Oh this one fires me up because this one
insults every single fiber farmer out there.
Sheep are not killed for their fiber.
They are sheered. This is like
getting a buzz cut all over their bodies.
Fiber animal, all fiber animals, are treated extremely well by fiber
farmers. There’s a sound reason for
A sick or injured fiber animal produces low
quality fiber. The fiber that grows
during their healing time is actually so low in quality that it breaks and is
unusable for anything other than mulch.
This means that is by far and away in the best interest of a fiber
farmer to take excellent care of their fiber animals. It’s the best way for them to ensure a potential
profit off of what is honestly, a very low profit business.
Are there jerks out there in the fiber
industry? Absolutely. Find any industry that doesn’t have a few
jerks. However, I’ll give an example of
what really happens in the world of fiber animals. A lady I know is an extremely skilled
breeder. She hired a sheering contractor
one year who came and, during the day of sheering, punched one of her rams. Not only was he immediately fired and
escorted off of her property, she called all the other fiber farmers she knew
and had him blacklisted. That bad, cruel
sheerer lost all of his potential income for the season.
If a fiber farmer treated their animals in
the way that has been portrayed, then they would be financially ruined very
quickly. Again it goes back to fiber
animals that are sick or injured produce low quality fiber. So if a fiber farmer treated their animals
like crap, then they would be producing fiber that couldn’t be sold. The worst injury I have ever seen in all of
the countless sheerings that I’ve seen is a minor knick. Those things happen because sheering can be a
lot like trying to get a two year old to hold still for a haircut.
What’s more, sheering is vital to the
animal’s health. This is why even meat
sheep are sheered. Domesticated sheep no
longer have the same kinds of coats as wild sheep. Wild sheep are double coated and able to shed
their winter coats to stay cooler in the summer. But there’s more to it. Wool is coated in lanolin. Raw lanolin feels a lot like beeswax. It’s sticky and attracts everything. This means that a sheep isn’t just covered in
wool. They’re also covered in vegetation,
fecal matter, and bacteria. With wild
sheep, they’re able to shed out that nastiness.
Domesticated sheep can’t do that.
I would like to add that the organization, which
shall not be named here, that has been the primary proponent for the idea that
wool is cruel and inhumane has a clearly stated goal of no domesticated animals
at all. This means no pets or farm
animals. Domesticated animals, for the
most part, can no longer survive in the wild.
We have bred them to be dependent on the intervention of humans to
maintain their health and wellbeing. The
same is true with sheep.