How do you feel about shells, feathers, and bone jewelry, decor and products?
All vegans are different, but this is my view. Being vegan is not consuming any animal-products or by-products. Shells, feathers and bones are animal by-products and were at one point attached to a nervous system, and had a life history.
The biggest problem that I have with feathers, especially down pillows, blankets, clothes, and jewelry is that I don't know where the feathers came from and most likely their collection involved pain or death. So I will not buy feathers or down. I do however love feathers. I think they are beautiful and they amaze me. Like fallen apples from a tree, I like to collect fallen feathers from the various birds that live in the trees around my property. I've collected several bouquets of black feathers, gray feathers, spotted and striped feathers, and I think they are lovely. I don't feel uncomfortable with them because I know that they fell on their own accord, and weren't plucked or ripped from their skin which would make their energy a lot more negative for me to keep around.
Shells are similarly something that I can appreciate and see the beauty in, but would not buy a shell necklace, jewelry, buttons or any work of shell craftsmanship. Growing up by the ocean I would collect washed up shells and I still like to find tiny treasures on beaches whenever I visit them, which sadly isn't as often these days. The aura surrounded by an object that used to be alive is effected by his or her death, and though I think my dad's and my brother's abalone shell collections are beautiful in their gardens and backyards, I still feel an overwhelming sadness for all the death that's reflected off of their shiny surfaces. The same goes for store bought shells, I don't know their history but I can sense that the sea animals were used up as a means to an end- producing a pretty shell to string around someone's neck as a death badge. Same goes for pearls. I don't like pearls for that reason and will not wear or consume them. Not until I stumble across a loose natural pearl on a beach.
Bones. There is a fascination with bones that I know many people are drawn towards. The skeletal structure is beautiful, awe-inspiring and a much needed reminder to our mortality. But again, I will not consume bones, or bone products because the energy of the life that's pasted from the bones, and the death that lingers isn't ever a good energy I feel. How many of the people who love the aesthetics of bones wear human bones? display human bones? Human bones to me are much more interesting but aside from spending a limited time around them (such as visiting the Bone Church in Kutna Hora), I can't put myself in the same space as their death energy for long periods of time. There is a tribal quality to wearing bones, but until the bones that people wear around their necks, and dip in gold, and hang on their walls or turn into buttons and jewelry boxes are from animals that they watched die, or killed themselves, that tribal element is moot.