Activist Start-Up Is Determined to Remove Animal-Cruelty From Tennis

A Statement From Danny Rosenthal

Sheeps, Founder and CEO

Babolat First, a vegan tennis ball approved by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for tournament play, available at Sheeps. Most tennis balls use wool.

Babolat First, a vegan tennis ball approved by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for tournament play, available at Sheeps. Most tennis balls use wool.

In the questioning that is increasingly occurring about the treatment of animals, perhaps the least understood subject is the plight of sheep.  

The common belief is that the shearing of sheep is a necessary act and that sheep are treated kindly.  

In fact, however, the large majority of sheep are deprived of a natural existence and, instead, are systematically exploited, commoditized and then put to slaughter when they no longer produce marketable wool.

Also unbeknownst to most, the covers of tennis balls typically include wool from sheep, despite that other materials that perform equally well are readily available.  

Given that 360 million tennis balls are produced annually, this practice is causing massive and entirely unjustifiable harm to sheep.

This recognition was the impetus for the company Sheeps, founded in July 2019.

Sheeps is an on-line retailer for the few versions of wool-free tennis balls currently available as well as other animal-free (or vegan) and environmentally-friendly tennis products, such as tennis sneakers, racket strings and Sheeps-branded apparel.

In this, the first iteration of Sheeps, the company’s goals are:  accommodating tennis players seeking to avoid animal cruelty; raising awareness about the hardships of sheep; and building a movement intent on make tennis cruelty-free.

In Sheeps 2.0, planned for 2020, the company will independently produce and sell wool-free tennis balls.

Next, Sheeps will develop an upgraded and optimal tennis ball – one that is free of wool and composed of materials in harmony with the natural environment.

A later initiative will be creating and selling animal-free products for other sports.

Sheeps considers participation in sports to be a joyful experience but the company’s belief is that  the beauty of competition and recreation is severely undermined when animals are compelled to suffer to permit us the experience. 

Sheeps invites the participation of tennis enthusiasts, animal rights supporters, vegans and environmentalists in realizing this vision.

About the Founder & CEO

Danny Rosenthal, founder of Sheeps.

Danny Rosenthal, founder of Sheeps.

Danny Rosenthal is a passionate tennis player, an animal welfare supporter and a 26-year vegan.  Last year, he discovered that most tennis balls contain wool and many tennis sneakers (even those without leather) contain animal products.  He became distressed that while deriving immense pleasure from the sport he was also contributing to the harm of animals. Thus was born Sheeps.  

In addition to guiding Sheeps, Danny is a longtime consultant to social services,  social justice, environmental justice and animal welfare organizations. He lives in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn with his wife Jean, an art therapist, and their three daughters, Leah, Naomi and Simone.  

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