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Should we hold sheep captive for wool?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/7/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 925 times Debate No: 66514
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (3)
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It's wrong to keep sheep against their will just so we can have more clothes, as if we don't have enough. Sheep could be out in the wild where they belong just living their lives to the fullest. But no, people just think that they are so special that they can grab sheep up and shave them. Yes, you may debate it doesn't hurt the sheep, and they grow their hair back, but we don't know if it does hurt them because we aren't sheep. How would you like it if someone took you from your home, and never let you leave, and they shaved off all your hair? I mean human hair grows back too, so who cares right? No, wrong just because sheep's are animals and can't defend themselves doesn't mean you should keep them in stuffy places just to use them for clothes. To be honest it is stupid.


Thank you, for making this debate.

I. Beneficial towards the human society
One sheep alone can make 2-30 pounds of wool. For the entire world, thats 2,044,270 tons of wool. (1)Lots of wool right? Now, imagine what will happen if we did not hold sheep captive. We would can expect a huge decline in wool, along with clothes. Which will lead to the poor, having no clothes, and increased prices of clothes. Basically, protesting to hold sheep captive means you will have to roam the public naked.

II. Beneficial for the sheep
When you say "captive" I assume you mean a prison for the poor sheep. That is not the case. There are 84,134 sheep farms in the United States alone. (1) A sheep farm can be 180 acres big, and of coarse, the sheep is fed, nurtured, and taken good care of. (2) The sheep is protected and the sheep is giving us wool. Seems like a good deal for the sheep-Get nurtured, get fed, have a home etc etc. . .And in return the sheep goes through a non painful process of getting a haircut. (Technically)

III. Letting go of the sheep is not a good idea
Domesticated farm animals need humans. When they are held in the farms, they start to rely on humans and if they are let go, they may lose their ability to survive. Such as, the sheep may get eaten by a wolf if let into the wild. Why? Because the sheep relies on humans. In 2011, the average price paid for wool sold in the United States was a record high $1.67 per pound for a total value of $48.9 million. So, letting go of the sheep means a huge loss as far as economy is concerned.

Debate Round No. 1


Ok, I see why you say that it is helping us, but it really isn't. Don't You think we have enough unwanted clothes that just go to waste? There is also clothing that doesn't come from animals that we could use. I see where you're coming from, but I just can't agree. Perhaps I should start with the most obvious myth. Sheep need to be sheared. OK, so sheep do grow wool naturally. This is where the parallel between myth and truth stops. Sheep grow wool as protection for themselves. As a result, they have evolved to grow just enough wool for protection from the cold and to keep cool in the summer. Wild sheep do not need to be sheared. Their time of shedding occurs when it is of benefit to them. In Australia, domestic sheep are shorn in spring, after lambing, before they would naturally shed their winter coats. To get all the shearing done in time, it starts before it is healthy for the sheep. As a result, an estimated one million sheep die from exposure after premature shearing. Not only is the time of shearing unsuitable for the sheep, but the way in which it is done can be quite damaging for the sheep;"...flies feed on shearing wounds or the thin, exposed skin which delays wound healing or causes wounds..."
As the Brambell report comments in the well known look into sheep husbandry: "sheep ... have all the behaviour patterns which have been associated with a highly organised family and clan structure appropriate for ranging over wild and desolate country". Undeniably, sheep in this country are often allowed to range over desolate country. In these instances it is not to the benefit of the sheep, but because there is approximately only one watcher per 2,000 head of sheep. "Every year, in Australia alone, about ten million lambs die before they are more than a few days old. This is due largely to unmanageable numbers of sheep and inadequate stock men". Although this allows the sheep some freedom away from the watchful eye of human intrusion, it also allows physical problems to go untreated and, in some cases, become much worse. This is especially true in southern Australia, where the rainfall is concentrated in a few months of the year and where almost half of all Australian sheep live.
Two major diseases that result from this are fleece rot and foot rot. Fleece rot is undoubtedly as painful for the sheep as it sounds. If the rain penetrates the skin of the sheep through its wool for five straight days, serum leaks from the skin into the fleece. The skin of the sheep becomes discoloured and an odious smell is given off. Flies and bacteria are attracted to the moisture and flystrike often results.
Foot rot causes great distress to the sheep and can actually result in the sheep's refusing to stand on its feet. It erodes the skin and area between the hoof, causing the horn to separate from the underlying soft tissue (just imagine the quick around your finger nails pulling away from your finger, on a large scale). Another result of lack of sheep raisers is the widespread problems of lice. "Surveys of flock prevalence of lice in NSW have provided figures of between 15% and 23%. In spite of efforts to reduce the prevalence ... lice still cause substantial losses to the sheep industry." Although not a deadly disease, discomfort to the sheep must be considerable (imagine how discomfited you would be if forced to live with a permanent case of lice in your hair. Thank you for your point of view, now let's see your response now.



Thanks for your reply con.

"Don't You think we have enough unwanted clothes that just go to waste?"

->What? There are homeless out on the streets, and in poor countries who are in NEED of clothes. . .

"Sheep grow wool as protection for themselves. As a result, they have evolved to grow just enough wool for protection from the cold and to keep cool in the summer."

->Sheep are usually sheared once per year, usually before lambing or in the spring before the onset of warm weather. Sheep with long fleeces are sometimes sheared twice a year. Feeder lambs are sometimes sheared to make them more comfortable during the summer. Shearing prior to lambing results in a cleaner environment for baby lambs. It also keeps the fleeces cleaner. (1)

My opponent's sources are really confusing because the lead directly to the home page. Therefore, my opponent provides no evidence for his/her statement.

Shearing itself does not hurt the sheep. (1) However, it may be due to the farmer's stupidity to cause injury to the sheep in the PROCESS of shearing. Lets look at the effects of shearing.

Shearing is generally carried out in the spring, so sheep don't become overheated in the summer.

A long fleece is likely to become dirty and drag along the ground, increasing the possibility of flystrike.

A bulky fleece decreases the mobility of sheep.

In HOT weather, sheep with too much wool are extremely susceptible to heat stress!!

Shearing keeps stained wool and mud-contaminated wool separate from new fleece growth.


So with a skilled farmer, and the right timing we can perform a cut that is beneficial for both sheep and humans. Yes, shearing causes stress to the sheep, but that is where a skilled farmer gets in.

Lets move on.

Death to humans!:

Honestly, letting the into the wild is very impractical. Domestic animals depend on humans, and with a right farmer and timing, it is beneficial for both of us. Lets not forget that the sheep industry in Australia ALONE is 3.9 BILLION! (3) No, no one is going to let ALL their sheep go due to some 13 year old cutting the wool (that was metaphorical, I am sure there are many great 13 year old people who shear), or bad timing. It will cause a HUGE loss in the economy, decline in GDP along with more people without clothes.

Debate Round No. 2
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Emily10004 1 year ago
Rubikx perhaps we are helping the sheep by shaving them, but are we helping them by keeping them in barns with no freedom?
Posted by Rubikx 1 year ago
We are helping the sheep by shaving them. Go look up Shrek the sheep. He was a ship that wasn't shaved for about 6 years and it got to the point where his wool was getting to big and heavy for him to properly move around. We are helping the sheep by shaving off their wool every year.
Posted by gomergcc 1 year ago
by the question is would that person give me all the things I love as a human like we give sheep all the great sheep stuff. Hey if you want to give me all the great human stuff feel free to kidnap me for my hair.
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