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Sheep are used in animal agriculture for their meat, milk, and wool. In all three of these industries, gentle sheep suffer inhumane treatment such as tail docking, mulesing, harsh handling, and the crowded terrifying conditions of live export. In the U.S. 2.2 million sheep are killed for their meat each year. Sheep raised for meat only live a fraction of their natural lifespan and are most often killed between 6-8 months old.

While wild sheep grow only enough wool to keep themselves warm in extreme temperatures, sheep used in the wool industry have been selectively bred to continue growing wool so that they have to be sheared. Shearers are typically paid by volume of wool rather than by the hour, which encourages fast work and careless handling which leads to frequent injury. Sheep whose wool production has naturally declined with age, are sent to slaughter, many times in other countries, so that they have to be shipped live for journeys up to three weeks.

Sheep are gentle animals who find comfort in their flock and experience fear when they’re separated from their friends and family. You can show compassion for these sensitive animals by choosing vegan foods and textiles.



– Sheep wag their tails like dogs when they’re happy being pet and often show affection by nuzzling with their head.

– Sheep have long, horizontal pupils which allow them to see almost 360 degrees around, meaning that they don’t have to turn their head to know someone is sneaking up on them.

– Sheep have complex inner lives and are able to experience emotions such as fear, anger, rage, despair, boredom, disgust, and happiness. They build friendships, stick up for one another in a fight, and feel sad when a loved one dies. Source.

– Sheep can recognize emotions from facial expressions and prefer a smile to a frown.


Sheep are loyal, sensitive, and sweet. With the proper environment and care, they can make wonderful additions to your family. Click here for more information about how to keep your sheep happy and healthy.


Find fun animal-themed activities, as well as educational and compassionate lesson plans for kids and teachers on our kids page!