Is it fair to hit below the belt? When it comes to encouraging people to steer clear of wool, we think so. PETA’s provocative new anti-wool billboard featuring a risqué shot of a man “scratching wool from his shopping list” that we’re debuting in downtown Minneapolis this week.
With male crotch-shot advertisements getting a lot of buzz right now (Adweek reports that ads focusing on this part of anatomy, especially when the model is a man, gain up to 67 percent more engagement), PETA has been itching to jump on the trend. But our first attempt to place a video version of this ad—created by the imaginative Steve Willis—in New York’s Times Square last fall was thwarted when it was rejected by the billboard company. Instead, we ran a female version of the ad.
Why does PETA want shoppers of all shapes and sexes to scratch wool off their lists? A recent PETA exposé of sheep-shearing sheds in the U.S. and Australia (the source of 90 percent of the world’s merino wool) documented workers who punched frightened sheep in the face, stomped and stood on the animals’ heads and necks, and beat and jabbed them in the face with electric clippers and a hammer. One shearer twisted a sheep’s neck until it broke, killing the animal.
What You Can Do
Don’t make a rash decision. With so many nonwool fibers available, including Tencel, nylon, cotton, acrylic, and recycled polyester, it’s easy to find clothing and accessories that don’t cause sheep—or you—any discomfort. Take the #WoolFreeWinter pledge today, and subscribe to PETA Living’s updates to learn about more ways to give cruelty the brush-off.