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Do Sheep Really Suffer for Wool?

Shocking exposés by PETA have shown the world that sheep who are used for fashion go through absolute hell. No matter the farm, no matter the continent, we’ve found that sheep are abused (and eventually killed) for their wool. 🐑😰 The disturbing eyewitness video footage is impossible to deny and shows that gentle sheep are beaten, stomped on, kicked, and mutilated in the global wool industry.

This abuse is stitched into the coats, hats, socks, and other items made of wool sold in stores everywhere. 🧥🧣🧦

Don’t believe it? Watch these vids to see why wearing wool is no less cruel than wearing fur, leather, or any other animal-derived material.

Shearers in Australia—the world’s top wool exporter—punched sheep in the face and beat and jabbed them in the head with sharp metal clippers and even a hammer. 😨 These attacks often left the terrified sheep bleeding from the eyes, nose, and mouth. When these prey animals panicked while pinned down, the shearers stomped on them and stood on their heads and necks.

Close up of three sheep's flanks
A flock of sheep with one looking above the crowd

Many shearers do reckless work, including slicing off large pieces of sheep’s skin. Australian media outlets have even found that many workers take illegal drugs to help them work faster. PETA entity investigations found that when workers finished shearing, they shoved the sheep down chutes like garbage bags.

A sheep being shoved after shearing

In 2018, an eyewitness working on a sheep farm in Victoria, Australia, found that the farm manager and workers mutilated lambs in an assembly-line fashion. Workers cut chunks of flesh off lambs’ hindquarters with shears to try to create smoother skin that wouldn’t attract flies—but the bloody wounds often got infected with maggots anyway.

Close up of three sheep's flanks
A group of white sheep in a field

Also in 2018, while working for a sheep-shearing contractor in New South Wales, Australia, an eyewitness found that one worker put tight rings around sheep’s scrotums without painkillers so that their testicles would shrivel up and fall off weeks later. Workers also punched holes in lambs’ ears and cut and burned off their tails with a hot knife, making them writhe in agony as flames shot up from their flesh. 😱 All this was done in full view of the lambs’ frantic mothers, who called out to them and tried to get as close to them as possible. 🥺

Lambs locked into metal-like chutes

Things are no better for sheep in the U.S. In April 2017, PETA investigators visited a massive operation near Jericho, Utah, where thousands of sheep from Red Pine Land & Livestock—which was once listed on clothing retailer Patagonia’s website as an approved supplier—are sheared each year. Workers twisted the necks of pregnant sheep who were “ready to pop” (according to one worker), pulled them by their fleece, sent them stumbling down steep ramps, and even whipped them.

With little wool to keep them warm, pregnant sheep were driven to the desert—where temps dropped to as low as 32 degrees—and left there to give birth. 🥶 Red Pine sells the lambs to California-based Superior Farms, the largest lamb slaughterer in the U.S. and a supplier to Walmart and Kroger. 😭

A sheep being kicked
Close up of three sheep's flanks

Sheep are smart and social animals—not objects to be used for fashion. They can recognize dozens of individuals from photos and remember faces for up to two years, and seeing a pic of a friend can even calm them in a stressful situation. 🤯 It’s speciesist to think they don’t experience the same complex emotions as the cats and dogs who share our homes. 🐱🐶🏡

Take Action Now to Help Stop This Abuse!

No matter where it’s sold, wool is the product of a cruel industry. The best way to help sheep like those seen in PETA’s video exposés is never to buy anything made of wool.

Two adult sheep and one lamb

Below, you can urge several retailers to do the right thing by pulling all wool items off their shelves. Once you’ve completed the actions below, be sure to share this page with your friends and fam. Let them know that wearing wool—like wearing fur, leather, down, and every other animal-derived material—supports cruelty.

Close up of three sheep's flanks

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