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Down Production: Birds Abused for Their Feathers

The coldhearted and cruel down industry often plucks geese alive in order to get their down—the soft layer of feathers closest to a bird’s skin. These feathers are used to produce clothing and comforters, but for geese, the down industry’s methods are anything but comfortable.

Sad Goose in Mud at Down FarmCopyright Friedrich Mülln

Undercover video footage shows employees on goose farms pulling fistfuls of feathers out of live birds, often causing bloody wounds as the animals shriek in terror. The frightened animals are often squeezed upside down between workers’ knees during the painful procedure—in one instance, an investigator photographed a worker who was sitting on a goose’s neck in order to prevent her from escaping.

Live plucking causes birds considerable pain and distress. Once their feathers are ripped out, many of the birds, paralyzed with fear, are left with gaping wounds—some even die as a result of the procedure. Workers often sew the birds’ skin back together without using any anesthetics.

That’s not all—buying down can also support the cruelty of the foie gras and meat industries because many farmers who raise birds for food make an extra profit by selling their feathers as well. At the slaughterhouse, many of these birds are improperly stunned, which means that they are still conscious when their throats are cut and they are dumped into the scalding-hot water of the defeathering tank.


It’s impossible to tell whether the down used in the products you buy was obtained from live-plucked birds. The only way to stop live plucking and ensure that no birds suffer for your clothing or bedding is to choose cruelty-free materials. Please make the compassionate choice to sign the pledge to go down-free now!

If you haven’t already done so, please share this information on Facebook and Twitter with everyone you know so that they, too, can make the compassionate choice to pledge to be down-free. You can also spread the word to everyone that you come in contact with by wearing “Down Hurts” merchandise! That way, everyone will know that the down industry abuses birds.

Commenting is closed.
  • bridget says:

    what is wrong with the human race, darn right crazy it cannot go on, people are walking around blind and or dont care, they have to wake upto the truth, how would they like it if they were plucked or skinned or electricuted etc etc.

  • Maeve says:

    Those poor ducks…. I’m deeply saddened and so angry!

  • Sofia says:

    no puedo comprender hasta donde puede llegar el ser humano con tal de satisfacer sus nesesidades,, estos animales sufren de una manera tan horrible y pasa durante toda su vida, son animales que no pueden andar libres y vivir una vida natural, para ellos solo queda sufrir y seguir sufriendo hasta llegar a la muerte,, como dice la frase “el hombre ah hecho de la tierra, una pesadilla para los animales” que mal que haya tanta gente ignorante que no le importa el sufrimiento de estos animales, yo estoy desidida a ayudar

  • Alishia says:

    I am so disgusted. Do these people not have a heart or soul? Thank god I don’t use down blankets, if I did it would be going right into the garbage. Oh those poor birds. God help and save them all.

  • swathi says:

    please save these poor animals…. show mercy

  • Aysha says:


  • elvira Myers says:

    Isn’t any aiomal dafe from humans? It seems not. Umless the animal turns around and gobbles up the human first. But only few can do it. Maybe the good Lord did givwe the snake (ugh!) a nice power to save itself from us. Damn! This gets me so angry. But what can one do except not buy any goosfeathered pillows or covers. And surely not any clothes embelished with fur.

  • bos claudine says:

    stop cruality

  • bos claudine says:

    honyeux !!!

  • Ping says:

    I’ve stopped wearing leather for a long time. It’s totally unnecessary to use and abuse animals for luxury items like purses, coats, bedding, and fancy shoes. I get sick when i see the million different kinds of sneakers or formal shoes.

  • Veronique Smith says:

    I have been vegetarian – close to vegan – for 35 years but it was not that long ago that it suddenly occurred to me re dooners and where the down comes from and that it’s probably not a great story – for the birds that is. So when I saw this I made myself read it and was, yet again, aghast that they can be plucked alive! I have never ceased to be appalled by what some people think of doing to living beings, regardless of species! So now more down for me to say the least. On the brighter side, never before has there been so many people working conjointly for the good of animals either!.

  • CJ says:

    I recently bought a eucalyptus fiber quilt – this is a much warmer blanket than any I have had before. there is no excuses to buy animal product for things like blanket any more.

  • Marco Schuler says:

    Are there cruelty free down farms? I don’t buy down, just wondering if there is hope for at least some birds who are raised for their feathers.

  • Shelia says:

    How can u be so cruel. I hope one day karma kicks ur ……….. Fill n the blank

  • Jess says:

    Human beings have no respect for life on this planet. I am so disgusted with our species. The cruelty to animals in every part of the world to every type of innocent creature, it just never ends. This information needs to be part of the mass news and media. We live in a world wide corrupt system of masked information, leading ignorance on real issues. It is frustrating how hard it takes for these systems to change, if they do at all, as we are ‘supposedly’ the beings of superior intelligence. It seems the only thing we are superior at is deliberately acting without a moral conscious.

  • Dani says:

    This is sick. I see all these woman wearing so much fur on their coats and shoes and I just want to walk up to them and shove these kinds of pictures into their faces. That’ll show them the terrifying truth. God help those poor animals.

  • Poopface mcgee says:

    Birds don’t have feelings who cares what happens to them HAIL SATAN

  • ruorange says:

    And to think dog fighting is illegal… OMG!!

  • Beanie says:

    This is absolutely HORRIFYING!!!!!!! I am ashamed of the human race, where is the “humanity”

  • HoodsUP says:

    Are there cruelty free down farms? I don’t buy down, just wondering if there is hope for at least some birds who are raised for their feathers.

  • Hayley says:

    I’m disgusted at times to be human

  • Maria de jesú says:

    Esto es cuento de nunca acabar si a los humanos no nos importan los niños mucho menos los animales ,y tratandose de modas y confort,no pensamos de donde proviene o de que forma se obtiene,solo tengo una reflexión para esto.”POBRES ANIMALES QUE HICIERON PARA MERECERNOS”

  • sjavadi84 says:

    This is the most cruel thing I have ever seen! sometimes I feel really sorry to be part of human is just intolerable and these businesses should be shutdown forever

  • SUSAN says:


  • Pauline Payne says:

    That has simply chilled me to my very bones……good grief they are literally hung on a blade and try to shake free slitting their own throats on the process – barbaric, cruel and as for those horrific holding and transportation conditions – I am truly ashamed to be a human sometimes :/

  • PCaro says:

    this is horrible!! i have never purchased anything with fur or feathers and never will!!!

  • ALICE says:

    I will NEVER buy anything with down and I will certaintly make sure that I pass along these horrible news to everybody I know.

  • Sam says:

    Nice to sign up and not buy the products, but what I want to know is HOW can we STOP this from happening? We need to take ACTION to stop this!

  • Aaron Horsewood says:

    This abuse is just sick! How irresponsible!!

  • Mr?E says:

    This is disgusting. Why and how can humans even do this to an animal…

  • Kaushal Lakhani says:

    Please stop killing animals.. u have got many other alternat products in whcih no animals are hurt.. please use curlty free products for living beings life..

  • murr says:

    its almost for sure that every product that comes from animals has a story of unnecesary abuse behind it…theres a thousand ways to get useful and cruelty free things but they still choose these options even though they know that these animals are in pain.Thats not ignorance, thats how this little stupid people fills their empty lives with dirty money and with other creatures suffering for pleasure.

  • J Luis says:

    Let’s speak up for all those animals that can’t defend themselves. It’s in our hands to stop animal cruelty. Speak up and share!!

  • Sofía Blumentha says:

    Por favor firmen esta petición, es increíble que los animales sufran de esta manera en nuestras manos

  • Maria Avalos says:

    I didn’t have the heart to watch this.. I did however read the article and it sounded grousome enough. I hate the human race.. No wonder we are in the situation we are.. So sad..

  • Kari says:

    It’s just wrong on every level and horrendous cruelty.

  • Rebecca says:

    Its not worth the pain for these suffering poor defensless animals- Down free- I will never buy down again and I will tell everyone I know not to either.

  • Margherita Ramella says:

    please stop this unnecessary torture.

  • Pia Wass says:

    Please, no more.

  • Nick Mayer says:

    Omg when will this torture end, people say their just birds but they are aware of pain, humans are not the greatest creatures on earth god what we do, when will safe policies be put into place! Countries all over the world do this, how can we fight to stop it if the politicians never answer our calls for change! Ughh animals deserve the same amount of ethical respect.

  • Dihsarla says:

    I promise that I would NEVER ever buy any of these products or anything that may contribute to animal cruelty. We live in comfort in exchange for the sufferings and lives of the others.

  • Sergeant dias says:

    The people responsible for this should have their arms and legs ripped off their bodies.

  • valeria says:

    stop!!! this is cruel

  • CHRISTY says:

    HOW CAN A HUMAN DO THIS TO A HELPLESS ANIMAL. There is a place for people who do this to these ducks and geese. PLEASE do not be silent. Help stop this hrrible abuse.

  • mie bøgesvan says:

    Det er fuldstændig sindsygt, fatter ikke hvordan man kan være så grusom og ond! stakkels stakkels dyr! … this is sick!!!

  • ivette says:

    it makes me sick to know ppl do this how dare they put these precious babies in pain i hope these ppl go down

  • ROCIO F. AGUILAR says:

    Realmente no sabemos lo que hay detrás de una almohada o de una chamarra de plumas, evita adquirir esos productos.

  • Rebecca Smith says:

    This needs to stop.. these birds dont deserve this.. We dont need to have their feathers they need them to stay warm. they are very Pleasing to look at please leave them alone so that we can enjoy their beauty

  • Jillian says:

    This may be one of the most horrifying things i have ever heard of! I will make sure I never ever purchase anything with Down feathers, and I will be sure to never be quiet about this either!

  • Jo Anne Kenney says:

    Please sign up to go down free. It is completely unneccessary for these animals to suffer like this.