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British man makes the world’s first vegan violin

A man in England has whipped up the first-ever vegan violin using steamed pears, wild berries and spring water.

You’ve probably heard the words “berry-infused” to describe many things. Maybe a lightly sparkling water from a cafe in Bondi, or a gin distilled using minerals from the River Nile. Well, against the odds, a fiddle has become the next item to be infused by the fruits of the forest.

A few years ago, violin-maker Padraig O’Dubhlaoidh was asked by a customer if he could manufacture a vegan violin. “I thought how many vegans are there, potential musicians whose ethics won’t allow them to play the violin – it must be awful,” he remembered.

Vegan Violin
Credit: BBC

So from that day, the craftsman got started on what would become the first known violin to be free of any animal products.

Violins are commonly manufactured using horsehair, hooves, horns and bones but O’Dubhlaoidh got creative, subbing out the usual, animal-based glues for an adhesive made from spring water.

Those fancy little trims around the edge of the instrument are courtesy of a steamed pear which the craftsman dyed black, using wild berries.

Ericka Durgahee from the Vegan Society delivered a side-splitting pun to express her excitement for the instrument. “This will be music to the ears of so many violinists who have longed for a high-quality instrument that is free from animal products,” said the charity’s spokesperson.

O’Dubhlaoidh has been making traditional violins for 40 years, but he praised the younger generations for taking action to benefit the planet. He said, “The world is changing a lot at the moment… particularly the young generation… they’re making big changes in the world and I’m very proud of it.” Bless this man.

Let’s hope that in 10 years’ time, vegan violins will bring positive meaning to the saying: “they don’t make ’em like they used to.”