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The Downside of Down

Posted by at 5:41 PM | Permalink | Comments (15)


© Farm Watch

Ever wonder how the down feathers used in down-filled comforters, jackets, and vests got from the birds to your back? There’s nothing warm and fuzzy about it. Undercover video footage obtained by PETA reveals that down production is a nightmare for birds.

The video footage shows workers picking up and restraining geese by their delicate necks or by a single wing. The frightened birds are squeezed, upside down, between workers’ knees while the workers rip out fistfuls of feathers. One worker was photographed sitting on a goose’s neck in order to prevent her from escaping.

Once their feathers have been ripped out—exposing raw skin—many birds lie on the floor, bleeding and shaking in fear and pain. Birds are frequently plucked so violently that they are left with gaping wounds. When this happens, workers often use a needle and thread to sew up the wound—without any painkillers.

Buying down also supports foie gras cruelty, as geese and ducks are often used by both industries. Outdoors outfitter The North Face recently admitted that it was using down from foie gras farms, despite previous claims that none of its down came from geese who were force-fed or live-plucked.

You can help by pledging to refuse to buy any down-filled products.  Look for outerwear and bedding insulated with Primaloft, “down alternative,” and other bird-friendly products.

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15 Comments

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    Bonnie Jo Morgan says...

    March 2nd, 2012, 9:22 pm

    omg .. just awful makes me wanna cry .. I live in Hawaii so not a lot of need for down here .. what ever happened to using flannel to keep warm ?

    Linda & David Seely says...

    March 2nd, 2012, 9:31 pm

    I will destroy my down filled comforters immediately and will never purchase any down filled products again. Stop this immeidately….this is cruel and and is abusive to the poor geese and painful on how the feathers are plucked. There are other alternatives.

    Kim Ward says...

    March 2nd, 2012, 9:36 pm

    I had no idea such a horror to the birds has been occurring!!!!! It is unbearable to watch, I can’t even fathom the physical and emotional pain of these creatures. Its not just fur, its is all animal products! No leather, no pate, no animal flesh, no feathers for me. ANIMALS DO NOT BELONG TO US!!!!!!!!!!!! When will the human race ever evolve enough to get this? Thank you for all your work, PETA

    mimi hoffer says...

    March 2nd, 2012, 9:54 pm

    How can anyone condone such horrible, barbaric practices and still be called a “human being”??

    Heather M says...

    March 3rd, 2012, 12:14 am

    Again, the things that some of mankind do to animals and the Earth in order to meet their needs, evil.

    Kristen says...

    March 3rd, 2012, 12:25 am

    This makes me sick!!! I was crying for these beautiful birds. How do humans go from innocent babies and children, to barbaric non-humans that could be so heartless and cruel!!! I guess there is no end to what scumbags will do for money. There is no doubt that HELL was created for PURE EVIL like this. We must educate and teach children to love animals in every country around the world!!!

    tina gardner says...

    March 3rd, 2012, 6:12 am

    what kind of person can you be and do that job ..how awful !

    jane wilson says...

    March 3rd, 2012, 8:24 am

    This is barbaric, people that are doing this can’t be ‘normal’. How would they like someone to pull their hair off in the same way. Keep up thegood work Peta.

    M. Barbara O'Brien says...

    March 3rd, 2012, 9:13 am

    The unspeakable, barbaric cruelty that humans are capable of never ceases to disgust me. I am ashamed to be a member of the human race when I see things like this. Animals are a blessing that should be treated as such. This world be like a desolate place without them! They were meant to be loved not tortured!

    Jonathan Livesley says...

    March 3rd, 2012, 11:45 am

    Far too many people won’t stop to consider how things are made, they simply make a purchase. No guilt, no thought, no compassion. All animal based products should have pictures on showing the cruelty involved, then people would make mant more ethical choices. Don’t buy down, buy man made fillings, micro fibre etc.

    Lili says...

    March 3rd, 2012, 8:36 pm

    I really didn’t know how they tortured the poor animals just to keep us warm.
    Now that I know, I will never buy down.
    Thank you so much for the useful infos.

    Rev. Meg Schramm says...

    March 4th, 2012, 5:47 pm

    If you want to dispose of your down filled things after reading this and replace them with cruelty free alternatives, that’s fine, but my advice is to donate those things to centers who will give them to the homeless. PETA has donated old fur coats to the homeless in the past; those old comforters will may make the difference between life and death in the winter.

    Petro says...

    March 5th, 2012, 5:56 am

    This is to cry about. I praise God that one day He will punish every wrong in this cruel world!

    Jessica says...

    March 9th, 2012, 2:01 am

    This is horrifying to read!!!! How can people do this!!!

    Diane Chivilo says...

    March 24th, 2013, 12:47 pm

    I will never buy another feather or down filled product again. Post your findings to your Social Media people and tell the world, this has to stop!!

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