Oscar winner and longtime vegan Joaquin Phoenix joined PETA to narrate a video about PETA Asia’s investigation revealing the unspeakable cruelty routinely carried out against ducks at “Responsible Down”–certified farms and slaughterhouses.
“The only way to end this cruelty and spare ducks is to stop buying items that contain feathers.” — Joaquin Phoenix
For 13 months, from November 2021 to November 2022, PETA Asia investigators visited duck farms and slaughterhouses in Vietnam connected to companies that sell “responsible” down— including GAP Inc., Guess, H&M, and dozens of others—exposing the terror birds endure in these facilities. As seen in the investigative footage, workers mercilessly stab ducks, slit their throats while they’re still conscious, and cut the feet off live birds.
At the farms visited by the PETA Asia investigators, ducks were crammed into filthy sheds and forced to live on wire flooring or confined to dirt lots strewn with feces. They were denied any opportunity to engage in their most natural and meaningful behavior, such as bathing, swimming, flying, or foraging. Some were breathing with their mouths open, which is often a sign of stress, overheating, or a respiratory infection. Others suffered from gaping, bloody wounds. Many had difficulty walking or were unable to stand up at all, possibly as a result of severe infections or fractured legs. A worker grabbed one immobile duck by the neck and tossed her aside. Dying birds were left to suffer, and the bodies of those who had died were often left in full view of the others.
“The Responsible Down Standard program is used to assure customers that down from abused birds doesn’t end up in products, but nothing could be further from the truth.”
The Responsible Down Standard claims to “ensure that down and feathers do not come from supply chains in which animals have been subjected to any unnecessary harm.” But every farm and slaughter facility visited by PETA Asia investigators sells down to RDS-certified suppliers.
One slaughterhouse owner who confirmed that her business was RDS-certified admitted that it’s audited only every two years despite the stated RDS requirement for annual audits. She added that her employees never check for signs of consciousness before stabbing ducks in the neck and slaughtering them.
Join Joaquin Phoenix and Pledge Never to Buy or Wear Down
The appalling cruelty uncovered by this investigation shows why even purportedly “responsible” down is never ethical or humane. The only way to ensure that no birds suffered for your clothing or bedding is to choose vegan materials. You can start by never buying or wearing down, and please urge companies to spare ducks a lifetime of suffering and a violent death by ending their use of down feathers.