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Sheep are gentle, intelligent animals with good memories. They form individual friendships and have preferred grazing companions within herds. They display distress or despondence when their favorite companions are missing. Some neuroscientists now believe that the sheep’s brain recognizes faces in the same way a human’s does. In one study, a sheep was able to correctly identify a human face on a screen 50 times in 50 chances. The same sheep could also remember the faces of up to 50 of his sheep friends, even when he hadn’t seen them for years.

Domestic sheep have been selectively bred for the overproduction of wool. Without human intervention, sheep grow just enough wool to protect themselves from temperature extremes. Sheep on commercial wool and meat farms are subjected to painful mutilations without anesthetic, and suffer mistreatment and cruel slaughter practices. In 2011, nearly 2.2 million sheep and lambs were slaughtered for meat in the U.S. Many sheep have their throats slit while still fully conscious in ritual religious slaughter. Please read more about the plight of sheep at our Learn page: Sheep for Meat and Wool. And for information on humane farming, please visit our Humane Farming Myth page.