For Immediate Release:
June 8, 2022
Robin Goist 202-483-7382
San Francisco – At Allbirds’ first-ever annual meeting this Friday, PETA—which recently purchased stock in the company—will call out the retailer for duping shoppers into believing the sheep it uses for wool live “the good life,” despite being subjected to industry-standard practices such as mutilation, castration, and eventual slaughter. The group is urging the wool-focused shoe purveyor to stop making false “humane” claims about its products and end its sourcing of cruelly obtained and ecologically destructive wool.
“Every pair of Allbirds sneakers represents misery and death for gentle sheep, yet the company is misleading customers with bogus claims,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is calling on Allbirds to run from humane- and green-washing its products by taking a page out of the vegan fashion playbook.”
PETA U.S. and international PETA entities have documented cruelty to sheep while visiting 117 wool operations worldwide, revealed in 14 exposés. Even on “sustainable” and “responsible” farms, workers beat, stomped on, cut open the skin of, and slit the throats of conscious, struggling sheep. By switching to sustainable vegan materials, such as the eucalyptus tree fiber that it’s already using, Allbirds could save lives and make good on its promises to fight the climate catastrophe.
PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview that fosters violence against other animals. For more information, please visit PETA.org or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
PETA’s shareholder question follows.
Allbirds claims that the sheep whose wool it uses live “the good life.” This could not be further from the truth. In the wool industry, lambs’ ears are mutilated, their tails are chopped off, and the males are castrated—all within weeks of birth. When these sheep no longer produce enough wool to be profitable, they’re slaughtered and skinned. This is not the idyllic life evoked by Allbirds’ slogan.
Allbirds jokes that shearing is just a “haircut.” Do haircuts leave customers with injuries and gaping wounds? PETA entities have released undercover investigative videos from over 100 wool operations around the world—including self-proclaimed “responsible” farms—showing that workers routinely punch and kick terrified sheep, strike them in the face with their electric clippers, stomp on their heads and necks, and shear them so violently that they end up bleeding from the eyes, nose, and mouth, with portions of their skin shredded like ribbons. On a so-called “sustainable” and “regenerative” farm, workers tried to kill fully conscious sheep by hacking at their necks with a dull blade. Does that sound like the good life?
The use of wool also violates Allbirds’ stated goal of reversing climate change through better business. Producing just 1 kilogram of unprocessed wool can generate the same volume of greenhouse gas emissions as driving 100 miles, which makes the wool industry a major contributor to the climate catastrophe.
My question is this: If Allbirds truly wants sheep to enjoy “the good life,” when will it stop using wool, which is a product of cruelty?