Will Mayor Gunter OK PETA’s ‘E(n)d Shearin’’ Sheep Statue: The Shape of ‘Ewe’?

For Immediate Release:
December 13, 2023

Sara Groves 202-483-7382

San Angelo, Texas – Today, PETA sent a letter to San Angelo Mayor Brenda Gunter and the San Angelo City Council urging them to reject the Public Art Commission’s misguided denial of PETA’s application to display a statue of a sheep—called “E(n)d Shearin’” after the singer Ed Sheeran—that’s decorated with messages created by renowned New Yorker cartoonist Harry Bliss describing how these gentle animals suffer in the wool industry. Members of the commission that rejected the statue called it “not fit for downtown” and “contrary to San Angelo’s history,” remarks that defy American values of inclusivity and freedom of expression. PETA notes that the city council’s adoption of the commission’s rejection of “E(n)d Shearin’” would violate the group’s First Amendment rights.

Credit: PETA

In the appeal, PETA points out that the city—once known as the “Wool Capital of the World”—already displays 110 sheep statues but not one addressing how sheep are often beaten, mutilated, and violently killed for wool, as shown in PETA undercover videos on every continent except Antarctica.

“Sheep feel pain and fear, love their flock members, and don’t deserve to be cut to ribbons for wool, something that happens in every shearing shed we have visited,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is urging Mayor Gunter and the rest of the city council to ensure that “E(n)d Shearin’” takes its lawful place downtown so that people who see it understand the suffering behind wool sweaters and scarves and choose to wear vegan. Shearing isn’t just a haircut —it’s often a scary, painful procedure.”

PETA investigations have uncovered cruelty to sheep at over 100 wool operations worldwide—even at “responsible” farms, where shearers have been seen punching, stomping, kicking, and throwing around sheep. Shearers are often paid by volume, incentivizing them to work quickly, and sheep are often left bloodied and in pain as a result. The gaping wounds caused by careless shearers are then crudely stitched up with a needle and thread—without painkillers. Fortunately, most top retailers offer clothing made of natural eco- and animal-friendly vegan fabrics, including organic cotton, linen, Tencel, and modal.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

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