Today marks the beginning of the Year of the Sheep in the Chinese lunar calendar, so it’s the perfect time to ditch wool!


By avoiding wool, we can prevent sheep from being punched, stomped on, and beaten in shearing sheds, as PETA’s recent exposé of the wool industry revealed often happens.


Many people don’t realize that buying wool supports the torture of these smart, sensitive animals. When we think about wool, we might think of a small family-owned farm where sheep simply get a “haircut” every now and then and are loved by the farmers. REALITY CHECK: In the commercial wool industry, this is usually not the case. Instead, sheep are seen as disposable objects, and shearers are paid by volume, rather than by the hour—meaning that they work as fast as they can, to the detriment of the sheep.

PETA’s video exposé of sheep-shearing crews in the leading wool-producing regions of Australia and the U.S. shows that workers violently punched terrified sheep in the face, stomped and stood on the animals’ heads and necks, threw them, cut them with sharp metal clippers, and even beat them on the head with electric clippers and a hammer. Some sheep died from the abuse, including one whose neck was twisted until the animal died.

Scared Sheep

“Mulesing” is standard practice in the Australian wool industry. During this procedure, workers cut chunks of skin and flesh from the back of sheep’s legs and around their tails, usually without painkillers. Mulesing is done to prevent flystrike—which occurs when flies lay eggs in the folds of sheep’s skin and the hatched maggots eat away at the animals’ flesh.

Mulesing Collage
Patty Mark / 

When sheep age and their wool production declines, they’re usually sent to slaughter.

© Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals 

But together, we can stop all this and truly make 2015 the Year of the Sheep!


Never buy wool products. With so many wool-free alternatives offered by retailers such as Forever 21, H&M, and Target, this is super-easy to do. Just check labels before you buy!

H&M wool-free collage

Help sheep now! Share the truth about the wool industry.

facebook share button

twitter share button