Not only does wearing wool support an industry that beats, mutilates, and kills sheep, wool production is also a big contributor to climate change and the many catastrophes that come along with it (yes, including wildfires).
Around the world, rising temperatures have led to prolonged periods of drought, extending seasonal wildfire periods. While the connection between wool and ecological devastation is very real, many on the internet weren’t ready for this truth bomb. Farmers raising sheep have gone on the defensive after having their industry exposed.
PETA blames wool for Australian bush fires https://t.co/Q6KbbOITIs
— The Land (@thelandnews) January 21, 2020
Sheep rival cows when it comes to producing methane.
According one study, a single sheep can produce roughly 30 liters of methane every day. In New Zealand, there are nearly six sheep for every person, and the animal agriculture industry accounts for a whopping one-third of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Manure generated by animals raised for their skin and flesh has contributed significantly to the increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases. Sheep are Australia’s second-biggest source of “enteric fermentation” emissions. These come from the natural digestive process of animals. Australia’s Department of the Environment and Energy states that enteric fermentation emissions from livestock account for 73% of the country’s total agriculture emissions.
Analysis from the Global Fashion Agenda found that there are at least nine fibers that are more sustainable than wool. They include popular options such as polyester, acrylics, rayon, nylon, and spandex. Materials stolen from animals are always unsustainable, because animal agriculture is a major cause of climate change.
Sheep farming can also have detrimental effects on surrounding ecosystems.
Farmers clear massive forest areas to make room for sheep. Sheep grazing alters natural vegetation, causing soil erosion.
Studies have shown how sheep “dip”—a toxic chemical used to rid sheep of parasites—can poison nearby waterways and kill fish, and the enormous flocks of sheep bred by the wool industry produce huge amounts of manure, which can pollute the water, land, and air.
Sheep farmers commonly attempt to protect their profit by killing local wildlife. In Australia, many of them kill kangaroos, who are labeled “pests” by landowners because it’s believed that they compete with sheep for resources. In the U.S., farmers, the federal government, and hunters slaughter hundreds of thousands of coyotes every year, largely to prevent them from preying on farmed animals.
Ditching wool for fabulous modern options is easy!
Thankfully, humans don’t need to wear wool. Instead, opt for any the many vegan fabrics available. Best of all, you won’t be contributing to the suffering of the millions of sensitive sheep in the wool trade, which routinely subjects them to abuse and mutilation. Some are even skinned alive.
PETA has released 12 exposés of 100 sheep operations on four continents, revealing systemic abuse in the wool industry. Impatient workers have been caught punching, kicking, and stomping on sheep, some of whom died from their injuries. When animals are no longer profitable to the wool industry, they’re slaughtered.
PETA is super-excited about the surge in vegan fashion, which combines scientific innovation and compassion. There are vegan wool knits made from plastic bottles and even from seaweed. Cool, right? Of course, there are always tried-and-true materials like organic cotton, bamboo, hemp, and acrylics. It’s never been easier to reduce your carbon footprint and help animals by wearing vegan.