Why You Should Never Buy ANY Feathers

Have you ever wondered where the feathers used in feather boas, dusters, and other accessories come from? 

At first glance, items with feathers might seem innocent—but news flash: Feathers aren’t obtained humanely from animals. They came from terrified birds who were painfully live-plucked or killed for their flesh or skin. 

Just like buying products made with down, purchasing items made with feathers supports the cruel meat and exotic-skins industries, because many farmers who raise birds for food or clothing make an extra profit by selling their feathers. 

If you’re ready to give industries that abuse animals the bird, here are some items to avoid and suggestions about what to purchase instead. 

Boas and Feather Dusters  

An eyewitness investigation into the largest ostrich-slaughter companies in the world showed that workers forcibly restrain young ostriches, electrically stun them, and then cut their throats. Moments later, the feathers are torn off their still-warm bodies, and they’re skinned and dismembered.  

Right: © FreeImages.com/Jenny Kennedy-Olsen

Feathers—some of which are ripped out of ostriches’ skin while they’re fully conscious—are used in costumes for the Moulin Rouge and festivals like Brazil’s Carnival as well as in feather dusters, boas, and accessories. 

Today, kind designers and burlesque dancers are creatively and compassionately using alternatives to feathers. Check out these feather-free boas: 

Happy Boa 

Fringe Boas From Oriental Trading Company 


When shopping for dusters, always be sure to choose microfiber ones, which are available at any store that sells cleaning products.  

Feather Hair Extensions and Earrings  

Rooster feathers look best on their rightful owners, but some salons weave them into customers’ hair as an accessory.  

Roosters who are used to make these extensions are bred and genetically altered to produce long, luxurious saddle feathers (the ones on their backsides, which can take years to grow) and then killed and defeathered. 

There are plenty of hair accessories and earrings available that don’t harm animals. If you want to go for the feather look, check out Fire Mountain Gems and Beads for faux feathers available in many colors. For earrings, opt for decorative metal options like these

Cat Toys With Feathers 

Since feathers from chickens, turkeys, and other birds in the meat industry are abundant and cheap, they’re often used in mass-produced items. They’re dyed or altered for commercial sale and used in products like cat toys. Thankfully, there are plenty of feather-free cat toys available, or you can always make your own at home—cats love shoe strings, boxes, and rolled-up aluminum foil!  

In stores, look for little balls with bells inside or for toys covered with synthetic yarn or string. Or you can let your cat indulge in PETA’s catnip toy.  

Be sure to avoid all down items, too! With so many animal-free items to choose from, why would anyone choose cruelty?  

The only way to ensure that no birds suffer for your clothing or accessories is to choose animal-free materials—just check the labels. Make the compassionate choice to go feather-free now. 

Text peta2 to 30933 for ways to help animals, tips on compassionate living, and more!

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