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Digital Subscriptions > Vegan Life > November 2017 > ALL THAT GLITTERS ISN’T GOOD


The real cost of diamond mining

For many, the day you get engaged is one of the most wonderful days of your life. However, plucking up the courage to ask someone to spend the rest of their life with you is a terrifying task and it’s no wonder that opening a box containing a sparkling bribe has been a tradition for centuries. Over time, diamonds have come to symbolise love and, due to our comparison culture, demand for bigger, clearer diamonds has slowly increased over the years.

Indeed, diamonds may be girl’s best friend but our obsession with them has led to catastrophic environmental damage, wildlife loss and bloody conflict in many countries. The industry has managed to mask these damning facts from consumers and most of us are unaware of the impact the diamonds which adorn our ears, hands and necks are having on the earth.

Diamonds are found in 35 countries around the world and, according to the US Geological Survey, Botswana, Australia, Congo and South Africa have the most plentiful naturally occurring diamond reserves. Although, there are also significant reserves in Angola, Sierra Leone and Namibia.

The reason that these countries are blessed, or cursed, with diamond reserves is unknown. There are several different theories about exactly how diamonds form in the Earth’s mantle (about 90 miles beneath the surface of the earth), but it is generally agreed that immense pressure and heat is needed to form these natural gems deep below the surface of the earth.

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About Vegan Life

Welcome to our penultimate issue of 2017. November is a wonderful month and for someone who loves layers, it truly is the season to be jolly (too early to mention Christmas?). Multi-coloured leaves fall from the trees to rest on muddy, waterlogged fields and the winter wardrobe starts to emerge in all of its glory. As such, we have put together a vista of vegan-friendly clothes, shoes and accessorises perfect for the cruelty-free fashionista or as early Christmas presents (last reference, I promise). November this year is going to be particularly special for me as I’m getting married. I am relinquishing my last name, which I am sad to see go despite years of fish-related jokes, but you will have to wait for the December issue to see what it will change to! Preparing for the wedding has not been too stressful, as the ceremony is going to be very small, but whilst searching for rings I came across an issue I had not considered before. In this issue we explore the ethics of diamond mining including the damage to our increasingly fragile environments, the impact on animals whose habitats are destroyed by diamond mines and the dictatorship which profits from the activity. We have also heard some great news which we think you will be excited about. Three important places have been given Special Protection Area status which means that over 200,000 birds will be protected from human disturbance. Birds including the beloved Atlantic Puffin and Arctic Tern will now have safe feeding spaces which will be safeguarded for the future. This announcement is fantastic news for sea bird species, some of which have been in decline for several decades. Finally, this month on Bonfire Night some people will celebrate Guy Fawkes’ thwarted plan to blow up the Houses of Parliament. The loud bangs and whizzes paired with blinding flashes of light can cause anxiety and stress to companion animals and, therefore, we explore how we can help them to remain anxiety free.