Animal Rights Group Urges Principal to Remove Wool From School’s New Uniform
Melbourne – After Firbank Grammar School shared its proposed new uniform, crafted with a view to sustainability, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) shared information about wool’s negative impact on the environment with the school, asking it to reconsider using the material.
In a letter to the Brighton school’s principal, PETA notes that while wool’s environmentally friendly image stems largely from its status as a natural material, its production – like any type of animal agriculture – is actually a major contributor to the extreme environmental stressors that plague Australia, such as droughts and bushfires.
Emissions from farmed animals make up 70% of Australia’s total agriculture-related greenhouse-gas emissions, and our nation’s 68 million sheep are the second-biggest source of these emissions. A single sheep can produce about 30 litres of methane each day.
“Intensive land clearing, undertaken to accommodate sheep, also affects emissions and puts native animals like koalas at risk,” writes PETA Senior Outreach and Partnerships Manager Emily Rice. “Moreover, sheep face horrendous cruelty in the wool industry. I’m sure you’ll agree that no product that harms the planet and some of its most gentle inhabitants can be considered ‘eco-conscious’.”
On the Higg Materials Sustainability Index, wool ranks as worse for the environment than polyurethane, nylon, and even acrylic.
PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” and which opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview – notes that multiple investigations by the group and its international affiliates into Australian shearing sheds have revealed that sheep are mutilated and beaten, even for “responsibly sourced” wool on disingenuously named “sustainable” farms.