Complaint Filed Over Apparently Illegal Meeting During Pandemic After RH Blocks PETA From Shareholder Event

Group's Request to Attend Virtually to Speak Up for Birds Killed for Down Also Denied

For Immediate Release:
July 21, 2020

Contact:
Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Corte Madera, Calif. – PETA, which owns stock in RH (formerly Restoration Hardware) had planned to grill shareholders over the company’s use of down pillows at the company’s annual meeting in Corte Madera on Wednesday, which is being held in person only­ despite—and in apparent violation of—the Marin County stay-at-home order and new restrictions on indoor office space in light of the county’s inclusion on the state’s new watchlist. But PETA’s request to present remotely was denied, prompting the group to alert authorities in Marin County on Monday. PETA’s full shareholder question is available here.

“RH is requiring shareholders to gather for a meeting during a pandemic, in apparent violation of Marin County’s stay-at-home order, making it impossible for PETA to participate,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA will not let RH stop us from exercising our right as shareholders to call on the company to switch to down-free pillows and stop profiting from gentle birds’ terrifying deaths.”

It is nearly impossible to track feathers back to their original supplier and determine how they were obtained, but video footage shows that in the down industry, workers often restrain birds and rip out their feathers by the fistful, sometimes leaving them with bloody, gaping wounds. Buying down can also support the foie gras industry, as producers frequently boost their profits by selling the feathers of birds who are force-fed until their livers become diseased and swell to up to 10 times their normal size. And all birds whose down goes into commercial goods are ultimately shipped to slaughterhouses, where many are still conscious when their throats are slit and they’re dunked into the scalding-hot water of defeathering tanks.

PETA first purchased stock in RH in 2013 in order to push the company to choose only animal-friendly materials. It agreed to stop selling mohair after a PETA video exposé revealed cruelty to goats in the mohair industry.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear or abuse in any other way”—opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

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