A Wool – Free Winter
HYDERABAD: Winter is just around the corner which means it’s time pull out those wooly cardigans and fitted jackets which have been languishing underneath the closet. But before that, you would want to spare a thought about the harm it might have caused to an innocent animal.
Sheep shearing was just supposed to be a procedure where their fur would be taken out when they don’t need it anymore. But, human intrusion anywhere, ends up causing harm to animals. It all starts from forcibly impregnating the sheep reminds Pulkit Parikh who has been following a vegan lifestyle since four years. “Sheep are reared just to be able to produce more wool. They are treated as a commodity. Even the DNA of sheep is modified so that it can produce more wool. It’s completely unnatural and can also cause their death.” Separating the mother sheep from lamb is another crime that the shearers commit, adds Pulkit.
Mulesing is one procedure that is followed to shear off wool on the anims. The animal rights organisation PETA strongly opposes mulesing as well. They claim that sheep can be spared maggot infestation through more humane methods, including special diets and spray washing. Towards preventing mulesing, the organisation is running a campaign #WoolFreeWinter. PETA’s investigation have revealed that workers violently punch terrified sheep in the face, stomp and stand on the animals’ heads and necks, throw them, mutilate them with sharp metal clippers, and even beat them in the face with electric clippers and a hammer.
“Animals exist for their own reason and should not be used for human luxury,” echoes Pulkit, a software development engineer II at Microsoft. Over the years, the ideology of turning towards more humane approach when it comes to animals has spread in the city. The number of people pledging to follow a cruelty free life has been increasing steadily. Sharing the statistics, Pulkit says, “We started a group named ‘Hyderabad Vegans’ with 20 people in it in January 2012. Now we have 1,300 people in it.”
Among them is Sowmya Lakshmi who says the cruelty done to sheep is what made her stop using wool. “There is a misconception that sheep don’t need the wool and it’s good that we are helping them get rid of it. But one should realise that animals are gifted with the skin texture suitable for the environment.” Suggesting alternatives to wool Sowmya says that there are faux wool and leather material available in market. Acrylic fiber is another option which is also cheap.
Making a few changes in your lifestyle is all it takes. Chandra Teja, student at Sri Chaitanya, by just making a few lifestyle changes, makes sure that she doesn’t harm animals. “We started a team called Green Warriors in 2013 where we motivate people to avoid using materials that are taken from animals. Along with that we also encourage people to stop using plastic and follow a eco-friendly life.” The Green Warriors also clean roads and plant trees.
For those willing to join hands against animal cruelty within the wool industry, they just have to refuse to buy any product that contains wool. There are plenty of cruelty-free fabrics to choose from, including cotton, cotton flannel, polyester fleece, and synthetic shearling.