Hey, don't worry about it. You are right, she's your daughter and you have to do what is right for you and your family. You did ask how people felt and they are telling you. Don't take it personally. People are opionnated. Some of them are just a little more, um, "colorful", not to mention *forceful* in expressing them. Personally, I would find it inappropriate to say things like appalling and shameful, even if it is something I feel strongly about, such as breastfeeding, natural childbirth, or circumcision. I used to say things like "genital mutilation", but it just puts people off. It doesn't convince anybody of the validity of my position, kwim? I think it is important to remember we can never be 100% sure where the other person is coming from. No judgement until walking a mile in there shoes, etc. Not that I always remember to do that.
Anyway, you wanted to know if other crunchy moms had had their dd's ears pierced. Yes, I have. She was about three and a half and it was to celebrate her weaning from the breast. It was something she wanted to do, she understood there would be pain involved and that they would need to be cared for. She did great, just winced a little, no tears. It is a good memory for her. A rite of passage. I still help her care for them and she has always done just fine with them. I had mine done at age five. I went with my mom, who's own parents had forbidden it, and she wanted me to have them if I wanted them. I don't wear them much anymore, mostly due to motherhood, but I like having the option.