Award-Winning Video Explores the Dark Side of the Fashion Industry
Made in collaboration with creative agency House 337, production company Blinkink, and director Will Wightman, this educational short is reminiscent of the TV shows we watched as children – but as the animal puppets in this pastoral picture sing the truth about how they’re used to make clothing, it’s rather disturbing.
In June 2023 this video won a Silver Film Lions Award at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity!
Harry Potter actor, comedian, and vegan Jessie Cave portrays a merry visitor anticipating a typically cheerful sing-along when she first arrives at Red River Farm.
But the animals soon burst Cave’s bubble as they start revealing their human-inflicted wounds and describing in unflinching detail the abuse they endure in the name of fashion.
Sheepy shares that she’s roughly handled by shearers who cut into her skin. Goosey describes how workers stand on his neck and wings and tear out his feathers. Cowey complains of being branded and abused and watching workers skin his friends in plain view. And Snakey sadly sings about how she’s inflated with compressed air before workers skin her and toss her aside, leaving her to die slowly.
Our once-jovial host becomes thoroughly freaked out by the end of song, as she finds herself surrounded by dead “animals” who were killed for no good reason.
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Animal Abuse Is Never a Good Look
Real-Life Abuse Behind Sheepy’s Story
No matter what “standards” are advertised on the label or where they originate, wool items are always made from suffering. Investigators from PETA entities have exposed extreme abuse at 117 wool-industry operations on four continents, including in the UK. Workers hit, kicked, and stamped on sheep’s heads; beat them with clippers or hammers; stood on their necks; dragged them; and punched them in the face. It’s common for workers to crudely stitch up sheep’s deep, bloody wounds with a needle and thread, without pain relief.
Geese Are Plucked Alive for Down
PETA investigations into the down industry revealed that many geese and ducks are plucked alive so that their down can be torn out multiple times. The birds shriek in pain and terror as they’re restrained, sometimes with a human’s entire bodyweight pressing on their delicate necks as workers rip feathers out of their sensitive skin by the fistful.
Animals Like Cowey Are Mutilated and Skinned for Leather
Every year, the global leather industry kills more than 1 billion animals, including cows and calves, horses, lambs, goats, and pigs – and even dogs and cats. Many are exported to different countries on filthy, crowded ships for weeks-long voyages void of climate control and sufficient food and water. Cows used for their skin are routinely beaten and electroshocked. They’re often castrated, tail-docked, dehorned, and branded with red-hot irons without any painkillers. It’s not uncommon for these animals to be hacked apart and skinned while they’re still alive.
Snakey’s Friends Are Pumped With Air for Exotic Skins
Workers slaughter over 400,000 pythons every year in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam and skin them for fashion accessories. A PETA Asia investigation revealed that thousands of snakes in Vietnam are confined to dirty wire cages so small they can’t stretch out to their full length. The footage shows that workers cut a hole in the snakes’ bodies and pump them with compressed air – a killing method considered “inhumane” and “unacceptable” by international standards. PETA Asia’s footage shows a snake’s tail moving during the lethal inflation, indicating that the pythons may still be alive as workers tear off their skin and disembowel them.
Animals Are Not Shoes, Belts, Jumpers, Bags, or Coats
This short video reminds viewers that animals are not fabrics or materials – they’re sensitive, feeling beings who want to live. Sheep are social animals who often form close friendships with others in their herds. Cows are known to have best friends with whom they empathise. Geese are loyal, protective birds who mate for life and refuse to leave the side of a sick or injured partner. Snakes are shy, only striking to eat or defend themselves when necessary.
Wearing Leather Wreaks Havoc on the Environment
According to the Higg Materials Sustainability Index, leather made from cows’ skin contributes far more to water pollution, water depletion, and greenhouse gas emissions than any synthetic or plant-based leather. And the leather tanning process is toxic: an estimated 90% of Bangladeshi workers will die before the age of 50 because of the hazardous production of leather.
Wear Something Else
We don’t need to wear leather, wool, down, snakeskin, cashmere, mohair, alpaca, fur, or anything else that comes from animals in order to dress up or stay warm. Animals do need their skin, hair, wool, fur, and feathers to live. There are wonderful vegan versions of every animal-derived “material” you can imagine. They come in a range of prices to suit any budget, look great, and are far more sustainable. Check the tags before you buy clothing and accessories, and if a pair of shoes, jacket, or bag contains bits of animal, leave it on the shelf.