New PETA Video Exposes Cruelty to Ostriches Behind Mardi Gras Feathers

For Immediate Release:
February 16, 2023

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

New Orleans – To show Mardi Gras revelers where their ostrich-feather boas really come from, PETA is hitting local airwaves with a new TV spot exposing some of the cruelty documented in South Africa, the ostrich-slaughter and ostrich-feather export capital of the world, where the inquisitive, smart birds—who can live up to 40 years in nature—are killed when they’re only a year old.

The video, narrated by South African supermodel David Miller, reveals that workers often pluck ostriches’ feathers while they’re still alive—a terrifying and painful ordeal. A PETA investigation documented that workers forcibly restrain young ostriches, electrically stun them, and then cut their throats. Moments later, the feathers are torn from the birds’ bodies, and then they’re skinned and dismembered.

“Behind every ostrich-feather accessory on Bourbon Street is a young bird who was tormented and butchered for a frivolous item,” says PETA Senior Vice President Lisa Lange. “PETA is calling on everyone to laisser les bon temps rouler (let the good times roll) while letting birds keep their feathers.”

As Miller says in the video, “I hope you will agree with me that ostrich feathers are for the birds.” Instead, revelers can look to the many designers who use feather-free materials to make animal-friendly clothes and accessories, including Happy Boa, Oriental Trading, Annie’s Red Hots, and The Playful Pear.

PETA’s TV spot will run on FOX, ABC, and CBS through February 21.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind