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Consumers don’t want their sports equipment to be produced in a way that causes animals to suffer and negatively affects the environment. And if the James Cameron documentary The Game Changers taught us anything, it’s that athletes of all types are going vegan to up their game and be kinder to animals, the planet, and their bodies. So why aren’t athletic equipment companies keeping up? It’s time for sporting goods manufacturers to change their game, too.
The Wilson sporting goods company reports that it’s “the number one equipment brand across more sports than any other brand.” That puts it in a position to save countless animals’ lives and make huge strides to protect the planet.
Leather, like that used in Wilson’s baseball and softball gloves, commonly comes from cows who endured branding, tail-docking, and castration. Some animals are skinned while they’re still conscious. And at the more than 100 wool-industry operations that PETA entities’ investigators have visited—even on so-called “sustainable” and “responsible” farms—workers beat, stomped on, and cut sheep, as well as slitting their throats. No one should go through such suffering for a tennis ball. And animal agriculture is responsible for nearly one-fifth of all human-induced greenhouse-gas emissions.
Cows are intelligent, sensitive individuals who feel pain and fear, develop deep relationships, and get excited when they achieve a goal. Gentle sheep are happiest with their flockmates and leap into the air with excitement when they see their friends and family. These animals don’t want to suffer and die to become athletic equipment any more than our dogs and cats would.
Please urge Wilson to get animal-derived materials out of the game, starting with an easy switch to leather-free baseball and softball gloves and wool-free tennis balls.