Are Sheep Killed for Their Wool?

How many sheep are killed for their wool?

All of them.

That’s right. We’ve heard people compare sheep shearing to getting a haircut, but have you ever had chunks of your scalp shorn off during a cut and color?

Didn’t think so. How about being kicked or hit—has your stylist ever used you as a punching bag?

No, probably not.

That’s because robbing sheep of their wool is nothing like cutting someone’s hair or even shaving their head.

One PETA video exposé after another has shown that on farms, lambs’ ears are hole-punched and their tails are chopped off. A recent study revealed that sheep, like humans, bond over stressful experiences. For sheep, these include being sheared, driven in a trailer, or rounded up by a dog. They prefer to be with other sheep who have endured the same intense situations, using facial and scent recognition to find and stand close to each other.

Male sheep are castrated without any pain relief.

Sheep are purposely stepped on.

They’re shorn bloody.

Some are so stressed by the experience that they die on the shearing floor.

Others often die from heat exhaustion or a lack of shelter from the elements. Some die of starvation, disease, or neglect.

And then there are those who are just straight-up killed—knives are plunged into their throats and saw through their flesh.

In Australia, terrified, abused sheep are loaded onto trucks and sent on a long journey on severely crowded, multitiered ships to countries that have few, if any, animal-welfare laws or regulations. And then they’re slaughtered for meat.

The throats of these sheep are often cut while the animals are still conscious.

Now you know—sheep are killed for their wool.

So ask yourself: Isn’t this sheep’s life more important than some scratchy scarf?

The only acceptable answer is yes. Sheep are gentle, sensitive individuals who are emotionally complex and highly intelligent. They’re not here for us to wear or eat them. They’re not here for us to use at all.

You Can Help Stop This Abuse

The best way to help sheep like those seen above is not to buy wool. It’s easy.

If a tag has “wool” listed on it, leave the item on the shelf and instead choose from one of the many animal-free materials available.

Click below to urge retailers—including Forever 21, Patagonia, and Express—to do the right thing by pulling all wool items off their shelves:

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