Sheep Don’t Need to Be Sheared: Debunking Wool Myths

The wool industry wants consumers to believe that sheep need to be sheared. They don’t. Left alone, these gentle animals would produce just enough wool to protect themselves from extreme temperatures. Instead, they’re victimized by a gruesome and deadly profit-driven industry.

Kicked in the back. Beaten in the face. Pinned to the floor and mutilated. PETA entities have dispatched investigators to 117 sheep farms in six countries on four continents, and as the exposés reveal, such cruelty is business as usual in the wool industry.

In Victoria, Australia, an investigator saw shearers cut off long strips of sheep’s skin, leaving them with bloody, gaping wounds that one worker tried to stitch closed with what appeared to be a blunt needle—and without painkillers. Another shearer stood on a sheep’s neck as she flailed in fear. And still another cut a sheep, who was probably in labor, with sharp metal clippers—then used her own wool to wipe up her blood. Shearers, who work hurriedly and carelessly because they’re paid by volume, talked about coworkers who broke a lamb’s leg and gouged sheep in the eye. A shearer still employed by the crew allegedly bit off a sheep’s ear in anger. PETA’s exposé prompted officials in Victoria to open an investigation.

Urban Outfitters, Inc., brands Anthropologie, Free People, and Urban Outfitters still sanction the industry’s cruelty by selling wool from Australia. And that makes consumers complicit, too. More than 110,000 PETA supporters and counting have called on the company to commit to selling only animal-free fashion in all of its brands. Make your voice heard, too.

Take Action for Compassionate Fashion

Our multiple exposés beg the question: How many times must PETA send investigators into shearing sheds around the world before designers, retailers, and consumers realize that wool isn’t “just a haircut”?