Photo by Sean Verchick

Sustainable darling Alicia Silverstone’s popular blog The Kind Life is asking for readers to boycott wool this-and every- winter. Supported by a revealing video released by PETA, Silverstone writes about the grim truth behind wool, a painful process that often slices off sheep body parts along with wool. Pushing PETA’s #WoolFreeWinter, Silverstone wants consumers, and retailers, to take the wool-free pledge.

As Silverstone says, most of us imagine sheep shearing as the animals getting a sort of a hair cut. But PETA’s video reveals that greedy shearers are so careless when cutting wool that they often buzz off painful parts of the animal. Wool is paid for by volume, so this pushes the shearers to work as quickly as possibly.

Completely unconcerned for the sheep’s well-being, many shearers were shown roughly shaving the sheep- cutting off ears, teats, tails and testicles along with the wool. The bloody wounds are simply sewn up with regular, unsterilized needle and thread. As if this practice wasn’t enough, many of the videos showed dominant shearers abusing sheep unnecessarily, with kicks and punches while shearing their wool.

Wool may be warm, but it is also cruel, and coated with chemicals during the supply chain process, according to the animal-rights group. Sheep area also a contributing factor to climate change, requiring extensive grasslands to munch on which leads to deforestation, as well as contributing to methane emissions.

Instead of wool, Silverstone suggests organic cotton, linen, recycled polyester fleece or lyocell for a keeping warm sans cruelty.

+ People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals