Mutilated, Stabbed, Kicked, and Cut: This Is the Life of a Sheep

If you wear wool, you must read about my life and understand that the material is the result of horrific abuse.

I’m one of 80 million sheep in Australia, the largest exporter of wool in the world. No matter where we come from, our lives in this cruel industry are filled with suffering and pain.

As a young sheep, my ears were hole-punched and my tail was chopped off—and the male sheep on the farm were castrated without any pain relief.

I’ve been bred to have wrinkled skin so that I’ll produce more wool. With our unnaturally thick coats, the summers are unbearable, and many of my friends have died from heat exhaustion.

But I’ve also found relatives frozen to death because they were sheared prematurely and exposed to the cold.

Our wrinkled skin and thick wool often trap moisture. This attracts flies, who lay their eggs in the folds of our skin—and the maggots eat us alive. To prevent this “flystrike,” we’re held down by farmers who carve out huge chunks of our skin in a practice called mulesing.

When we’re sheared, workers are so rough that they cut us open with their metal clippers. The worst of our gaping wounds are crudely sewn shut with a needle and thread—and without any pain relief.

When we try to escape, the shearers slam us to the hard floor, violently punch us in the face, and stomp and stand on our necks. Because they’re paid by the number of us that they shear, they work quickly at our expense. They beat and jab us with their electric clippers or whatever object is within reach. Some of my friends have died while being sheared.

When older sheep’s wool begins to thin, farmers send them off to slaughter. I’ve overheard just how horrible their travels can be. Every year, millions of sheep are crammed together in such close quarters that they’re trampled. They’re forced to stand amidst their own waste, and many fall ill or die from their injuries, heat exhaustion, dehydration, starvation, or infection.

If we survive the terrible journey, we’re slaughtered—in full view of those who await the same fate—often while we’re still conscious and able to feel pain.

Every minute of our lives, we’re treated like inanimate objects, rather than the thinking, complex, social, and emotional beings we are.

Please save us by choosing not to wear clothing made from wool.

Leave wool on the rack and instead opt for sheep-friendly materials that are warm, comfortable, and easier than ever to find—it’ll mean the world to millions of sheep.

Want to do more for sheep? Share PETA’s first Australian wool-industry video exposé right now with your friends and family, and ask them never to buy wool.

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