Violence, Illustrated. Florence the Lamb Has an Important Message for You
What do you get when you combine Dutch cartoonist Toon van Driel with a collective of entrepreneurs and business leaders on a mission to build a plant-based world? An animated online film series that depicts the lives of animals escaping their fate of being killed for food.
Specially made for PETA, this episode of the LIVEKINDLY Collective’s Kind Heroes series features one of the Kind Heroes, Florence the Lamb, who is asking people to turn their attention to what’s in their wardrobe. She wants people to understand what life is like for sheep who are farmed for their hair.
Although cute, beautifully drawn, and voiced in a whimsical rhyme, sadly, the theme of the video is anything but pleasant.
Florence’s mission is simple: to encourage shoppers to shun wool jumpers and scarves this winter in favour of animal-friendly vegan fashion.
How Wool Is Stolen
There is a mistaken belief that wool jumpers and scarfs come from giving sheep a “hair cut”. that the shearing process is usually a violent and terrifying experience for sheep. Shearers are paid by volume, not by the hour, which encourages fast, rough handling that leaves gaping wounds on the animals’ bodies.
In fact, the misery of sheep abused in the wool industry begins when they are just babies. When lambs are just a few weeks old, holes are punched through their ears and their tails are cut off. Farmers use knives, hot irons, or tight clamps to sever parts of the animals’ bodies, often without painkillers.
Workers castrate male lambs by either making an incision in their scrotums and cutting their testicles out or using a rubber ring to cut off the blood supply – one of the most painful methods possible.
Once their wool production declines, millions of sheep are exported on extremely crowded, filthy ships to face a terrifying slaughter abroad. These live-export voyages often last weeks, during which many sheep perish. The survivors are typically dragged from the ships and thrown into the backs of lorries and cars. Most animals’ throats will be cut while they’re still conscious.
Weather Hurts Without Their Wool
In the animation, Florence feels really cold after her wool is stolen. The main reason that humans steal wool from sheep is for the warmth that it can provide. But of course, that’s exactly why the sheep need it, too! When we take their coats away, we leave them without their defence against the elements.
In fact, it has been documented that sheep have died from exposure both to the sun and extreme cold. Sheep are shorn in the spring, just before some breeds would naturally shed their winter coats. However, many are shorn prematurely, leaving them exposed to harsh weather conditions without any protection from the cold. To make sure that they always have enough sheep to make a profit, farmers simply breed them to bear more lambs in order to offset the deaths.
Don’t Buy Wool This Winter, Buy Vegan Knitwear
Wool hurts sheep – check out these 14 videos to see it for yourself. Cruelty to sheep has been documented at over 100 facilities across four continents. No matter what label says, wool is the product of violence and fear. Why would anyone want to wear that as a jumper?
You don’t have to! From hemp to linen, bamboo to cotton, there is something that can replace wool on every level. Check out our round-up of fashion that Florence would leap for!