PETA vs Wool


If you haven’t noticed, our society is going nuts.  We seem to spend our days wandering around Wonderland, looking for the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party — and last week we got a couple of steps closer.

PETA, a band of uber-bored rich people who think the rest of us spend our leisure hours kicking puppies and slaughtering chickens, has ventured out onto the last looney branch of the crazy tree.  They’ve decided that a village in Dorset, UK is promoting cruelty to animals because – and here’s the good part – its name is Wool.  Whoa!  That’s a bit much!  It’s kinda like saying St Louis, San Francisco and St Moritz are raising awareness for the Catholic Church.

Anyway, PETA wasn’t done.  They wrote to the parish council and promised 2,000 “cruelty free” blankets if the good people of Wool would kindly change the name of their village to Vegan Wool.  Publicity stunt?  Maybe.  Unfortunately, I have this nagging idea that the people at PETA actually believe the local bumpkins are spinning their wool into garments to keep warm.  Not only that, but I’m pretty sure PETA also thinks that by generously providing the peasants with a reasonable alternative, they’ll put an end to this cycle of agrarian abuse.  Woke is woke — right?  Either way, there hasn’t been this much condescension hanging in the air since Peter Minuit offered the locals a big bag of beads for Manhattan.

The problem is PETA, being PETA, failed to do its homework – again.  The truth is the village name Wool doesn’t have anything to do with wool — or sheep — or any other kind of animal husbandry.  The name is derived from the Old Saxon word “Welle” which means “flowing water.”  The original village took its name from that – a local stream.  Over the last 10 centuries (since the Saxons held sway in England) the inflection has been corrupted.  Thus Welle became Wool.  Oops!  It turns out the only thing the citizens of Wool are guilty of is mispronunciation.

Personally, I think it’s one thing for a multinational, multimillion-dollar organization like PETA to bully a pastoral little village, but I’d like to see them try this crap on a tough town like Buffalo, New York or HAMburg, Germany.  Then we’d see how far their 2,000 blankets gets them!


Image: Peter Trimming

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