A silkworm’s Sad Song

Silkworms are probably not on anyone’s list of animals of “Those To Be Concerned About”. In fact if there was a survey taken, disregard would be about equal to whether grass has feelings when being cut! Disregard for what is thought to be unimportant life forms would most likely win the approval of many. Disregard should not be so readily applied to this creature however. How many humans could spin a thread long enough to equal the height of Mt. Everest? Two of them together could. So their lives are not entirely without intelligent direction or motivation. A silkworm is not a worm at all but a pre-moth caterpillar who builds a cocoon of the material from which silk is derived. If allowed to pupate they would emerge from their cocoon as a moth but this is not allowed since the emerging moth would damage the silk fibers in which it has wrapped itself . Therefore the cocoons are put into boiling water to kill the sleeping victim inside and to release the tightly wound threads the animal has spun. The inventors of this gruesome process thousands of years ago are none other than the Chinese who seem to have a penchant for boiling creatures alive.
This particular animal is no longer found in the wild, they are extinct. When a species is extinct, China has the solution! China took them over hundreds maybe thousands of years in the past and the creature can no longer hunt and obtain its food which is a certain type of leaf. So it spends its short life before boiling by preparing its cocoon, happily wrapping itself into the comfort this provides, Never suspecting the horrendous end. It takes about 3000 of these little palaces to make one pound of silk. So the lady of leisure with a kimono on her back has a goodly number of dead animals to thank for her 14 kilo garment. But isn’t that the way of all human endeavors? Why is the human race so completely incapable of providing for itself without the necessity of killing? 

 

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