A California-based clothing company, Patagonia, announced just this morning that it will no longer purchase wool from the Ovis 21 network in Argentina following disturbing video released by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario released a statement today that PETA's video expose, which showed workers sawing through lambs' necks with knives while kneeling on the conscious animals, causing them to bleed and vomit as they struggled, "shocking" and announced the company had stopped buying wool from Ovis 21 and would not purchase wool from the company until they could be assured of "the humane treatment of animals."
Marcario noted that some of the sheep had been killed for human consumption, but LION and PETA contend that all sheep used for wool are eventually slaughtered when they are no longer profitable for the industry. These animals include those who are punched, thrown, and cut up during shearing for their wool.
"Compassion towards animals is an amazing fashion statement," stated LION Vice President Julie Cappiello, who thanks Patagonia for taking steps in the right direction. "We at LION urge everyone to make compassion part of their wardrobe by opting for more humane alternatives to wool, such as cotton, cotton flannel, polyester fleece, synthetic shearling, and other cruelty-free fibers."
LION members planned on joining PETA outside of Patagonia's New York flagship store as recently as this morning, using our mobile-television set-up to play PETA's exposé on loop, urging Patagonia to cease their purchase orders from Ovis 21, however, Patagonia tapped out while we were still lacing up.
"Under pressure from consumers who have pledged to bury, burn, return and give away anything they have with the Patagonia brand, and never buy again, Patagonia has gone beyond apologizing, and now says it will not buy more wool until it can extract certain assurances from its supplier," says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. "PETA praises the new move, as 'all steps are good steps,' but cautions that as Patagonia delves deeper into the wool supply chain, it will find that cruelty will always be a part of wool production, as we have found in Australia, the U.S., and now Argentina. PETA remains hopeful that with the handwriting on the wall about the suffering of animals used for clothing—from crocodiles to rabbits to minks to sheep—the only one-hundred-percent humane solution is to switch to all-vegan wool."
In response to PETA's investigation, PETA filed a complaint with Argentinean authorities, citing Argentina's federal animal-protection law. PETA's exposé shows that lambs cry out, gasp, and kick even after workers sawed open their throats and snapped their heads backwards, while just feet away, other bleating lambs watched.