Vegan Rising | Goats used for their hair and skin
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Goats used for their hair and skin

Goats used for their hair and skin


Cashmere is made from cashmere goats and is hair that is torn or shorn from their underbellies. These goats are often kept on farms where they are dehorned and castrated and have their ears notched without anaesthesia.  Goats with what the industry regards as “defects” in their coats are typically killed before the age of 2. Industry experts expect farmers to kill 50 to 80 percent of young goats whose coats do not meet standards.

Cashmere cruelty caught on video


Mohair, the long, smooth fibre used in sweaters, hats and other fluffy accessories, comes from angora goats (not to be confused with angora wool, which comes from angora rabbits).  To obtain mohair, workers often tie the goats’ legs together, pin them to the floor, and use electric shears or large clippers to shear them.

Angora baby being removed from her mum as her coat is not up to industry standard – she will be killed.
Credit: PETA

Angora goats are killed well short of their natural 10-year life expectancy. As soon as they’re no longer useful to the industry due to their age impacting the quality of their hair, they will be sold for meat, or they may be slaughtered for their skins, which are then used to produce clothing, rugs and other items.

Since goats are prey animals, being restrained in this way is an horrific experience for them.  The shearers work fast, causing the same frequent injuries and gaping wounds, not unlike sheep shearing.

Angora Goat  – Mohair shearing
Credit: PETA

Angora goats would once shed naturally. Now, due to genetic manipulations they are reliant on being shorn. Our interference with the natural processes of these gentle animals means their reliance on humans to shear them or help to maintain their thick coats, for the time being cannot be avoided, however, their harsh treatment and commodification can.

Shearing robs goats of their natural insulation, and unlike sheep, they don’t carry layers of body fat or lanolin.  For this reason, they are even more susceptible to cold stress and weather-induced death for around 14 days after shearing. Like those who profit from sheep, those who use goats for profits have no need to consider their suffering from cold. Their primary concern lies in making money from the lives of others.


Goat hair is used in make up brushes and hair brushes.  Something that the beauty industry thrives on, as with all industries that exploit animals, is deception.  Please be aware that there is no such thing as cruelty free when any animal products are being used.  Its an oxy moron just as free range, ethical and humane when used in conjunction with animal products.  You can purchase vegan, cruelty free synthetic make up, hair brushes and paint brushes, that are not only ethical but also a better quality product.


Goat Leather at Tannery in India
Source: Reuters online

A goat’s skin is also torn from their bodies during the slaughter process and this is then sold as “leather”.  Animal skin is the most economically important co-product of the “meat” industry. Buying and wearing leather directly supports the inherent cruelty within the animal agriculture industry.

Many male kids and buckling’s from the dairy industry are viewed as mere waste products and are sent to slaughter anywhere from 3 months of age. Their flesh is sold as capretto and their skin is sold as either kid skin or goat suede.


Tanning, the process of turning raw animal skin into leather involves the use of toxic chemicals that harm not only our environment as they wash into the waterways, but also our health. These chemicals have been linked to nervous system disorders, skin and respiratory infections, leukaemia and other types of cancer. Arsenic, a chemical commonly used in the tanning process, has long been associated with lung cancer in workers who are exposed to it on a regular basis.

A kid living a life of love and care
Credit: Edgar’s Mission

Baby goats such as this little precious one who are lucky enough to be rescued from many different situations may get to live out their lives at a sanctuary such as Edgar’s Mission.  Sadly, they will not get to know the love of their maternal mothers and herd as many of them are saved from slaughter, neglect, and the many other situations that these little ones end up in, through no fault of their own.  However, they will get to know the love of many other goats, who have come from very similar situations.  They will know what it is like to run, bounce and play in peace and to grow up in a safe and loving environment until they are of old age.  They will receive the correct medical care and treatment if and when they require it.  They will never know what it’s like to be exploited in an industry that only sees value in their body parts or secretions.


Disbudding and dehorning are yet more cruel practices systemic to industries that use goats for their fur and skin along with other industries where goats are exploited.

Goat horns have many blood vessels within them that help the goats regulate their body temperature in the heat.  Without horns, the goats have to resort to panting to cool off.

Disbudding with a hot iron
Source: “WeedemandReap”

Disbudding is a procedure that uses a hot iron to cauterise the horn buds to burn them off, prior to them attaching to the kid’s skull.  If the iron is held on the goat’s head for too long, brain damage can occur. If the iron isn’t held to the head long enough, scurs can form.  Scurs occur when the horn tissue isn’t properly burned off during disbudding, allowing the horns to continue to grow.  Scurs containing many blood vessels can start to grow back towards the goat’s head, which would harm the goat, forcing them to be severed.

Goat dehorning wire, used as a saw.
Source: IHMC Public CMAPS

Dehorning is the removal of horns once they have attached to the skull, typically buy using saws or shears.  These procedures are done without any anaesthetic. It is only “recommended” under Australian Industry Welfare Standards and Guidelines for goats, that a person performing such procedures must have the relevant experience, knowledge and skills, and must ensure that “appropriate” tools are used. Keep in mind, these are merely guidelines and not standardised regulation. The painful procedure can be viewed here, presented as a “do it yourself” tutorial.

Disbudding and dehorning are only done for the “safety” of the operators who handle the goats and seemingly for aesthetic reasons.

Several websites state things such as:

“Do you like the look of your goats with, or without horns”

“Is your goats behaviour that by leaving the goats horns intact will not be a problem”

“Do your goats live in an environment that will be more useful than not having them”

There is consensus among many vets that dehorning and disbudding is extremely invasive and painful for the animals.


The methods listed below can be done without any official training.  There are available manuals, articles and YouTube videos online showing you how to carry out these procedures. It’s alarming that these procedures can be done by anyone other than a trained vet and a vet does not need to be present. Anesthesia is not required.


Source: IHMAC Public CMaps

The Burdizzo is a castration device which employs a large clamp designed to break the blood vessels leading into the testicles. When the device is used, the operator crushes the spermatic cords one at a time, leaving a space in between to prevent an interruption of blood-flow to the scrotum.


Source: Goat-link

This method involves cutting off the blood supply to the testes with a heavy rubber band or ring. In 10 to 14 days, the scrotum and testes will slough off.


Source: Infovets

How to castrate a goat features in ‘Raising Goats for Dummies’, highlighting anyone can perform the procedure, having had no any experience or training. Again, no anesthetic is required and the Knife-Method is touted as the most reliable and least expensive method of castration.

It is insane to acknowledge the obvious, that animals are sentient, just like us, yet at the same time, not only legally but socially accept such brutal and violent treatment of these individuals. The point must always be considered that so long as anyone is viewed and used as a commodity, existing for the benefit of another, their wellbeing will never be a priority and their right to a full and long life well lived will never exist.

Author: Jaysherrie Terraqueos
Founder of Melbourne Goat Save

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