah, we do make this jewelry because we love animals. So I’m not going to be responsible for them being destroyed so my customers can look cool at a party while bragging about their awesome mini bat pendant.

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Nice Monday