5 Everyday Items Made From the Feathers of Tortured Birds

Wearing animal skin is extremely cruel, and the same goes for down feathers. Down is the soft layer of feathers closest to birds’ skin, mostly in the breast region. Because these feathers don’t have quills (the hard, hollow, sharp part at the base of a feather), they’re highly valued by manufacturers of winter coats and comforters. 

Most down and other feathers are removed from ducks and geese during slaughter. However, many birds’ feathers are painfully torn out repeatedly while they’re still alive. There’s no way to tell by looking at down feathers whether the bird was repeatedly live-plucked or killed for their flesh or for foie gras—the companies that buy the feathers to make their products likely aren’t even sure.  

Undercover video footage shows employees on goose farms pulling fistfuls of feathers out of live geese, leaving open, bloody wounds as the birds shriek in terror. Workers are often in a hurry and crudely sew up the wounds without providing the birds with any painkillers. 💔

And producers of foie gras often boost their profits by selling the feathers of force-fed ducks and geese. Tubes are rammed down birds’ throats, and their stomachs are pumped full of so much corn mush that their livers swell to up to 10 times their normal size to make foie gras

© L214/StopGavage

Horrible, right?! Help ducks and geese by never buying down. Here are the top five products to watch out for: 


Have sweet dreams by using pillows filled with synthetic or plant-based materials! Stores have tons of choices, so you can find one that suits you perfectly—and wasn’t made by torturing geese or ducks. 


Can you imagine covering yourself with cruelty? No, thank you! Keep your dorm room or bedroom humane by purchasing only down-free bedding. Stores like Target and JCPenney have some really great options. 

Sleeping Bags 

Everyone, including ducks and geese, needs something warm to cover themselves with. So let ’em keep their feathers—use a down-free sleeping bag instead. Grab some vegan s’mores and get cozy! 

Winter Coats 

There’s nothing fashionable about cruelty. Make a compassionate fashion statement by rocking a down-free coat every winter. 


Like coats, vests can be stuffed with down. Always read the tags to make sure you’re buying one made with animal-friendly filling. 


You can ensure that no birds suffered for your clothing or bedding by choosing down-free materials. Just check the labels and choose compassion over cruelty!  

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