Sometimes you have to marvel at this group’s ingenuity. Seriously now, how do they come up with stuff to go ballistic about? Which PETA member gets credit (if that’s the right word) for pestering Nabisco into changing the package design for its animal crackers so that the animals no longer appeared in cages? Which genius designed the campaign to discourage milk drinking by claiming that milk has long been used as a symbol of white supremacy?
Or to take a more recent example, who decided that the English village of Wool should change its name to Vegan Wool, going so far as to offer a “cruelty-free” woollen blanket to all 2,000 households in the village if they agree to the change?
So what’s PETA’s specific beef (oops — guess you can’t say that)? According to The Daily Mail, which provides a copy of the letter the group sent to members of Wool Parish Council, PETA’s “investigators” found that British “shearers punched sheep in the face, stamped and stood on their heads and necks, and beat them in the face with electric clippers.”
In contrast, “vegan wool is good for the animals and the environment.” The letter describes the process used to make Woocoa, an alternative wool “made from hemp and coconut fibres with enzymes extracted from oyster mushrooms.” (One assumes PETA has confirmed that oyster mushrooms are not harmed by the extraction of that enzyme because if they are that makes the activists not just kooks but hypocrites.)
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If PETA’s complaints about the abuse of sheep in Britain are accurate, that is certainly something worth looking into. But as for changing the village name? It is an update of the Anglo-Saxon word welle, which means “water spring,” and has nothing to do with wool fabric.
But a lunatic can dream.