Many people consider fur coats ethically questionable and some might even think twice before buying a leather jacket. But as far as fabric options go, we all consider wool benign. Sure, we're depriving sheep of their snuggly fluff, but only temporarily. And sheering doesn't hurt the animal much more than a hair cut would hurt a human, right?
As part of its #WoolFreeWinter campaign, PETA has released two cheeky videos featuring wool-clad, crotch-scratching models urging you to "Scratch Wool From Your Shopping List." As is its wont, PETA used sexy human flesh to get attention, and to lure people to the PETA website, where things take a turn for the nauseating. The organization has posted footage of a sheep shearing operation in Australia, the country where much of the world's wool is produced, showing the animals being beaten, mutilated and thrown around in a violent, disturbing fashion. (Videos are here. Be warned—they are awful.) This crotch ad project has drawn the requisite manufactured controversy—the ad showing the male model was reportedly to appear on a digital billboard in Times Square, but Neutron Media, which leased the ad space, deemed the subtle flash of male pubic hair too suggestive to run. Naturally, the ad featuring the female model is A-OK and will run as planned.
Both spots, directed by Steve Willis, are featured on the PETA website along with a social campaign. You can write to your favorite fashion magazine to stop promoting the material or to text SHEEP to 73822 to tell Ralph Lauren to stop selling wool garments. And if you actually watch the sheep sheering video, you might just get rid of your wool sweaters and blankets.