Suffering Geese Plucked Alive: The Dark Truth Behind Your Down Jacket

Andrea A.
24/12/2016

(Warning: graphic content.)In the middle ofwinter, it's sotempting to buy yourself a warmdown jacket to protect yourself from the cold. These jackets can reach astronomicalprices for some brands, such as Canada Goose or Moncler. You'd have to set aside at least $700for a jacket from the Canadian brand.

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Source : Canada Goose

But behind these "beautiful" coats is a much darker truth. The real costof the jacket is not only financial: these jackets are made from the suffering of the geese whose feathers are used to stuff them.These animals are keptin terrible conditions in battery cages even within the European Union, and are then plucked alive. This kind of brutality leads toterrible injuries, which are barely cared for. They simply stitch up the geese without anesthetic, covering them with antiseptic to preventinfection.

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Source : Rai 3

The practice of live plucking wasofficially outlawed in22 December 1999 by the EuropeanConvention for the Protection of Animals, but is still widespreadtoday. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations explains:

This method represents 80% of feather harvesting in the world and the six main producers are European, including Hungary, Poland and France - if you focus on just these, that's 93% of production. 
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Source : Gaia

Offshore factories in Eastern Europe allow companies to make great savings on production costs and maximize profits on these jackets, which are already sold at sky-highprices. Some brands, such as North Face, are trying to rebrand and claim to be practicing ethical plucking, on animals who are already dead. But a PETA study carried out between 2012 and 2015 in a Chinese factory tried to prove that this is more a declaration of intent. An industry representative admitted:

The plucking is done in secret; we're unwilling to pluck openly. To simplify things, we say it takes place after the animals are killed. If you say they're plucked alive, no one will buy them. 
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Source : L214

It's impossible to guarantee where these feathers are coming from, and the best way to make sure you're not contributing to this barbaric practice is to simply not buy down-stuffed jackets and turn instead to synthetic stuffing, which is just as effective and much more ethical.You can also try to put an end to this kind of treatment by signing thePETA petition. Demand a much more respectful treatment of these animals and make your voice heard.

H/t: Fondation 30 Millions d'amis