UPDATE: She’s 8 metres tall, and she’s encouraging millions of shoppers to cross wool off their shopping lists! PETA’s ad with Stefania Ferrario is turning heads in the middle of New York’s Garment District.
14, JULY 2021:
Australian model Stefania Ferrario has stripped in the winter weather for a striking new PETA ad urging consumers to “leave wool behind”!
Ferrario, who has more than 1.1 million followers on Instagram, has worked for some of the biggest names in fashion, including Dita Von Teese (as the face of the lingerie line), Myer, Target, Sportsgirl, Bras N Things, and Berlei.
She recently told her agency, Bella Management, to add a clause to her contract stating that she won’t wear any animal-derived materials in advertisements.
“I used to only think of fur as being bad in fashion, but once you learn the truth you have a moral duty to do better,” she says.
What’s Wrong With Wool?
In Australia’s wool industry, huge chunks of skin and flesh are cut off the backsides of gentle, docile sheep during the barbaric practice of “mulesing”.
This is a crude way to create smooth skin around the sheep’s backside and manage flystrike – a problem caused by the selective breeding of sheep to have wrinkly skin and therefore more wool. The wrinkles collect moisture, especially under the tail, and flies lay eggs in the folds of the skin, causing maggots to hatch.
Around 70% of merino lambs in Australia are still mulesed, sometimes without pain relief. Continuing to breed merino sheep only to force them to endure this painful procedure is extremely cruel and shows that for sheep farmers, these animals are nothing more than dollar signs.
Sheep are gentle prey animals who are petrified of being held down, yet many endure vicious beatings and sustain bloody wounds and broken legs when they’re shorn.
“[W]orkers are being paid for the volume of wool they’re producing, so when they’re shearing the sheep, they’re going really fast,” Ferrario says. “The sheep can end up having horrific gashes, bleeding, and then they’ll sew the sheep up without any anaesthetic.”
PETA and our international affiliates have documented abuse in dozens of shearing sheds all over Australia. Video footage shows sheep being punched in the face with metal clippers and shearers standing or kneeling on their necks, slamming them to the ground, and kicking them down chutes.
It’s physically demanding work – with unwilling participants – that always needs to be done in a hurry. It’s a recipe for cruelty to animals.
Ewe Can Do Better!
If you, like Ferrario, don’t want to hurt sheep, please never buy wool. And you’ll be helping the environment, too! Despite being marketed as sustainable, wool is actually ranked on the Higg Materials Sustainability Index as worse for the environment than polyurethane, nylon, and even acrylic.
There are so many animal-free, environmentally friendly fabrics available now that there’s no excuse for continuing to inflict so much pain on sensitive animals.