London – For the first time ever, a violin has received certification from The Vegan Society’s Vegan Trademark.
The creator of the musical instrument – traditionally crafted with animal products – maintains that the item is more ethical and acoustically speaking, an improvement.
Traditional violin making can include products derived from the skin and bones of animals.
Irish musician Padraig O’Dubhlaoidh is behind the creation, which took years of research to complete. The violin maker’s instruments have been played at high-profile venues, including Buckingham Palace, the White House, Carnegie Hall and the Royal Albert Hall.
Violin makers have historically used non-vegan materials in their designs, such as animal hide glue, derived from the skin, bones, and tendons of animals. It is typically sourced from horses but rabbits, fish, and other species can be used too.
Further, violin strings and bows can contain ivory, horse tail hair, and animal intestines, among other animal-derived products.
But O’Dubhlaoidh is insistent that animal body parts are not needed to create the instrument. The musician stayed true to the traditional tools and methods used in violin production, but with some modern twists of his own.
To develop the purfling decoration that wraps around the instrument’s edges, he used wild berries and spring water sourced from beneath the granite of the Malvern Hills in the UK.
Although animal-free strings and bows do exist, they are not currently registered with the Vegan Trademark.
With the planet facing crises on almost every front, the collective voice of people wanting a fairer future grows stronger every day. Ethical musicians are part of this movement and have long wished for a violin that is fully vegan yet retains all the qualities of the classic instrument.