Using bone - Ethical Considerations
Using beef bone, buffalo horn, goat horn, paua - Ethical Considerations. As I am a vegetarian, you may think it’s strange that I choose to carve the bones of animals. There are many reasons for this. This page explains some of them...
The main materials used to create these carvings is beef bone. The shin, (or cannon) bone is the part I use. There are a variety of other materials used as well. For example, I often use pāua shell (known as abalone in other countries) and buffalo horn for eyes.
As I am a vegetarian and practising Buddhist, you may think it’s bizarre that I choose to carve the bones of animals. There are many reasons for this.
First, I want to be clear that I stand for the complete non-harm of animals. Nothing has been specifically killed or harmed with the intention of creating this work. The bone is sourced from butchers who process meat regardless of whether or not I utilize their bone by-products.
I truly wish for the day when humans choose not to kill animals for their own consumption and pleasure.
In the mean time I have chosen this traditional art form to give new life to the animal’s remains and transform them into something positive. I do this to create positive karma on the animal’s behalf so that they can have a more fortunate rebirth in the future. With the happiness of the animal in mind, I dedicate any merit, enjoyment and magic created from each piece of bone to this end.
May all beings be free from suffering and its causes.
Bonecraft respects and loves all living beings and strongly supports conservation. Like many other carvers, I support the CITES International Treaty – 1973, protecting wildlife against over-exploitation, and preventing international trade from threatening various species.
This includes the protection for whales. As such, I do not generally sell carvings in materials taken from whale and never from other protected species (such as elephant ivory).
Occasionally I am given some whale bone to work with by mana whenua (power associated with possession, territorial rights and occupation of tribal land), which has been legitimately sourced from naturally occurring events and in line with traditional protocol. (i.e. not hunted).