PETA Shocks RH Execs at Annual Meeting With Surprise Showing of Undercover Bird Abuse Video

For Immediate Release:
June 27, 2024

Rachel Hershkovitz 202-483-7382

Corte Madera, Calif.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then PETA’s latest video showing how down is obtained is worth millions. In a new boardroom tactic, a PETA supporter attending RH’s in-person shareholder meeting earlier today confronted CEO Gary Friedman and other company executives over the retailer’s down and feather sales by playing a video compiled especially for the occasion. The shocking screening featured footage from PETA entities’ eyewitness investigations into down suppliers—including ones linked to the industry’s much-criticized “responsible” certification—showing filthy conditions, extreme suffering of ducks and geese, and violent methods of slaughter, all of which are rampant in the industry.

ducks hanging upside down from their feet at a Vietnamese duck farm, as observed during a PETA Asia investigation
An image from PETA Asia’s investigation into Vietnamese duck farms and slaughterhouses. Credit: PETA

PETA’s duck defender also grilled Friedman over why RH continues to sell down items and make false claims about ensuring animal welfare standards, even after receiving information about the rampant abuse of birds revealed by the group at nearly 50 down industry operations in six countries.

“Every down item sold by RH represents abject misery for birds used in the down industry, who are often stabbed and hacked to pieces before their feathers are stuffed into decorative pillows,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is bringing footage of bird mistreatment into the boardroom to compel RH executives to ditch down.”

A PETA Asia investigation into Vietnamese duck farms and slaughterhouses revealed that ducks suffered from gaping and bloody wounds, languished in filthy sheds and on lots strewn with feces, and were stabbed in the neck while still conscious. Feathers from these facilities were later sold under the Responsible Down Standard label.

Here’s the full text of PETA’s shareholder question:

I have a question on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. We have released nine exposés of the down industry. In fact, we have shared harrowing details from several recent investigations with corporate executives and shareholders. Perhaps it is not enough to describe the cruelty inflicted on ducks and geese exploited for down. Therefore, I will show you video footage of actions witnessed by investigators at Responsible Down Standard–certified farms and slaughterhouses. [VIDEO PLAYS] What you just saw is rampant in the down industry. Mr. Friedman, in your most recent letter to shareholders, you stated, “Luxury isn’t about opulence or price. Luxury is about what you value.”

My question is this: Why do you continue to support the filth, suffering, and horrific violence that are endemic to the down industry, given that today’s consumers value compassion?

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear”—points out thatEvery Animal Is Someone and offers free Empathy Kits for people who need a lesson in kindness. For more information, please visit or follow the group on X, Facebook, or Instagram

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