This video should mean that millions of people will think twice about ever buying wool socks and sweaters again.
A gut-churning PETA video exposé reveals that life is hell for lambs and other sheep exploited for so-called “responsibly sourced” wool on so-called “sustainable” farms. A witness found workers in Argentina hacking into fully conscious lambs, starting to skin some of them while they were still alive and kicking, and otherwise mutilating, abusing, and neglecting lambs and sheep on farms in the Ovis 21 network—Patagonia’s wool supplier.
UPDATE: Under pressure from consumers who have pledged to bury, burn, return and give away anything they have with the Patagonia brand, and never buy again, Patagonia has gone beyond apologizing, and now says it will not buy more wool until it can extract certain assurances from its supplier. On August 17, 2015, following PETA’s expose, Patagonia announced that it was dropping Ovis 21 as a supplier and would not buy wool again until the company could be assured of “the humane treatment of animals.” PETA praises the new move, as ‘all steps are good steps,’ but cautions that as Patagonia delves deeper into the wool supply chain, it will find that cruelty will always be a part of wool production as we have found in Australia, the U.S., and now Argentina. If the company is honest, we doubt it could return to buying real wool again.
UPDATE: Patagonia and Stella McCartney have stopped sourcing from Ovis 21, and after a meeting with PETA, Kering also agreed to stop sourcing from Ovis 21 for all brands, including Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Bottega Veneta, Brioni, Christopher Kane, Gucci, Volcom and Saint Laurent.
Bound by Their Legs, Slashed Open, and Skinned While Still Alive and KickingWorkers picked up gentle lambs and—while they were fully conscious—tied their legs together, plunged knives into their throats, and sawed through their necks. Blood poured from the wounds as they kicked with their only free leg. Workers then snapped their heads backwards, apparently trying to break their necks.
Even after all that, some of the lambs still managed to cry out and gasp.
Minutes later, some lambs were still alive and kicking when a worker drove a knife into their legs to start skinning them. Eventually, they were hacked apart. Their organs were carved out of their bodies and their severed heads dumped into a bloody tub.
All this happened in full view of other lambs. They were just feet away and cried out in what must have been terror and severe distress. Older sheep—used for their wool, then no longer wanted—were lined up, tackled, and dragged away to be shipped to slaughter.
Ears Mutilated, Tails Cut Off, Castrated—All Without Pain ReliefAs is common in the wool industry, lambs who were kept for their wool endured hideous mutilations—all without anesthetics or any pain relief.
A manager used a tool similar to pliers to cut out pieces of the lambs’ sensitive ears, which dripped with blood onto his hands. He wiped the blood off on one of the lambs.
He also put a tight ring around one lamb’s scrotum, which is extremely painful. These rings cut off the blood supply to the testicles, which are expected to shrivel and die over the course of several weeks.
Then, another worker cut off their tails. Lambs are prey animals who suffer in silence, rather than drawing attention to themselves and attracting further predation, but they struggled as much as they could while the workers restrained them. They were then unceremoniously dumped onto the ground, where they huddled together as blood dripped from their ears and the stumps of their tails.
The man just tossed their mutilated tails onto the ground.
Stomped and Cut Open During Shearing, Left to Suffer, Die, and Be EatenThis exposé found cruelty among Argentina’s shearing crews similar to that documented in Australia and the U.S. in 2014.
Shearers stomped and stood on sheep’s legs. Fast, rough shearing left them cut up and bleeding.
One sheep’s internal tissue protruded from a serious shearing wound. A worker dragged the bloodied sheep away. Another worker, carrying a needle and thread, followed. After evidently having crudely sewed up the gaping wound without any pain relief, the men dragged the sheep back and clipped off the rest of the wool. The next day, a worker said that the sheep had died as a result of the wound and would be eaten by the workers, but the shearer who had mortally wounded the sheep was right back on the job.
One sheep, whose back right leg was broken, was sheared and left in a pen—in pain and without any care—for at least an hour before being slaughtered and eaten, according to a manager.
You Can Help Stop This!No matter where wool comes from, whether it’s “responsibly sourced” or from a “sustainable” farm, it’s the needless product of a cruel business. There is simply no way to raise and kill animals for the mass market in a humane way. To protect sheep from this abuse, please, refuse to buy wool. It’s easy to check the label when you’re shopping. If it says “wool,” leave it on the shelf.
Please thank Patagonia for dropping Ovis 21, but urge them to drop all wool in favor of animal-friendly materials because there is simply no such thing as humane wool.