WHY SHOULD YOU GO WOOL-FREE?
“The wool industry involves a lot of cruelty, and sheep raised for wool endure a lifetime of horror. Sheep are gentle, peaceful individuals who, just like us, feel pain, fear and loneliness but because there is a market for their fleece and skins, they are treated as nothing more than wool-producing machines. If they were left alone and not genetically manipulated, sheep would grow just enough wool to protect themselves from temperature extremes as the fleece provides effective insulation against both cold and heat but sheep exploited for their wool have been bred to produce more wool than is natural.
Every year, using tools resembling gardening shears, industrial wool farmers in Australia (the largest producer and exporter of wool in the world) routinely mutilate OVER 20 MILLION helpless lambs on wool farms by cutting large swaths of skin and flesh from the area around the anus and, for females, around the vulva, as well. This barbaric, gruesome procedure is called “mulesing” and is typically performed without any painkillers.
During mulesing, again without any pain killers, most sheep have their tails cut off, ears hole-punched and, if male, are castrated (“marked”). The purpose of mulesing is to produce wool free of any scars, faecal/urine stains and skin wrinkles. After mulesing, many sheep die a slow, agonizing death.
The practice of mulesing is defended as an effective means of combating a blowfly infestation called “flystrike.” Industry beneficiaries and spokespersons would have you believe that mulesing is a carefully performed surgical procedure that is simply meant to benefit the sheep from a distressing and possibly deadly pest; however, that is not the case at all.
To maximize the profit, the wool industry has engineered the sheep to have ever-increasing amounts of wool-bearing skin. This unnaturally high skin surface creates very high densities of skin folds, which lead to an extreme overabundance of heat, moisture and excrement trapping that attracts flies. The flies lay their eggs in the skin fold, and resulting maggots begin to consume the sheep’s skin in the extremely painful condition known as “flystrike.” Basically, wool producers are the ones who created the flystrike problem for profit and now use it as an excuse to justify mulesing. For the industry, the only thing that really matters is:
More skin folds → More skin area per sheep → More wool per sheep = Higher profit margins
Shearers are usually paid by volume, not by the hour, which encourages fast work without regard for the welfare of the sheep. One eyewitness says, “the shearing shed must be one of the worst places in the world for cruelty to animals … I have seen shearers punch sheep with their shears or their fists until the sheep’s nose bled. I have seen sheep with half their faces shorn off …”
When their wool production begins to decline, most sheep, without access to any food or water for days/weeks, are sent on a long journey in a severely crowded, multitiered ship to other countries. These sheep - millions every year from Australia - are often slaughtered by having their throats cut while they’re still conscious.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
1) Acknowledge and spread the fact that animals are NOT here for us but with us. Animals are not commodities to be used, abused and discarded. Although they might look the same, every animal is an irreplaceable individual with a unique personality.
2) Not purchase anything wool. The only reason why the wool industry exists is because we demand its existence by purchasing wool products. As wool alternatives, there are plenty of cruelty-free fabrics such as faux wool, cotton, cotton flannel, polyester fleece, synthetic shearling and many others. Remember: you have options; they do not.
3) Share this post to raise awareness and save lives.
4) However unbelievable this might sound, what you have read here is only the tip of the iceberg as far as the cruelty animal-based industries are built upon. Albeit unknowingly, you’re funding and demanding unimaginable pain. To be fully informed, please watch the multi-award winning documentary, Earthlings, and encourage others to do the same; Earthlings is free: www.earthlings.com
Together, we CAN stop all suffering.
For more info:
Image source: www.animalsaustralia.org ”