Sheepskin rugs may be ethical or not depending on where you get them. A sheepskin is obtained from a slaughtered sheep. Ethical providers get them from animals that were already slaughtered for meat. Sheepskin rugs are, therefore, a by-product of the meat industry. Before tanning, they would have no value. Only about 0.045% of sheepskins are tanned. Most are treated as waste.
In the United Kingdom, about 15 million sheepskins go to waste every year. They are either burned or buried. Unlike in the past when sheep were primarily kept for wool, they are now kept for meat. Buying sheepskin rugs does not help sheep in any way but it doesn’t pose a threat to them either.
Do Sheep Die for Sheepskins?
No, they don’t. Even though sheepskin comes from slaughtered sheep, they are slaughtered for a different reason. Even though sheepskins have no effect on the lives of sheep, …