The Vegan Woman Answers: Some Thoughts on Cows and Wool

Welcome to our very first column of Ask The Vegan Woman!

This is your space to ask any question and help answer/ comment on questions that are being asked by our community members and guests.

Our first question was posted on our Facebook page about a month ago. Simon was asking: 

Please answer this question for me, as no vegan that I know has been able to yet. I am genuinely curious: If you all get your way and we stop eating cows, stop wearing their leather and stop drinking their milk, what becomes of cows? No farmer would keep them any more as they are now useless to him, keeping them as household pets would be just plain ridiculous and with so many millions of them currently alive in the world it would be an ecological disaster just to simply release them to their own devices – not to mention a road hazzard. So what would become of them? I fear that the whole ‘save the cows’ thing could quite easily lead to their extinction. Also, if we’re not allowed to support dairy farms that keep them alive, cows aside are we still allowed to wear sheep’s wool, or is that theft too?

Here is my answer to Simon, feel free to add more info in the comment section bellow!

Hi Simon,
First of all thank you for the great questions and your genuine interest and care about these topics. There are indeed answers to all the questions you have raised:

1. If everybody stops eating meat, drinking milk and using leather at the same time – what will happen to the cows?

In order to understand the answer to this question we need to look at the model of consumption. In order for a product to exist, there needs to be a demand for it. At the moment we are breeding cows in an un-natural rate for consumption proposes. We all know that the whole world is not going to go vegan at once, right? So as the world gradually becomes vegan, the demand for these products will gradually decline, and the breeding of cows will also decline due to the lack of demand. You can read more about this in our article 10 Reasons You Should NOT Go Vegan.

2. Will this process not lead to the extinction of cows?

There are still some wild cows in the world today – there is no reason why they wouldn’t still be there unless we kill them. But there are also farm sanctuaries around the world that will still be happy to care for the remaining cows, so that they would still be around and at the same time they could at least enjoy a life of freedom, care, and love, un-separated from their baby calves. 

3. Is wool theft too?

Yes it is. Wool is what keeps the sheep warm and protects their skin and is not ours to take. But more than that – the wool industry causes horrible deformation through genetically nurturing sheep to produce more wool weight than their bodies can handle as to increase the profitability of each sheep in terms of the wool productions. Some sheep can hardly bare the weight of their own wool due to the cruel genetic nurturing of the wool industry. Why would anyone support this cruel industry when there is synthetic wool on the market today that doesn’t hurt any sheep and that feels and looks the same? More about the wool industry in the following video:


Hope this helps and hope to see you take action for the animals now that you have the answers.

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Sivan Pardo Renwick

Founder, Director and Chief Editor of The Vegan Woman

Sivan is the founder, director, and chief editor of The Vegan Woman. As a vegan lifestyle expert and public speaker, Sivan leads interactive workshops and online communities that help men and women make the transition into veganism and plant-based diets an enjoyable and uplifting journey.

Sivan is also a writer and contributor on various vegan-living topics, and has been featured on CNN’s Eatocracy, Vegan Weddings HQ, Vegan Views, Vegan Lifestyle magazine, and other national and international platforms.

More about: Sivan