While I've been a vegetarian for along time, and determined early on, that I wanted to honor the greatness of all beings, including animals, reading about the journey of animals who are raised for human consumption, and human attire, left me disheartened that humanity continuously disregarded animals value.
Farm Sanctuary, is an organization dedicated to changing the way society views and treats farm animals, & an organization who stands up to aid against the cruel actions taken against farm animals.
Farm Sanctuary found that hides can sell for nearly 90 cents a pound, while animal farm slaughterhouses typically buy cattle for 60 cents a pound, or less. Sometimes "downed" cattle (animals too sick or injured to walk), are kept alive, suffering without water, food or basic care, because their hides can still be sold, even if a sick animal is deemed unfit for human consumption.
Most downed cattle are victims of the dairy industry, as dairy cows are not branded like the hides of beef cattle, and so they are more valuable as leather. Baby calves, lambs, and other animals are purposely slaughtered at a young age to produce expensive leather products. At just a few days of age, they are thrown onto transport trucks and dragged to the killing floor, where their throats are cut, often while they are still conscious, since young animals are difficult to stun.
Farm Sanctuary, found that angora rabbits are kept in cramped cages for their entire eight-year life span. Males only generate 75% of the wool that females produce, and most are killed at birth since they are not as "profitable". Painful bone abnormalities, and other health problems become rampant from severe confinement.
It saddened me, again, thatFarm Sanctuary, found that goats were raised in dirty, overcrowded conditions. They were shorn months before their natural shedding, and often were exposed to cold temperatures, illness and death. Often ear-notched and de-horned, males are often castrated without anesthesia and sold for meat after their first fiber harvest.
DOWN AND FEATHERS
Farm Sanctuary, stated that Down, is taken from the very soft feathers from the breasts of geese and ducks, is plucked from "live" animals. The geese and ducks are forced to live in large warehouses, and 2-3 times a year endure this painful de-feathering experience. After this torturous life, the geese and ducks are sent to slaughter.
Farm Sanctuary informs people that silk comes from the caterpillars of the silk moth, which protect themselves by spinning silk strands to form a cocoon. Each worm may produce up to a mile of continuous thread. Sadly, to retain an unbroken silk thread, the moth is boiled, baked or steamed alive before it is ready to emerge.
Farm Sanctuary also informs about the fact that goats are used for their hair, called mohair. Intolerably sensitive to cold and parasites, the goats suffer from chills after their fleece is removed. There is also stringent practices on which goats fleece will be selected, or eliminated. Like all these goats, even angora goats are eventually sold for slaughter.
WOOL AND FELT
Farm Sanctuary notes that sheep have been purposely bred to produce excessive wool, and therby are often susceptible to fly infestations, skin sores, and wool parasites because of abnormal amounts of wool. During shearing, the animals are roughly grabbed and sheared as quickly as possible. Injuries are common, and shearers frequently cut into the flesh of the terrified sheep. Lambs also suffer from painful mutilations, such as tail docking and castration, without anesthesia.
When the sheep are no longer producing lambs for meat or prime wool, they are transported to slaughterhouse in overcrowded trucks. Many sheep are left to suffer and die slowly from neglect (labeled "downers").
Australia, the largest wool producer, sends it's "spent" sheep on a long and torturous journey by ship to the Middle East to be sold and ritually slaughtered for food. Felt, compressed wool, or wool and fur fibers, is a product of the cruel wool industry.