Putting on clothes is something you do every day. No matter how much time and effort you put into picking out the perfect shirt, jacket, belt, bag, or shoes to complete an outfit, you still might not have stopped to think about where those clothes and accessories really came from—or WHO they came from.
Every single piece of clothing and every accessory made of wool, leather, down, fur, or angora has a story and a face—the face of a sheep, cow, dog, bird, fox, rabbit, or other animal who was abused, neglected, and exploited.
So … who are YOU wearing?
About 25 percent of the world’s wool—including that used in UGGs—comes from Australia. And UGGs aren’t just ugly—they’re made from the skin of abused and terrified sheep.
The ears of young lambs who are abused for wool are often notched, their tails are chopped off, and the males are castrated—all usually without anesthetics or pain relief. In addition, 90 percent of merino wool comes from Australia. Next time you’re thinking about buying that wool sweater, think about this: It’s considered “normal” in the Australian wool industry for approximately 3 million young lambs to die every spring.
Wool shearers are paid by volume, not by the hour, which often leads shearers to kick and punch frightened sheep in order to get them to “cooperate.” During shearing, sheep can sustain anything from nicks to complete amputations of their udders, ears, penises, and other body parts. When sheep are no longer wanted, they’re generally auctioned off and sent to slaughter.
“I have seen shearers punch sheep with their shears or their fists until the sheep’s nose bled. I have seen sheep with half their faces shorn off.”
Want to do more? Read more about lambs and sheep used for wool and learn how you can be wool-free!
The global leather industry is responsible for torturing and murdering countless animals, including dogs (Yes, DOGS). Most of the leather in the U.S. comes from India and China. In India, cows are marched hundreds of miles in the heat without food or water in order to circumvent slaughter laws. Men break their tails or rub chili peppers and tobacco into their eyes in order to force them to get back up after they collapse. In the slaughterhouse, their throats are cut and they’re skinned, often while they’re still alive—all this just to make a shoe or a belt.
Hundreds of thousands of dog skins are also traded in Europe each year, and an estimated 2 million dogs are killed in China to meet the demand for leather. Many of the items are often deliberately mislabeled or unlabeled, so when you buy them—even in the U.S.—you may unknowingly be purchasing leather from a dog.
Learn more about the leather industry and how to read clothing labels and symbols to make leather-free shopping easy-peasy.
Down is the soft feathers on birds that helps keep them warm. It is commonly used by companies in items like pillows, jackets, and comforters, directly supporting the suffering of thousands of terrified ducks and geese each year.
Down may come from birds who are killed for meat and foie gras (fatty liver), or it may come from “live-plucked” ducks and geese. At the slaughterhouse, many of these birds are improperly stunned, which means they’re still conscious as their throats are cut and they’re dumped into scalding-hot water to be defeathered.
“Live-plucked” feathers are ripped out of birds while they’re still alive. Workers are paid by the volume, so they work as quickly as possible—they may pull the feathers out of hundreds of geese in just a few hours! This often leads to rough, careless handling and injuries. In a PETA eyewitness investigation, workers were recorded pulling handfuls of feathers from geese so violently that the birds’ skin ripped open, leaving them with gaping wounds that the workers crudely sewed up without using any anesthetics.
Find out if there is down hiding in your home, and learn how easy it is to find cruelty-free alternatives.
Every year, millions of foxes, rabbits, minks, chinchillas, and other animals are killed for their fur. Eighty-five percent of these animals live (if you want to call it “living”) on fur farms, where they’re crammed into cages with other animals—some sick, some dying, and all terrified.
No federal laws protect animals on fur factory farms, and killing methods are gruesome. Because fur farmers care only about making money and preserving the quality of the fur, animals might be anally or vaginally electrocuted, gassed with engine exhaust, or poisoned with strychnine. Their necks may also be broken. These methods keep the animals’ pelts intact but result in extreme suffering, and sometimes they aren’t effective, which means that some animals wake up while they are being skinned.
Learn more about fur and how you can help end this cruelty.
Most people know that fur is hideous, and they wouldn’t be caught dead wearing a dead animal. But what about angora? Angora wool comes from rabbits whose fur is ripped out of their sensitive skin while they scream in fear and pain.
About 90 percent of angora comes from China, where there are no laws protecting these rabbits. While this footage may make you sick and while it may seem unimaginable that this cruelty can really be happening, every time people buy a scarf, sweater, hat, or other item made of angora, they’re directly supporting the abuse and exploitation of these animals.