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  • Jan
  • 23

Fire and Light: Environment- and Animal-Friendly Dishware

Posted by at 5:36 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

fireandlight1Wikipedia defines bone china as “a type of porcelain body first developed in Britain in which calcined cattle bone (bone ash) is a major constituent.”

That certainly doesn’t sound like something I want to serve my delicious vegan meals on!

As an ethical vegan first and an environmentalist second, I try to make certain that my purchases are in line with my beliefs. On my many frequent visits to my favorite little city in the redwoods, Arcata, California, I noticed some beautiful glassware that was being displayed and used in a variety of ways, and most of the store owners were selling it. Some of my friends had it all over their homes, as decorative and functional pieces. It is beautiful glass in lovely rich colors, somewhat thick and heavy and simple in design, yet extremely artistic. I found out that this glassware is made by a company based in Arcata called Fire and Light. And it’s made entirely from recycled glass, so it supports my beliefs about animals and the environment.

I started to collect a piece here and there. A candy dish on one trip. A zen bowl on another. A lovely vase as a gift. Then I decided to splurge and invest in a set of dinnerware. I bought plates, bowls, and glasses. I bought them in a variety of colors, so they didn’t match. They are fun and funky for everyday use, but at the same time, they are gorgeous enough for a fancy vegan dinner party, and the hues really complement and accentuate the natural beauty in the plant-based dishes that I serve.

I love that they are made from 91 percent crushed recycled glass. I also really love that I can have a special set of dishes that do not have any animal products embedded in them. Fire and Light glass is sold all over the country. They have a beautiful Web site, which is full of information and pictures and even locations of stores where you can buy this glassware in your area.

Check them out and let me know what you think. And I would love to hear if you have other ideas for making sure that your dishware is as cruelty-free as the food you serve.

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  • Anne says:

    Bottom line is the life to make the china is long gone and so are the people that originally used it. There is no sense in trying to erase the past. Bone china was a by-product of the industrial revolution; a first gasp of the industrial slaughter to follow.
    Meaningful artifacts from our past still have a place in our lives today. Your collection embodies something tangible that when thoughtfully considered can be used to educate or for reflection. The fact that you voice concern means to me that you are a critical thinker. I think you have material to encourage critical thought. Ethical questions are a good thing and you have something that represents the dilemma of human existence. Families experience pain and joy. Family china, too, can represent both beauty and tragedy. Neither story needs to be written out.

  • Joyce says:

    Laura, it sounds like you need to make a choice between family heirloom & current attitudes. My own rationale would be to keep great-grandmother’s china, because you didn’t choose the china, & your great-grandmother probably had no idea of its content. Different time periods dictate different attitudes. If you would feel better, purchase recycled glass products, for use in everyday dining, & place the heirloom china in a display case. Now there’s a compromising solution.

  • Laura says:

    I had no idea that my porcelain dishes contained animal products! I have been vegetarian for several years and have been slowly switching all my personal and household products, belts, shoes, bags, clothing, candles, etc over to vegan products (with 2 in college its a slow process). But..I have 2 sets of china that belonged to my great grandmothers. I’m 60 so these sets are very old, and we use them a lot. I’m not about to get rid of them-they are beautiful. But now, well, I don’t know if I can use them again. My husband and children are also vegetarian. What a dilemma!

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