Just an average Sunday morning – I wake up and automatically pick up my phone to scroll through the endless nonsenses on my Facebook news feed. But this time I came across an incredibly disturbing post in an animal rights group showing footage of some men shearing sheep in an inhumane and unnecessary cruel manner. I felt sick and disgusted watching these grown men literally slam the heads of sheep onto the concrete floor and punching them repeatedly. What was going on here? The video was captioned “Wool sweaters are so cool….I think you misspelled CRUEL”. Watching it you certainly couldn’t argue with that statement as the video really does make you feel this immense urge to bludgeon those men to ruin. ‘Surely not all wool products result from this sort of behaviour?’ I hoped. ‘Surely this is the extreme minority?’
WARNING: VERY GRAPHIC – here is the video:
Clicking the link to the original poster I could see that the people behind sharing this footage were of course the notoriously controversial animal rights warriors known as PETA. They were stating that this was “common practice in the wool industry” and teaching people how to shop “cruelty – free” by purchasing other materials instead of wool. “Over the last two years, six PETA exposés of 39 facilities on three continents have revealed that sheep are routinely beaten in the wool industry” they stated. Considering there are 196 countries in the world, and plenty of facilities in most, it definitely doesn’t seem like a good representation of the global industry as a whole. After this revelation I began to question the message behind this video and more importantly PETA.
It seemed strange to me that people in the wool industry, and any animal product related industries for that matter, would treat their animals in this way. Putting morals aside, it would only make sense economically to look after their sheep well – the sheep are commodities, their source of income. It would be foolish of them to cut and bruise the sheep to the edge of death if they wanted to continue sheering them, and thus continue earning money from their wool. I just didn’t understand how it was true that wool farmers behaved like this. The simple answer is, it isn’t true. Real farmers don’t act like this – they sheer them in an acceptable manner with no harm or abuse to the animals. The sheep are their investment so they treat them with respect. This video was far from a good representation of the wool industry – it was footage of psychologically unstable idiots who take their problems out on those that are weaker than them, not the face of farming in general. I saw many other comments on the post from people who owned sheep on wool farms themselves or had witnessed sheep being shorn, stating that this was nothing at all like what they were used to – instead just a very misleading post with an ulterior motive. PETA responded to these commenters stating that “it’s not our wool to take” and the worst argument of them all “think of who you’re wearing”. I was somewhat amused reading their comebacks. Sheep don’t die for us to use their wool, or at least they certainly don’t need to. We don’t wear them, we wear their hair. If you think taking your child to the hair salon for a cut is inhumane then maybe you’ll disagree with me here, but this is pretty much the same. You see, domesticated sheep need to be sheered because they can’t lose their fleece naturally. If left to grow, the sheep will become miserable and eventually immobile, with higher risks of disease and overexertion. If they aren’t sheered, even just to get rid of it, this is cruelty. But PETA don’t care about facts. They care about manipulating the public.
If they truly cared about animals, firstly, they wouldn’t encourage people to buy clothes made from some materials produced in factories that pollute our environment. I mean, I guess we should all just scrap clothes altogether and run around the streets naked because there’s something harmful about most clothes industries. After all, we all know how global warming and pollution is killing off species, melting ice caps, harming the polar bears – you know the drill. Surely the innocent PETA aren’t discriminating between species? Of course they are. Hypocritical as always.
Besides, it’s no use PETA telling people to abandon buying wool. People won’t ever do that. It’s hard enough me trying to convince people to buy organic free range eggs rather than eggs from caged hens and that’s not even giving something up, it’s simply improving it! It’s better to focus on eliminating the corrupt people like the absolute assholes in this video who clearly have no balls and need to attack defenceless animals smaller than them because they can’t pick on someone their own size. Yet it’s amazing how all of these PETA videos pop up on my news feed but for some reason the people in the videos are never exposed and PETA never have the companies shut down for breaking the law. It’s almost like PETA is a con.
If we all stop wearing wool that’s great but let’s face it another animal cruelty issue would come up – that’s why we need to strive to ensure all animal related industries are humane and ethical; name and shame those who aren’t. But that’s the thing, PETA won’t ever say who they are. So many people were asking “What’s the information on this facility? Company name, phone, and address?” “Where is this” “How can we stop this?” Did PETA respond to these THOUSANDS of comments? Not once. They don’t want to stop it. It’s their revenue. They’re not interested in saving the animals. If they saved all the animals they post about eventually they’d run out of animals to save and that means they’d run out of funds from donators that actually care about the animals. They’re all about profit. Just like any other business. That’s why it’s so much better to support local small charities where you can actually see the difference your donation makes.
“Couldn’t agree more. I’ve supported PETA over the years but have stopped now as they do nothing that I’ve seen apart from ask for donations. Enough!” one commenter responded to my arguments.
I think our support is better elsewhere. They have the wrong ideas on things. People shouldn’t abandon buying wool for other harmful materials. They should abandon buying unethical wool. There’s a huge difference. If everyone bought ethically the bad guys would run out of business. I 100% agree with the video being shown to warn us all that these things happen if you buy from unethical places. But PETA stating that this was the wool industry as a whole was false and to tell people to stop buying wool isn’t what’s best in my opinion and won’t get great results. People don’t like being told what to do. They will want to check they’re buying from places that don’t harm the animals after seeing video clips like that though. That’s what PETA should aim to do instead of branding all farmers as murderous assholes. We all have the same goal at the end of the day…to beat animal abuse. But you have to consider the masses of people who aren’t like us: they might think less of animals, have a more selfish or practical way of thinking etc. and to really beat animal abuse you can’t just depend on animal lovers, we’ve got to win over everybody and PETA will NEVER do that (unless they change their approach).
It’s so easy to be witness to vulgar photos of pigs being hacked to death or footage of cows being beaten with a metal club and think “This must be stopped. Farmers are disgusting people. Everyone should be vegan. Animal exploitation is not ok. Let’s sign this petition. Let’s donate to PETA.” That last one – donate to PETA – that’s what they want. They’re not bothered about the animals as much as they are about money. PETA, like a few other large organisations are all about profit and increasing the size of their pay cheques. Don’t be fooled by their propaganda; don’t believe everything you see or hear from PETA. Heck, they could have even produced this video themselves for profits. Why else would they not name and shame and shut this facility down? It’s all about money. If you really care about animals the best you can do is buy your animal products, whether it be eggs, milk, honey, or wool, from places that you know have their animals’ interests at heart and care for them properly. Help the less business-orientated smaller non-profit organisations that actually want to and are willing to make a change instead. We need global support and that will only be achieved by teaching people from practical, realistic and factual avenues. Not this propaganda bullshit. WE WILL OVERCOME ANIMAL ABUSE ONE DAY – but not with the likes of professional deceivers at PETA.