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Goose Down, Humane?
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Dave T
(DaveT) - F
chaffo. on 01/28/2010 15:04:42 MST Print View

let's all remember that we are just true-placental mammals (read animals) just like a zebra and a shrew and a dophin. (but not like an echidna or wallaby.)

as a side note, if your "religion" (e.g. man-made-up belief system) grants you "dominion" over non-human animals, that's a great deal for you!

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: chaffo. on 01/28/2010 15:09:36 MST Print View

DaveT:

Your definition of religion is just one of many.

But I would agree that I've got a good deal here -- two in fact! My Catholic religion lets me eat everything -- the only dietary restriction is to fast 2 days out of a whole year and no meats on maybe 3 or 4 Fridays (again in one whole year).

And being Chinese, heck, we eat EVERYTHING on the land, in the sea and up in the sky -- except trains, ships and airplanes. We don't eat those.

Edited by ben2world on 01/28/2010 15:13:58 MST.

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
I agree on 01/28/2010 15:11:04 MST Print View

I agree, Ben. I wasn't trying to condemn Christians or praise Buddhists or any other combination of condemnation or praise for any group of people.

I was merely pointing out that the texts and themes associated with the two philosophical genres are quite different in their view of humans and other animals. I tried to point out that the actual behaviors of people operating within the genres are similarly varied, but that the H-B genre makes it easier for a practitioner *operating within the genre* to behave more compassionately because of the inherently more compassionate view of all animals within the texts and themes.

So, yes, I agree that many Christians, etc. are very compassionate towards other animals, but the basis for this compassion is derived mostly outside the genre, just as plenty of Hindus or Buddhist might lack compassion even though their philosophy/religion provides cues for being compassionate.

I think at the human level it is always about choice.

Edited by cbert on 01/28/2010 15:11:47 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: I agree on 01/28/2010 15:13:16 MST Print View

Cary -- We are in agreement there.

Now where the heck are them moderators anyway? This thing should have been in Chaff from the get go...

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
to chaff or not to chaff on 01/28/2010 15:17:08 MST Print View

Ben,

Don't be so Cartesian!

Virtually all of this discussion has, I think, been relevant to the original post, which was examining the ethics of goose down usage.

I like to think that an organically grown discussion is ideal, that we needn't always paint only by the numbers and within all the lines. If we are being respectful and thoughtful, we can have all learn a lot from each other in such cases.

I think it makes the virtual much more real.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
dophins. on 01/28/2010 15:24:09 MST Print View

i wonder if dolphins (or squid or ravens) have their own religion that grants them dominion over all non-dolphin animals, but they either choose to implement that in a benign manner (they don't eat people swimming at the beach) or just lack the opposable thumbs, internal combustion engines, and cage-raised people farms to have them really get down to the dirty business of dominion.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: dophins. on 01/28/2010 15:30:39 MST Print View

.

Edited by annapurna on 05/02/2010 07:43:59 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: chaffo. on 01/28/2010 15:32:03 MST Print View

> we eat EVERYTHING on the land, in the sea and up in the sky -- except trains, ships and airplanes.

As one cannibal said to another, they are like lobsters. The shells may be hard to open, but the insides are yummy.

Cheers

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: dolphins. on 01/28/2010 15:33:27 MST Print View

Dave:

Interestingly...

If you look at ALL human societies through the ages -- both the thousands today and all the ones going back to the Old Stone Age (and perhaps even beyond) -- 100% of them have some sort of supernatural belief systems! Sure, there are atheists everywhere, but they are always a minority -- never the dominant of any culture or society -- time or place. There are very few "cultural" traits common to all humans everywhere -- but having a belief system is one of them.

Now, if you look at the animal world -- even chimps which ostensibly share 99.8% of our genes -- not a one has any observable traits of supernatural belief / worship. Sure, our observations are limited -- but we really have observed the beejeebies out of many, many different animals -- and we don't find even the very slightest hint!

Edited by ben2world on 01/28/2010 15:49:41 MST.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
Goose Down, Humane? on 01/28/2010 15:34:50 MST Print View

One of my best memories about animal welfare was in Bali seeing the farmers taking the ducks out to a new rice paddock in the morning and back in the evening. The ducks just follow a flag carried by the farmer. Otherwise they are on their own during the day happily eating grabs and grasses. Similarly chooks (hens and chickens...) run around and are not caged. It is an Hindu country.
Yet going around the countryside you see many caged cocks. Those are used for cock fights, a sight not for the faint hearted (and not my cup of tea....) Same people, same religion.
Franco

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Down vs. Synthetic on 01/28/2010 15:41:18 MST Print View

Interesting point about people's tendancy/desire to believe in the supernatural.
Regarding the philosophy I don't see the idea of "dominion" as a bad thing, people are the only ones who can make rational choices about envirnmental matters so they have "dominion" whether they call it that or not.

I was wondering if someone would bring the whole synthetics/goose down/sustainablity issue up. I've seen people wearing stylish synthetic who don't have a clue about the natural world get in a self rightous huff because they saw a man wearing leather clothes explaining the traditional lives of Native Americans to kids in school. We all thought it was hilarious but its also rather narrow thinking so I'm glad we're having a good discussion here.

joseph peterson
(sparky) - F

Locale: Southern California
Goose Down, Humane? on 01/28/2010 16:13:32 MST Print View

I guess if it is ethical or not depends on how the down was collected?? Just be happy with yourself and don't ask the internet to tell you what is ethical! Go with your gut.

joseph peterson
(sparky) - F

Locale: Southern California
Goose Down, Humane? on 01/28/2010 16:33:00 MST Print View

Our human morals and ethics have no bearing on the universe whatsoever. Will there be effects of human choices? Of course! But to rocks, geese, plants, and black holes the effects are neither good or bad, it is only one thing...reality. What is happening now, what has happened, and what will happen.

I guess what I mean is as long as you get a good nights sleep because the universe does not give a rats ass about your ethics or goose down.

Michael Tauben
(mtauben) - MLife

Locale: My heart is in the hills
Goose Down Reply on 01/28/2010 18:12:33 MST Print View

I would like to thank very much everyone for their interesting and insightful replies to my posting. I never expected such a discussion about religion and basic ethics to emerge.

I am an atheist so I base my ethics on my own observations of the world and on the advice of people I trust, however, we all draw on something to create are moral world view be it God, PETA, or the man raving about CIA spy satellites on the street corner.

I will most defiantly read the two articles mentioned in the first few posts and have decided to write some of my favorite down gear producing companies and ask them if they know how their down is sourced. If they are Eider ducks, from meat producing geese etc...

I most certainly understand the grave concerns regarding petroleum based products and a larger carbon footprint is certainly not something I am after, however, if I see a gaggle of majestic geese rising from a pond when collecting water at a camp site I hate to think I had tortured his cousin just to stop a chill that night.

By the way I have lived my entire life in Montreal, Canada the place with the largest temperatures swings of any major city in the world so I know a thing or two about needing warm cloths for my day to day life. Since, however, when running out to the store or going for a walk with my dog weight and compressibility are not an issue it would never even occur to me to wear down in the city. Additionally, I wanted to bury my grandmothers old fur coats and consider that sort of "fashion" to be totally reprehensible. If I lived in Nunavut, northern Canada, however, I would probably see things differently, and rightfully so. Anyways thanks again for your comments and I will continue to check on the replies to see how the discussion develops.

Dondo .
(Dondo) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Goose Down Reply on 01/28/2010 18:31:44 MST Print View

Michael, in case you want to see what the live plucking of geese looks like, check out this video. The action starts around 1:15. Not for the squeamish.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Goose Down, Humane? on 01/28/2010 18:55:44 MST Print View

"I guess if it is ethical or not depends on how the down was collected?? Just be happy with yourself and don't ask the internet to tell you what is ethical! Go with your gut."

Well, my gut likes to know how the animals are treated before I make any personal ethical decisions. And I think this is the gist of the OP...how do you find out where and how your down came to be? For some it matters not one IOTA as they feel "animals" (as in non-humans) are ours for the exploiting in any way we feel fit. Of course, we used to think that about "sub-humans" such as African slaves, but times and mindsets can change, and maybe geese can be viewed as sentient animals with a desire to be treated 'humanely', at least up to the point of death. I doubt this will happen on a large scale due to economic costs. Many cultures (western ones in particular) keep their livestock in tortuous conditions for days or weeks before actually killing them, so I don't hold out much hope for the lowly non-placental geese or duck living in the most populated country in the world :(

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Goose Down, Humane? on 01/28/2010 19:00:46 MST Print View

Guys (and gals):

Considering how many millions of chickens we slaughter every year (not that we treat them that well cooping them all up while they're alive) -- what's plucking a few geese?


EDIT: It's 269 chickens every second, 2.7 million chickens every day, or 8.4 billion chickens every year!!!


Put things in perspective. All better now. :)

Edited by ben2world on 01/28/2010 19:16:08 MST.

Dondo .
(Dondo) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Re: Goose Down, Humane? on 01/28/2010 19:05:10 MST Print View

Considering how many millions of chickens we slaughter every year (not that we treat them that well cooping them all up while they're alive) -- what's plucking a few geese?

Time to cue up my chicken video. ;-)

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Goose Down, Humane? on 01/28/2010 19:05:58 MST Print View

"Considering how many millions of chickens we slaughter every year (not that we treat them that well cooping them all up while they're alive) -- what's plucking a few geese?"

That is actually offensive to those of us who grow our own happy and loved free-range chickens. It's not the killing that matters to me, it's how they are treated up to that point. Same for humans really. I am all for humane euthanasia (of any animal), but not the torture of keeping an ill and in pain terminal patient alive when they would be better off dead. Or actually treating them badly before you euthanase them. Uh oh, now this really is chaff!

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
That is why on 01/28/2010 19:16:27 MST Print View

Ben,

That is why I don't eat chicken and only eat eggs from free range chickens. It is truly horrible how they are treated, just one more example of the problems with large corporate approaches to life.