The National Trust is under pressure to opt for vegan, eco-friendly staff uniforms.
The organization recently announced that it would be replacing the synthetic fleeces worn by 10,000 members of its staff out of concern for the environment, after the National Sheep Association requested it ditch polyester fleeces in favor of wool.
Now animal rights charity PETA has contacted its Director-General, Hilary McGrady, to request that replacement garments are made from eco-friendly natural or recycled-synthetic fabrics – rather than sheep's wool or other animal-derived materials.
The request follows 11 exposés released by PETA of 99 sheep-shearing facilities on four continents, including in the UK. PETA says 'every time, systemic abuse was found'.
"Sheep are beaten and mutilated in shearing sheds for an industry that erodes our soil, poisons our waterways, and pollutes our air," PETA Director, Elisa Allen, said in a statement sent to Plant Based News. "
PETA urges the National Trust to protect the Earth and the animals who live on it by outfitting its workers in vegan uniforms made from recycled-synthetic materials or sustainable natural fibers such as organic cotton, linen, or Tencel."
The organization adds: "Wool production is notoriously cruel to sheep – and that clothing-industry reports consistently identify it as more polluting than the production of acrylic, polyester, spandex, and rayon fibers.
"Manure generated by farmed animals has significantly contributed to the increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases, large-scale grazing has led to vegetation change and soil erosion, and faecal matter and sheep 'dip' (a toxic chemical used to rid sheep of parasites) pollute local waterways."
Hilary McGrady had not publically responded to PETA's request at the time of publication.