Lifelong Yarns

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Wearing wool is cruel...

Today's Guardian gives over two full pages to PETA's view that wearing wool is cruel. The justifications for this view are so flimsy I initially thought the best course was to laugh and ignore them. But , on reflection, I believe it falls to wool businesses like Lifelong Yarns to state just how far off the mark PETA's arguments are. They go like this - based on one film, sheep-shearers in Australia are shown to be high on drugs, hitting sheep in the head and sewing up cuts on the animals without providing pain relief. So stop wearing wool.

Are these good shearers? Of course not. Do all shearers operate like this? Well, I should stick to fact here. I only have personal experience of the shearer of the Baddinsgill flock, who this year happened to be its shepherdess Josie. To see this young woman, who must weight less than 8 stone soaked through, handle her sheep with care, deftly, quietly and to see her shorn sheep skip off, delighted to be rid of the weight of their heavy fleece, was a true pleasure. She is not the exception.

But let's stick to basics PETA. The vast majority of sheep in the UK are raised for meat. Once turned into a lamb chop, the sheep is most definitely an ex-sheep. But sheep grow a fleece every year. If we were to value the properties of wool in this country, if shepherds could make a living from the annual clip, as they once did, then sheep would be farmed for that annual 'harvest'. The sheep would have longer lives . What's more , our land would be less polluted by plastic - the article vaunts the fact PETA are promoting jackets filled with recycled plastic bottles. That's only a 5 out of 10 for me - every time those jackets get washed , thousands and thousands of those plastic fibres are shed, making their way eventually back on to our soils.

PETA, your argument is facile, narrow and ultimately self defeating.


Pauline McPherson2 Comments