We’ve launched a campaign to end the use of new down feathers. Join us by asking outdoor-wear company Patagonia to cut ties with down use!

 

It used to be a popular animal rights saying: nobody needs a mink coat more than a mink. At one time, fur was the raging fashion statement. Few people thought twice about slapping on a coat made from the skin of foxes, rabbits, raccoon dogs, coyotes, mink and more. 

 

As awareness began to spread about just how cruel the fur industry was, support tapered off. Public opinion shifted. Today, many conscious animal lovers decline to wear leather, snakeskin, and even wool.

 

One material has received less backlash: down. Down feathers are a popular filler in outdoor clothing and bedding. People rarely stop to think about the impact down use has on geese and ducks. 

 

No one needs these feathers more than the birds who they belong to.

 

Down feathers often come from geese and ducks who spend their lives in commercial warehouses. These animals are unable to express any natural behaviors. Farmed ducks and geese are typically deprived of access to swimming water, which is essential to their wellbeing and health. A life without water can lead to painful foot issues as well as respiratory problems. It is standard practice to deprive animals on farms of veterinary care. It is believed that if veterinary costs outweigh an animal’s market value, it simply doesn’t make financial sense to pay for it. 

 

Down feathers are a result of either painful live plucking, or slaughter. On farms around the world, these birds spend miserable lives indoors. They endure cycle after cycle of painful live plucking to yield maximum profit. Those who are slaughtered will suffer during the frightening trip on a crowded slaughterhouse truck. In the United States, birds are not included in the Humane Slaughter Act. This means it is completely legal for the animals to have their throats slit while fully conscious. All that suffering for a puffy jacket?

 

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Luckily, there are other options.

 

There are many sustainable alternatives to down. Milkweed floss, bamboo fiber, and recycled synthetics are a few examples. Outdoor-wear company Patagonia has been researching the development of a new down alternative called Plumefill.

 

We’re asking our supporters to ditch down, and ask outdoor-wear company Patagonia to do the same! For years, Patagonia has been a leader in ethical business practices and sustainable products. Recently, the entire company, valued at $3 billion, was donated to combatting the climate crisis. Sadly, Patagonia has not put the value of animals’ lives ahead of using down in their products. 

 

It’s true that Patagonia’s standards for down sourcing are higher than most. Anti live-plucking and anti force-feeding policies are supposed to reduce animal suffering. But at the end of the day, animals are still being slaughtered.

 

Does making an animal suffer less justify taking their life? Our work as a sanctuary has led us to believe that animals’ lives have inherent value. Killing animals should be avoided wherever possible. We believe that their lives are not ours to take.

 

Join us in kindly asking Patagonia to continue to be an industry leader. The next leap for this company should be replacing all new down products with sustainable, plant-based or recycled alternatives. Click here to take action and ask Patagonia to ditch down!

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