Wool Is Cruel: The Truth About Wool (Video)

This lesson plan is designed to help teachers present animal rights issues to their students. If you’re an educator, please feel free to adapt this material to fit your needs, and contact us if you need help incorporating this activity into your curriculum.

Suggested grade levels: High school

Objectives: To understand what happens to animals who are used for their wool and how we can help them by refusing to purchase wool products

While some people might think that wool comes from sheep who are just “getting a haircut,” the reality is much worse. PETA’s international exposé has found that workers stomped on, kicked, and even broke the necks of sheep while they were shearing them, and lambs cried out for their mothers as they were thrown around like inanimate objects and pinned down—all this violence just so that we can buy a product that we don’t really need.

sheep abused for wool

Luckily, there are many humane alternatives to wool—let your students know that opting for these instead is one of the easiest ways for them to be kind to animals.

Show your class the shocking treatment of sheep in the wool industry with the PETA exposés below, which feature sheep shearers both in the United States and in Australia—where much of the wool that’s sold in the U.S. originates. Warning: This video contains violence toward animals and may be considered graphic.

Australia:

U.S.:

Follow up with an assignment in which your students write mock letters to companies that use or sell wool describing the cruel practices in wool production and encouraging them to ditch wool and use or sell synthetic materials instead. Explain that whenever animals are exploited for a product, workers cut corners and the animals suffer. Let your students know that one of the best ways to prevent cruelty to animals is by rejecting animal products of all kinds.

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind