This Violin Is Music to the Ears of Vegans

Musicians celebrate the purity of the world’s first vegan violin.

A violin and a bow on a white background.

(loskutnikov /

A master violin maker from the UK has recently designed a violin that is 100 percent vegan. This is music to the ears of violinists and art lovers who care deeply about the environment.

The world’s first vegan violin improves the world in many ways; its sound, according to The Vegan Society, has a higher quality than traditional violins.

The idea started some 40 years ago when violin maker Padraig O'Dubhlaoidh was asked to craft a vegan violin by a customer, according to the BBC. He was intrigued by the request, which made him wonder how many musicians felt obliged not to play the violin for ethical reasons.

Violins and similar instruments are usually made from horse hair, horns, hooves, bones, and serosa, which is the outer intestinal layer of cattle, according to The Vegan Society. That is, until O'Dubhlaoidh took on the challenge during the downtime he had during the pandemic.

World’s First 100 Percent Vegan Violin
With 40 years of violin-making, restoration, and conservation experience, O'Dubhlaoidh discovered a way to craft the world’s first 100 percent vegan violin including the strings and bow, according to Vegan Violins

He employed traditional tools and methods to construct his vegan violin, and when it came to creating the purfling (the inlaid decorative edge), he used natural dyes and spring water found beneath granite outside his Malvern Hills workshop. Some of the ingredients, reported the BBC, were steamed pears and wild berries for the dye. 

Apart from benefiting animals, society, and the environment, O'Dubhlaoidh was pleasantly surprised to realize he had made an acoustic breakthrough. Animal-based glues create a tension on the wooden components which harms them.

“The adhesive used in my vegan violins,” O'Dubhlaoidh explained to Vegan Society, “has no such effects. Irrespective of ethics, this is an acoustic improvement.”

This is not O'Dubhlaoidh’s first sustainable project, according to Vegan Violins. He is also very active in implementing a world-wide ban on the use of Pernambuco wood, which was used to make bows for stringed instruments. 

A Way to Celebrate Veganuary
After many years of percolating this concept, perhaps now is the perfect time for a vegan violin to emerge into the world of music. In fact, it was introduced to the world as a way of celebrating Veganuary, 2022.

O'Dubhlaoidh told The Vegan Society, “the collective voice of people wanting a fairer future grows stronger every day. Ethical musicians are part of this movement.” 

The fact that this new, sensitively inspired instrument actually creates a superior sound symbolizes how the world of form and creativity are interconnected. This violin, designed from purity with beautiful intentions, is evoking a pristine sound that is truly music to the ears.

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