Care2 writer, Kayla Coleman wrote Think Wool is a Great Alternative to Fur? Think Again, which details the truth behind the wool industry.
The wearing of fur in the name of fashion is considered by most an unnecessary and cruel practice. After all, the animal is killed for their fur, not to mention the often inhumane ways in which they are forced to live before their brutal deaths.
But many people mistakenly assume animals raised for their wool don’t suffer — that the industry can’t be that cruel because the sheep are kept alive. It is, however, an erroneous assumption that wool-bearing animals are not harmed simply because they remain alive.
The living conditions of wool-bearing animals — primarily sheep, yak and goats — who are forced to live in factory farm-like conditions are no better off than chickens forced to live in battery cages, who aren’t given enough room to even spread their wings or perform other movements natural to their species.
Mulesing is a practice commonly performed in Australia. It consists of removing wrinkled skin around a sheep’s peri-anal area to prevent flystrike. Flystrike (myiases) is a painful condition for sheep because fly larvae use the already fecal and urine soaked wrinkled folds of skin on the sheep’s rear end to lay eggs that develop into maggots, which feed off the sheep’s blood supply.
TAKE ACTION: STOP THE MUTILATION OF SHEEP!
Animal suffering is not acceptable on any level. So the argument that mulesing prevents the suffering of flystrike may seem logical to some. Look closely at the procedure; it is done without anesthesia or post-operative analgesia. How does that not cause suffering?
Merino sheep are the most common breed of sheep raised in Australia due to their abundant growth of fine wool. These animals can be shaved several times per year. In other words — there is more profit to be made from Merino sheep. They are also genetically abundant with skin folds, causing them a higher susceptibility to flystrike. In November of 2004, the Australian wool industry agreed to phase out mulesing by December 31, 2010. Now the date is quickly approaching and the promise has been reneged.
PETA President, Ingrid Newkirk recently sent a letter to the newly-elected Julia Gillard, Australia’s first female Prime Minister. The letter asks for an end to mulesing in Australia.
Follow Newkirk’s lead and help bring an end to this cruel act. Sign the Care2 petition asking Prime Minister Gillard to stop mulesing once and for all.
Why not consider abandoning wool as an acceptable option in your lifestyle? There are plenty of non-animal derived fabrics that provide warmth. Will you make the commitment?
photo credit: thanks to BotheredByBees via flickr