If you’re a kid, this post is for you! Today we’re going to talk about why wool is baaaaaaad. [tweet this] (That was me trying to type a sheep's noise…you'll have to watch the video to hear the sheep do it right!) I’m so excited to finally be making another video post just for you. So far in my videos for kids we’ve talked about why we don’t drink milk, or eat meat or eggs, or honey, how you can be a superhero for the planet, the people and the animals by being vegan, and even heard from real vegan kids! You can watch all of those videos later if you want linked right here and below!
Now just like in my other videos I promise that I’m not going to show you anything scary, that I’ll tell you the truth no matter what and that I won’t talk down to you, cause you’re pretty smart!
If you don’t already know, wool is the name we use for the hair of sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, camels, rabbits, and oxen. But usually when people talk about wool, they mean sheep’s wool, and that’s what we’re gong to talk about today.
People use wool to make all kinds of things from socks to hats to coats to furniture and mattresses to rugs to those itchy sweaters you get as presents…you know the ones.
Now if you’ve ever gotten a haircut, you know it doesn’t hurt, though it may make you look funny. So what’s the problem with wool? Isn’t it just like giving sheep a haircut?
Well there are several reasons that vegans don’t wear wool.[tweet this] If you don’t know already, being vegan means you don’t eat animals or anything that comes out of them like milk, eggs, cheese or honey or wear anything from their bodies, like wool!
Some of what we’re going to talk about today is sad and kinda hard to hear, but I promise to be right here with you all the way through it. Sheep who are raised for wool often have holes punched in their ears for tags and their tails docked, which means cut off, and they’re not given any pain medicine. I don’t have to tell you how much that would hurt!
Humans have bred sheep so that they produce a crazy amount of wool. Way more than they do naturally. It’s like if your hair grew extra fast! They also make the sheep have wrinkled skin so there’s more space for more wool to grow. In nature, sheep with grow just the right amount of wool. And when it gets warm, they’ll shed it just like you take off your coat when you’re hot.
But the sheep in the wool industry grow too much wool and they can get way too hot. When it’s time to take their wool, which is called shearing, workers often go too fast and end up cutting the sheep. You see the faster they go the more money they make, and with the really thick wool and wrinkly skins, it’s easy to have an accident. The sheep again aren’t given any pain medicine while they’re stitched up to close the cuts.
Because the sheep are scared and don’t like being sheared – and who can blame them! – they often struggle to get away. And workers will stand on them or punch and kick them to keep them still. That’s a pretty horrible thing to go through for a sweater, don’t you think?
Sometimes sheep have their wool taken while it’s still cold outside, so they’re left in freezing weather without their coat. Sadly, a lot of sheep die from being too cold.
One of the worst parts of the wool industry is something called mulesing. It’s a pretty weird-sounding word and it means something pretty awful. Because these sheep have so much wool, their backsides can get really dirty when they go to the bathroom. I mean can you imagine if you had a really furry bottom? It would get pretty gross back there. And flies love gross stuff, so they get into the dirty wool and lay eggs. This is really bad for the sheep and they can get infections, called flystrike.
So, what wool farmers will do is mulesing, which means, and this is the awful part, that they cut the sheep’s skin off around their bottom. The worst part is they still don’t give them any pain medicine. I’m sure you can imagine that this hurts really, really bad. And the most ridiculous part is that some sheep get will die from infections they get from what the farmers are doing to prevent infections from the flies. And the flies wouldn’t be there if humans didn’t make the sheep have too much wool.
I’m sure you’re starting to see what’s wrong with this picture, right?
Probably one of the saddest parts of wool is that eventually the sheep stop making as much wool. So the farmers send them off on trucks or even on ships for long journeys. They can get sick while travelling because there are so many of them together. They travel through hot and cold weather without any protection, sometimes for weeks before they arrive. Not all of the sheep make it alive.
For those that do, the end is not any better. They are killed for humans to eat as a kind of meat that we call mutton. Baby sheep, who are only 2 months to one year old, are also killed for a meat that’s simply called lamb.
Some of the places wool sheep go to be killed don’t put them to sleep first. It’s a very sad very painful and very scary end to a very sad, very painful and very scary life.
But here’s the good news. You don’t have to wear wool or eat mutton or lamb! There are so many kinds of fabrics we can make from plants and man-made materials, like organic cotton, linen, bamboo, tencel, modal, hemp, recycled polyester, banana tree fiber, flax, recycled plastic, and so many more! I have a list on the blog post for this video, which you can find linked down below. I also tell you there which wool alternatives are better for the environment.
When you choose not to wear wool, you save sheep from going through all of the horrible things we talked about. [tweet this] And that’s pretty amazing. Leaving animals alone to keep their hair, their fur, their skin and their lives is such a powerful choice. And it’s one you get to make. Just think of how thankful the animals will be!
Before I go I want to share a very special story with you. My friends at Toronto Pig Save did an amazing thing. They saved the life of this one little lamb. She is 2 months old and was going to be one of the babies killed for humans to eat like we talked about. But this one little lamb was rescued and now gets to run and jump and play like all little lambs should. Her name is Ooby in memory of my bulldog Ooby who recently passed away. And today, the day this video is being posted, is Ooby the bulldog’s birthday. And now Ooby the sheep has a brand new life and will be forever safe and loved. That’s the power of your choice to be vegan. You can be a hero for the animals just by choosing not to eat or wear anything that comes from their bodies. And that’s pretty amazing. [tweet this]
I hope this video was helpful. Let me know what you thought of the video in the comments and if you have other things you’d like me to cover, feel free to tell me!
If you liked this video, do give it a thumbs up and share it around to help other kids learn the truth! [you can use this meme, the share buttons below, and the tweet links throughout this post!]
If you’re new here, I'd love to have you as a subscriber. I put out awesome vegan content every Monday, Wednesday, and some Fridays!
Now go live vegan, leave the wool to the sheep, and I’ll see you soon!
All Of My Videos for Kids!
Why We Don't Drink Milk
5 Reasons We Don't Eat Meat
Why Eggs Are Gross
Why We Don't Eat Honey (Bee Barf!)
How KIDS Can Save the World!
My Original Video On Wool (has some scary parts but I tell you when)
Wool Alternatives (What to Wear Instead!):
Some wool alternatives can be be for the environment. So if you want to save the sheep and the world, great options are things like bamboo, banana fiber, hemp, flax, organic cotton (big difference from conventional cotton), tencel (sounds weird!), modal (another weird one), rPET (stands for recycled polyethylene terephthalate!) sometimes called “polar fleece” or “polar wool,” and recycled plastic (for real!).
➤This article by Care2 talks about 7 earth-friendly alternatives even more!
➤And this article does too but with 2 different alternatives to boot!
➤You can find vegan coats and sweaters at many non-vegan companies. Just be careful with “fleece” – make sure it's “synthetic” or “polyester” or “polar fleece.” These are vegan alternatives! Try sites like