A goodnight sleep at a hidden cost of comfortable down comforters.
Imagine a cold night and you are having a warmth of your new down comforter. Now, I know most of us have this idea that feathers naturally fall off the birds and farmers collect them and that is how your fabulous comforter is born. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Think about it, 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 are 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 are 4 years old. Then they are sent to slaughter for their flesh. Ducks and geese in the wild have a lifespan of 12-15 years. Plucking causes geese and ducks considerable pain and distress. Their feathers are often pulled out so violently that their skin is torn open, leaving them with gaping wounds that the workers crudely sew up without any pain relief. Plucking may begin when the animals are only 10 weeks old and be repeated in six-week intervals until they are slaughtered at about 4 years old, far short of their natural life expectancy.
It takes the feathers of 75 geese to make just one down comforter.
So, the next time you buy a new comforter or a warm jacket or a sleeping bag or some throw pillows, think first. There are plenty of amazing alternatives to down. In fact, so many people are allergic to feathers that manufacturers now have a huge selection of down-like products that are labelled hypoallergenic. They are easy to find and many are made from sustainable materials like kapok and bamboo.
Let us stay warm this winter without supporting needless cruelty.
Sources: Huffington Post and Peta