Sheep are gentle individuals who, like humans, want to live and feel joy, pain, fear, and loneliness. Yet they’re treated as mere wool-producing machines.
Although plenty of durable, stylish, and warm vegan materials are already available, PETA US is setting out to save sheep by encouraging the development of a vegan wool that is visually, texturally, and functionally akin to or better than sheep’s wool. The group is offering a US$1 million award (approximately AU$1.5 million) to the first entrant who creates such a material and has it adopted and sold by a major clothing brand. This opportunity is open to applicants worldwide.
The Wool Industry Harms Sheep and the Environment
Disturbing eyewitness video footage gathered in 14 PETA exposés of 117 wool operations on four continents reveals workers in the global wool industry beating, stamping on, kicking, mutilating, and throwing terrified sheep. This abuse is knitted into the wool coats, hats, socks, and other garments sold in stores.
Sheep farming also has detrimental effects on surrounding ecosystems. As ruminant animals, sheep are second only to cows in their emissions of the greenhouse gas methane. The huge flocks of sheep bred by the wool industry also produce enormous amounts of manure, which pollutes the water, land, and air. Studies have shown that sheep “dip”, a toxic cocktail of chemicals used to rid sheep of external parasites, can poison nearby waterways and kill fish.
Vegan Wool Challenge Details
To enter, read the complete challenge rules and then complete the form on the PETA US website. The form must be submitted online, and vegan wool samples must be posted to PETA, 501 Front Street, Norfolk, VA 23510, USA by 28 July 2023 in order to be considered.