Written by Michelle Kretzer
PETA's recent successes are any indication, down is going down fast.
latest company to make the synthetic leap
onto our anti-down bandwagon is Colorado's leading furniture manufacturer, Woodley's Fine Furniture.
The Woodley brothers
started their company decades ago with the intention of offering quality home
furnishings that did not take a toll on nature—but
they had been designing sofas stuffed with down. After PETA sent the company
our down exposé, Woodley's agreed that its
vision did not include using feathers
that were yanked out of live birds or feathers from birds who had tubes rammed
down their throats for the cruel production of foie gras and will no longer purchase down-filled upholstery.
to make the down industry's feathers fly? Check out PETA's top five ways to take action against
down—because if people in the skiing
capital of the U.S. are done with down, shouldn't the rest of us embrace warm and soft synthetic
holiday shoppers needed divine intervention to persuade them to keep animal
skins off their lists, that's exactly what they got. A saintly duo of PETA "angels"
has been crisscrossing Canada in cherubic attire to help people in the frozen
north be angelic to animals this winter by eschewing fur, leather, wool, down, and exotic skins.
while crowds of pedestrians were stopping to take pictures of the holy
encounter and offering to buy the angels some hot tea, the dreamy pair was busy
explaining that torturing
and killing animals for their skin is an unholy nightmare.
angels are hopeful that people will show good will toward animals this holiday
season so that this year, every time a bell rings, an angel will get her wings
and animals will keep their skin.
Written by Alisa Mullins
The following was excerpted from an article that originally appeared on McClatchy.
As my mom and I were walking through a department store recently, she spied a colorful plaid quilted vest. "Ooh, that's pretty," she said and reached for the price tag.
Meanwhile, I was looking at the contents label. "Uh-oh, it contains down," I told her.
"Oh, no," she said, dropping the vest as if it had bitten her. "I guess I won't be buying that."
Like me, Mom loves animals. She's a vegan, and she refuses to wear anything made of leather, silk, or wool—or down.
Much of the down used in coats, comforters, vests, and blankets is "live-plucked"—ripped from the bodies of birds who are still alive. Plucking may begin when the birds are just 10 weeks old and be repeated every six to seven weeks until the birds are slaughtered at around age 4, far short of their natural lifespan of 10 to 20 years.
Workers are paid by the goose, rather than by the hour, so speed is of the essence, leading to rough handling and injuries. Undercover video footage shot on a Hungarian goose farm shows workers picking up and carrying geese by their necks or wings. The frightened birds are flipped upside down and pinned between workers' knees while they rip out fistfuls of feathers. One worker was photographed sitting on a goose's neck in order to prevent her from escaping.
The good news is that there are several alternatives to down, including Thinsulate, PrimaLoft, and Polarguard, that are less expensive, less bulky, easier to launder, and excellent insulators. They also perform well when wet, unlike down, which absorbs moisture, loses loft and insulating ability, and takes a long time to dry.
In fact, many brands sell quilted vests insulated with PrimaLoft. Don't tell my mom, but she just might be finding one under her Christmas tree this year.
An 8-foot-tall goose on a busy sidewalk is enough to make people do a double-take. But an 8-foot-tall goose who
has had his feathers ripped out is enough to make people stop in their tracks.
PETA's goose made feathers fly in order to
ask holiday shoppers to save geese's skin.
PETA's goose is touring the country asking
people to be benevolent to birds.
As the hurried shoppers stopped to gape
at the goose, they readily accepted information about the cruel down industry. People were horrified to learn that geese are often held
down while workers yank out
their feathers by the fistful. The birds are often left with gaping wounds, which the workers hastily sew closed without any painkillers.
As shoppers learned, it couldn't be easier
to be a friend to fowl. Many companies,
including Martha Stewart, The Company Store, and Lands' End, offer bedding or coats made with high-tech synthetic materials like PrimaLoft® and Thinsulate™ that are as warm as
down but, unlike bird feathers, don't lose the ability to insulate when they
Join compassionate shoppers in taking PETA's pledge to be down-free and make a goose's day.
Congratulations to mail-order retailer Haband, which just snagged a PETA
Proggy Award! ("Proggy" stands for "progress.")
When Haband saw our undercover video footage
showing how many birds
used for down have their feathers forcefully ripped out of their sensitive skin, the company
pulled all down-filled items from its website and vowed never to sell down
again. Haband also posted an awesome message on its website so that whenever a
customer searches it for an item containing down, this is what they will see:
Haband is doing a great service for its
customers by offering blankets, pillows, and coats that are made with materials such as
polyfill that are just as warm as, and less expensive than, down. And the
company is doing a great service for birds, who will no longer be held down and
plucked alive, leaving them covered in painful, bloody wounds, for the
Thanks to Haband for its compassionate
Have your morning coffee with a side of
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sees the light, more trouble for SeaWorld, and the Oscars are starting to look
a lot like a PETA gala. Here's what's going on in PETA's universe this week:
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Written by PETA
Bravo to the good folks at CBS 5 in San Francisco for running with a chilling Swedish investigative report on the down industry.
In case you think that the down filling in coats and pillows is gathered by a kindly farmer who just follows molting birds around all day and fills a sack with their lost feathers, here's an eye-opener: An investigative team from the Swedish TV show Cold Facts went undercover on goose farms in Poland, Hungary, and China and videotaped workers yanking fistfuls of feathers out of live birds, a process that a veterinarian contacted by CBS 5 described as "torture." At one farm, a worker is shown using a needle and thread to sew a goose's skin back together after the skin had been ripped apart during plucking.
Makes that down comforter seem less comforting, doesn't it? Luckily for geese and the people who don't wish to hurt them, down-alternative comforters are just as cozy and cuddly as those made from down. I speak from personal experience—I happen to have one on my bed … along with three toasty kitties and a dog.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
an animal, please click
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.