People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) have hit headlines after suggesting the village of Wool in Dorset should be renamed, ‘Vegan Wool’.
The animal rights group wrote a letter to the parish council advising that the name change would help to “promote kindness to sheep”.
The letter from PETA director, Elisa Allen, reads: “I’m writing on behalf of PETA with a suggestion that would put Wool in the spotlight and promote kindness to sheep: renaming the village ‘Vegan Wool’.
“Why make this animal-friendly update? Unlike wool that is stolen from sheep, vegan wool is good for animals and the environment. Sheep’s wool, on the other hand, has been shown to be a product of extreme cruelty.
“A recently released PETA Asia eyewitness investigation of the British wool industry revealed that shearers punched sheep in the face, stamped and stood on their heads and necks, and beat and jabbed them in the face with electric clippers.
“Fast, rough shearing left sheep with large, bloody wounds that shearers crudely stitched up using a needle and thread – and no pain relief.
“Several sheep even died during shearing from possible shock – or what one farmer called a ‘heart attack’. With a simple name change, your village can take a stand against this cruelty and remind everyone that it’s easy to stay warm and be warmhearted to sheep by choosing vegan wool and other animal-free materials.”
As a further incentive, PETA has also offered to provide each of the 2,000 homes a “cosy, cruelty-free blanket” if the parish council changes the village’s 1,000-year-old moniker.
But it doesn’t look as though Wool’s residents will be accepting the gesture, as the letter sparked outrage on Facebook.
The Wool Parish Council shared a snap of the letter on the social media platform alongside the caption: “We received this letter today about changing the name of Wool to Vegan Wool and would like your comments to take to the next Parish Council meeting or feel free to email us.”
One Facebook user took to the post to comment, “Dear PETA, the name Wool is derived from the Anglo-Saxon ‘Welle’ after the springs. It might be an idea to do your research before you tell places to change their names for absolutely no reason at all. Love, Wool.”
Another echoed this statement, as they wrote: “The name Wool has nothing to do with sheep. It comes from the Saxon word for spring.”
Others were simply left amused by the letter joking that it isn’t April 1st yet.
“The name Wool should remain as it is, the idea of renaming the village is utterly ridiculous. The most idiotic idea I have come across in a long time,” another commented.
On the controversial letter, PETA’s director Elisa Allen told Yahoo UK: “When PETA released video footage showing workers in the British wool industry stamping and standing on sheep’s heads, punching the animals in the face and hitting them in the face with electric clippers – many news outlets failed to cover the appalling footage. This is a creative and fun way to reach the public with the facts.”
“We’re offering non-wool blankets to the townspeople in order to prevent gentle, sensitive sheep from suffering because sheep’s wool – just like foxes’ fur – is not a ‘fabric’ and it doesn’t belong to human beings. It belongs to the sheep who were born in it and need it but were violently robbed of it.”
She concluded, “We hope that our suggestion that the town change its name to ‘Vegan Wool’ will help people see that with so many warm, cruelty-free fabrics – including cotton, bamboo, hemp, and soya-bean fibre – readily available, it’s easier than ever to ditch wool and other animal-derived materials.”
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