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.
Written by Alisa Mullins