I love the luminosity, the colours, the brilliance, the spherical shape, but most of all, the magic in their formation.
But I was just reminded yesterday that an oyster has to die in order to collect them. I had never thought about it before. I’d always imagined people opening an oyster to eat it and joyfully finding a pearl inside. This didn’t worry me even though I’m a vegetarian. Many people eat meat and animals die in the process. But this is different. I guess I’m naive, but to kill oysters in order to find a pearl doesn’t seem right to me.
I’ve always known about pearl divers, and thought there was a kind of romance in diving into the ocean to find an oyster containing a pearl. But I guess I blocked out the mass slaughter of oysters for their pearls because I love pearls so much.
Most pearls are now made by oysters that are raised in captivity. Their lives consist of building a pearl from the nacre in their shell and then of being killed so that we humans can wear ornaments.
This morning I watched Hilary Clinton addressing the US Senate. She was wearing a gorgeous strand of multi-coloured pearls. I hope they were artificial.