After seeing shocking footage of sheep being abused in Australian shearing sheds, actor and animal advocate Joaquin Phoenix pledged not to wear wool again.
Now, he stars in a new PETA ad proclaiming, “Leave Wool out of Your Wardrobe”.
The star wears a vegan wool suit by Brave GentleMan and poses alongside rescued sheep.
“When PETA [US] sent me that video of this undercover investigation of what happened in these shearing farms, that was really eye-opening”, Joaquin explains in an exclusive video interview with PETA US. “[I]t’s impossible to do that in a humane way. And so, it seems that the only option is to not use wool. That’s become abundantly clear.”
The ad comes just days after a landmark case in which – for the first time in Australian history – a shearer pleaded guilty to cruelty to animals. The four counts of the charge against the South Australian man followed the release of a PETA US exposé which revealed that scared sheep were punched in the face, jabbed with electric clippers, and stamped on.
Five other workers have also been charged and are scheduled to appear in court in 2017.
Shearers are often paid by volume, not by the hour, which encourages fast, violent work that can lead to gaping wounds on sheep’s bodies. The wounds are then stitched closed – without giving the animals any painkillers.