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.


About treewithroots

Magda and Brent solve crimes and unravel mysteries on Mayne island. These exciting mystery/adventure stories for 9 - 13 year-olds, Magda's Mayne Island Mystery, Mayne Island Aliens and Mayne Island Skeletons, are available at various bookstores in the Gulf Islands. Amber enjoys reading to school classes. Teachers, please contact her if you'd like her to read to your class.

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