Sunday, November 4, 2012

Let's Send Down Sales Down!

Sorry for the bad pun.
Down (the under-feathers of birds) is sometimes an ingredient in pillows, comforters, jackets and coats, and more. Although it may seem harmless, it actually isn't. Birds used for down are not treated well and are repeatedly plucked. Read what Ari Solomon has to say about the down industry for Huffington Post:
Ari Solomon
Ari Solomon, president and co-creator of vegan candle line
"...if you're taking feathers off a bird, there are two ways to do it: you can rip them off while the bird is still alive, or you can rip them off after the bird is dead. The feather industry considers feathers from live birds better quality, hence they're more valuable. So geese and ducks get "live-plucked" 3 to 4 times a year. This happens from the time they are 10 weeks until they're 4 years old. Then they're sent to slaughter for their flesh. Ducks and geese in the wild have a lifespan of 12-15 years."
The birds are plucked without anesthetics and many are also raised as fois gras (more on that some other time)!
Down is a poor choice for the consumer's sake because it doesn't stay warm when wet and it is expensive. My point: there is no reason why you need to buy down. There are plenty of warm winter coats and cozy comforters that use synthetic materials.
All you have to do to avoid buying down is to read labels. Check to make sure that there is no down in it and instead look for ones that contain polyester fill or another alternative.
Have a good week!
Photo courtesy of United Poultry Concerns (

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