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An animal rights activist group has caused a stir by suggesting the 1,000-year-old village of Wool should be renamed, 'Vegan Wool'.
People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals (PETA) has written a letter to the parish council of the Dorset village, advising that the name change would 'promote kindness to sheep'. As a further incentive, PETA has offered to provide all 2,000 houses in the village with a 'cosy, cruelty-free blanket' should they adopt the change.
As the suggestion has been made in writing, the council are obliged to include the proposal on the agenda for their next meeting. However, it seems unlikely PETA will be making any blanket deliveries any time soon, based on the proposal's reception in the village.
According to the Bournemouth Echo, local councillor, Cherry Brooks said: "It is a ridiculous request and it's caused quite a stir in the village.
"A few people are quite offended but most people seem to find it amusing.
"The proposal will now need to be discussed at the next council meeting, which will be interesting."
Sharing their thoughts on Wool Parish Clerk Facebook page, it seemed few were in favour of the name change.
One person wrote: "Dear PETA, the name Wool is derived from the Anglo-Saxon 'Welle' after the springs.
"It might be an idea to do your research before you tell places to change their names for absolutely no reason at all.
Another said: "The name Wool should remain as it is, the idea of renaming the village is utterly ridiculous. The most idiotic idea I have come across in a long time."
But is it really that idiotic? Anyone else picking up that not so faint smell of a PR stunt, albeit a slightly ham-fisted one?
The proposal has certainly got people talking, if nothing else. Granted, the majority are debating the perceived ridiculousness of animal rights activists, but presumably a percentage are having a long hard wonder about how cosy a vegan blanket might be.
The letter to the parish council from PETA director, Elisa Allen, reads as follows: "I'm writing on behalf of PETA with a suggestion that would put Wool in the spotlight and promote kindness to sheep: renaming the village 'Vegan Wool'.
"Why make this animal-friendly update? Unlike wool that is stolen from sheep, vegan wool is good for animals and the environment.
"Sheep's wool, on the other hand, has been shown to be a product of extreme cruelty.
"A recently released PETA Asia eyewitness investigation of the British wool industry revealed that shearers punched sheep in the face, stamped and stood on their heads and necks, and beat and jabbed them in the face with electric clippers.
"Fast, rough shearing left sheep with large, bloody wounds that shearers crudely stitched up using a needle and thread - and no pain relief.
"Several sheep even died during shearing from possible shock - or what one farmer called a 'heart attack'.
"With a simple name change, your village can take a stand against this cruelty and remind everyone that it's easy to stay warm and be warmhearted to sheep by choosing vegan wool and other animal-free materials.
"As further incentive, if you adopt this new moniker, we'd be happy to provide every Vegan Wool household that would like one with a cosy, cruelty-free blanket."
Perhaps this proposal could start a trend. Brace yourself for more baaa-rmy names in 2019: Notmeatingham, Be-Kind-To-Shrews-Bury and Veggie Bangor and Mash.
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