You don’t wear leather and you’d never touch fur, but what about wool? The animal-derived material often gets forgotten about when it comes to vegan shopping, but knitwear isn’t as innocent as it first looks.
Sure, people will argue that sheep need to be sheared for their own comfort and even for health reasons, but shearing done on a mass scale can be a bloody industry, where shearers might be paid by the volume of wool they shear, rather than the quality of the material. In numbers, workers can shear up to 200 sheep a day.
To explain what that means – more wool equals more money, so the less time spent shearing each sheep the better. The faster you work, the more likely shearers are to cut the sheep. PETA have also seen sheep starved and dehydrated for up to 24 hours before the shearing, so they’ll put up less of a fight in the shearing shed.
That’s not to mention the physical abuse of sheep caught on camera by PETA in the US and Australia, where sheep were kicked, punched and stamped on, leaving huge wounds on the animals which were shoddily stitched up later in the day – with no painkillers.
If you think more ‘luxurious’ wools are any different, they’re not. Plus, sheep bred for their fleeces like merino sheep have to suffer their unnaturally heavy coat all through the summer months. The same goes for goat hair, alpaca wool and angora.
Disgusting, right? If you ever need any help putting this into perspective, imagine the practice being carried out on humans. If you can’t, doesn’t that say something?
If this post has made you want to ditch wool for good, I partnered with PETA on how to shop vegan fashion the easy way.