27 Nov Are Vegans Against Wool?
Wool is a word that elicits a very negative reaction in the vegan world. If you have encountered a vegan or you are a vegan, you probably know how much vegans are against wool. Well, why does this hate stem from? The hate stems from the actual definition of the vegan diet. The vegan diet is a diet of zero animal products. In addition, vegans also abstain from any products apart from food products produced from animals or animal byproducts.
What exactly does this mean? Vegans cannot wear clothes made from animal by-products like silk, wool and the like. They also abstain from usage of consumables like body oil and cosmetics among other products produced from animal by-products. The underlying reason for all these abstinences is that vegans are against all forms of animal cruelty.
Now wool production is the exact definition of animal cruelty to a vegan. The practices of extracting wool from the sheep can be very barbaric and cruel. For example, mulesing which was a common practice, farmers curve huge chunks of skin and flesh from lambs. Today, mulesing is not so common. The other way of extracting wool from a sheep is to use shears. Though the process is safe for the animals, most of the shearers are more interested in making money than the safety of the lambs. As a result, they shear too fast causing injuries on the animals like nicks or complete amputation.
When a sheep’s’ wool production begins to decline, they are mostly killed for meat. Others are exported to countries with minimal to no animal welfare laws or regulations.
Overall, the life of a sheep is one of cruelty. Given that wool has powerful properties like being antimicrobial, hyper-absorbent, fire retardant, hypoallergenic, biodegradable, and wicks moisture, it continues to remain a fabric on demand.
While vegans are completely justified to be against wool, there are individuals who have come up to clear the air on whether producing wool is an animal cruelty practice. For starters, a sheep must be shorn of its fleece. Otherwise, carrying the excessive weight of wool can cause it to die. The only problem comes in when certain individuals use antiquated growing and shearing processes. But in today’s society, with the increased awareness of animal rights, the production and manufacture of wool is regulated by law in many countries. Therefore, it is unlikely to find any companies using such cruel methods of extracting wool.
Unfortunately, vegans who join the vegan-fold tend to be against wool without clearly understanding whether there is a really enough reason to hate wool in the first place. Nevertheless, it is quite impractical for a person to trace the exact conditions in which some yarns of wool were produced and whether the animals were treated fairly. The only solution is to have a firm negative stand against wool in all its forms. In any case, there may be sheep which are treated cruelly because of their wool.
Now, you understand why vegans are against wool. Are they right? Only you can decide.
Here’s a vegan shoe option: If The Vegan Birkenstocks Fits, Wear It!