November 20, 2015 8:16 PM MST - Subscription purchasing, account maintenance, forum profile maintenance, new account registration, and forum posting have been disabled
as we prepare our databases for the final migration to our new server next week. Stay tuned here for more details.
Subscribe Contribute Advertise Facebook Twitter Instagram Forums Newsletter
Goose Down, Humane?
Display Avatars Sort By:
Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Goose Down, Humane? on 01/28/2010 20:46:43 MST Print View

"Prescribing a lethal medication is "active" enough for me, Douglas. I just couldn't do it, personally."

I certainly understand, and meant nothing negative in any way by my comment. And I am also keenly aware of the fine line between alleviating pain and hastening death. As you know, you're at times doing both at the same time. To many, it's simply the motivation that matters -- that hastening death is an unintended consequence, at times, of properly alleviating pain, and not the other way around. I think we could probably also agree that too much suffering and pain is sometimes allowed because some are too afraid of/too against the unintended consequence.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Goose Down, Humane? on 01/28/2010 20:50:45 MST Print View

"goose down.
goose down.
goose down."

Goose down in the panty
Goose down in the hall
Why if it wasn't for my goose down
I wouldn't be warm at all!

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Goose Down, Humane? on 01/28/2010 20:54:26 MST Print View

"goose down.
goose down.
goose down."

Bah! Horsefeathers!

Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Wow on 01/28/2010 20:57:49 MST Print View

You and me baby ain't nothing but mammals,
So let's do it like they do on the Discovery Channel...

This is the weirdest, wildest swing in a GEAR post I have ever seen.

I love down, the higher fill-power the better. That is collected from geese, not from harvested geese. If 900 fill came from Chinese food geese I would take it in a minute. I would make a slogan;

Down is warm
Down is good,
Who cares if it came from food...

I wish I could afford to have every down piece made from Eider down. Heck, even one. But maybe there are issues there too. As it only comes from nests I may be taking advantage of the pain and suffering of "childbirth". Robbing parent's home right as they finally hit that "empty nest stage".

You know how the celebs do those anti-fur ads where they would rather go nude than wear fur? Maybe they can make some anti-down ads like that. "I would rather go nude and freeze then wear down". Cool, naked and cold...


A bunch of cannibals were sitting around the fire eating a clown. (Rhymes with down.:-) One of them asks, "Does yours taste funny?"

Tom Caldwell
(Coldspring) - F

Locale: Ozarks
Goose on 01/28/2010 21:05:52 MST Print View

Duck, Duck, Duck, Duck, Duck, GOOSE!

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Goose Down, Humane? on 01/28/2010 21:15:12 MST Print View

One question I always have to vegetarians is: why is there a difference between the value of an animal's (and here I include insects and worms and mollusks) life and that of a plant's? A plant does just as much as an animal to keep itself alive, for the same reasons. To me all life is sacred and I make no distinction between plants and animals when it comes to the seriousness of taking life. But at the same time all life lives upon the lives of other living things... life keeps itself alive by life. And death, no matter how you try to dress it up, is just not pretty. But it's still necessary.

Nature itself is in great part full of pain and violence ("cruelty" is a human concept, convenient for our comfort). If you've spent a lot of time living with and observing wild animals you will know that it is not all pretty pictures and soft hearts; there is constant fighting, bullying, tearing a creature to shreds while it is still alive and kicking, decimation of entire herds or colonies, infanticide, fratricide, cannibalism, rape, wanton waste... the only reason why it all works is that there are so many other creatures doing the same thing that it balances itself out... rarely, if ever, does nature decide on its actions through altruism or kindness.

What is my point? I really don't know. I don't think there is a moral principle that you can gain from nature itself (even though for me nature and being in nature is one of the most important aspects of my life). This is where we as humans define ourselves in the universe: we create our own standards by which to live. And that includes our tolerance and intolerance for cruelty and waste.

But we still have to take life, whether it is animal of plant, in order to survive. It is when we go beyond what is necessary that the questions come up. Is goose down ethical? Well, first maybe you have to decide how important the lives of other creatures are to you and how you want to treat those creatures. Certainly the geese are not going to help you with the moral decisions, except to bite you when you try to take their feathers, and certainly when you try to take their lives!

Edited by butuki on 01/28/2010 21:34:14 MST.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Re Re Goose Down Humane? on 01/28/2010 21:22:29 MST Print View

Interesting points Miguel. You have a point nature is not "clean" although it works. My brother and I hashed this out a while back. Since animals themselves don't hesitate to eat each other the conclusion we came to was that the only logically consistant way to say you should or should not treat animals a certain way is if you through in some kind of religious angle to make it a moral imperitive. Other than that its seems to basically become more or less an emotional issue of what you are able to stomach. Any thoughts?

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Re: Re: Goose Down, Humane? on 01/28/2010 21:27:10 MST Print View


Ok, back on topic:

I think one issue is that modern man has the ability to commit truly monumental acts of violence, waste, and suffering- to a degree that beggars tribal peoples. For instance, I doubt that anyone would begrudge a Mbuti tribe running down the occasional antelope. Compare that to killing an entire herd of bison with high-powered rifles for their tongues. So there is a line to be crossed somewhere. Obviously. We're just debating where that line is.

Another issue is that humans profess to have morals. If some of your morals include a preference not to cause unnecessary suffering and to avoid wanton waste- as mine do- then you have to look at factory farming with a critical eye, don't you? I think that people who torture animals should be jailed or committed- right next to the trophy hunters. And I certainly don't want my chickens tortured just to keep the cost of a breast below $6/lb. (Food should be MUCH more expensive than it is in the U.S., for many reasons.) Likewise I wouldn't want a goose tortured to keep the price of down down. :o) I'd prefer that it were harvested humanely, or from already dead geese.

That said, I agree with your "wheel of life" outlook on carnivory. And if I'm going to eat the cursed thing then I may as well wear its down too, eh? It would be wasteful not to. Likewise the use of leather. I would be appalled by anyone who eats beef and tosses out the steer hides to rot.

So, any vegetarian tendencies that I may occasionally manifest are definitely NOT morality based. They are far more likely to be health based. And I'll stop laughing at the moral argument when I see a vegan patiently trying to explain it to a polar bear. Or a pack of lions- which routinely eat prey that is still alive.

Humans are OMNIVORES- no one can deny it. That said, for obvious reasons I can't endorse the UNMITIGATED consumption of meat or other animal products.

Edited by acrosome on 01/28/2010 21:43:20 MST.

Dewey Riesterer
(Kutenay) - F
Very good! on 01/28/2010 22:05:36 MST Print View

Miguel, that is a VERY good post and neatly sums up what I also think in a courteous manner. I have spent much of my life doing observations of exactly the sort you refer to and my attitudes stem from that.

A very erudite and wise Canadian intellectual, Dr. A.R.M. Lower, once succinctly observed, ...In the 20thC., mankind is not getting more humane, merely more squeamish... and, as Dylan Thomas, put it so well, writing during "The Blitz" of "The Battle of Britain", ...after the first death, there is no other....

Again, very well said.

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Goose Down on 01/28/2010 22:05:41 MST Print View

"I think one issue is that modern man has the ability to commit truly monumental acts of violence, waste, and suffering- to a degree that beggars tribal peoples. "

True - however, new evidence suggests we have always been like this:

Michael Tauben
(mtauben) - MLife

Locale: My heart is in the hills
RE: Tundra on 01/28/2010 22:07:45 MST Print View

Tundra sounds like a great company that just might solve this debate for me, but their are no weights listed for their bags on their website or their dealers websites and no contact info for me to get a list of avg. bag weights. And although I would in fact pay a premium for ethically sourced down I don't think anyone in the BPL community would spend the hundreds of dollars that these bags cost when you don't in fact know what your getting. Does anyone out there have a Tundra bag and if so could you let me know what they weight.

Dewey Riesterer
(Kutenay) - F
Yup. on 01/28/2010 22:10:47 MST Print View

Of course, Napoleon lost 600,000 troops in his retreat from Russia, Hannibal lost a HUGE number at "Cannae" and we lost 450,000 at "The Somme" and almost 300,000 at a place called "Passchendaele" during "The Great War".

Cain decerebrated Abel, his own brother and even Pope Alexander VI was not too "cool", a Borgia, IIRC. Humans are violent, selfish, cruel, cowardly and also loving, courageous and, it's all about "take what you need and leave the rest", IMHO.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Nope. on 01/28/2010 22:16:01 MST Print View

How about we all just get back to OP's questions. He's interested in more info about Tundra bags. Anyone? Otherwise, move on... nothing to see here....

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Tundra on 01/28/2010 22:21:09 MST Print View


I found an email address for you to ask your questions:

Looks like this British company only sells within the UK. But if you are really interested after finding your info., I bet some UK members here will help you out with shipping.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Goose Down, Humane? on 01/28/2010 22:40:30 MST Print View

How about we all just get back to OP's questions. He's interested in more info about Tundra bags. Anyone? Otherwise, move on... nothing to see here....

Ben, I don't understand your reaction. The OP's original question was about the ethics of goose down. I think most people here have tried to tackle that very question. I don't think it's quite so simple as "Tundra bags". If it was simply a question he had made about certain down-using companies it would be different, but he did ask about the ethics themselves, too. So what do you see as irrelevant to the OP's initial post?

Michael Tauben
(mtauben) - MLife

Locale: My heart is in the hills
Morality on 01/28/2010 22:41:26 MST Print View

First of all I do not for a second decry anyone's post as any intellectual discussion is a welcomed one for me even if assisted suicide was not what I had in mind when I asked the question.

Secondly, come one Miguel a plant has no brain, no brain stem, no pain receptors, no feelings, emotions, consciousness or WILL to survive. That does not mean that are, meaning the western worlds, aggra. business concerning crops is not utterly sick and definitely unsustainable, but plants don't want to survive they just do. Michael Pollan has a very good examination of the issues of agriculture in his books, but for me it is simple if we are "greater" than the rest of the animal kingdom then we should act like it. We either have morality or we don't. We either use are increased intellect, sense of self and our world, to better it for all, man and animal, or we say hell I got mine jack and the hell with the rest of you.

I am not a vegan, but I only eat free range eggs and try to buy other "ethical" dairy. I feel bad every time I have an impact on a living thing, if it be drinking milk, my favorite food product, or swatting a mosquito. I think I would in fact eat meat, I remember how good it tastes, but only if it were raised sustainably, many believe this to be the key "catch phrase" as organic has become so bastardized. However, sustainable meat is not feasible at current consumption prices or quantities. North Americans would have to learn to live with paying more for it and eating it much less often. Unless a massive shift in aggra. business was to take place I will never again eat meat.

By the way I eat dairy for health reasons. If I did not I would be much sicker and would be able to provide less for the welfare of animals. My Faustian bargain with the devil.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Goose Down, Humane? on 01/28/2010 22:43:07 MST Print View

Ben, I don't understand your reaction.

Miguel -- Just sent you a PM.

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
Compassion on 01/28/2010 22:58:46 MST Print View

For me, compassion is the defining motive for my reasoning because nature is so replete with pain and suffering and because we are able to recognize this and have it in our power most times to make choices that will reduce or ease pain or suffering or at least not add to it.

A lion has no choice but to live the life it is born into. A lion cannot choose to be vegan or vegetarian or to help an old lady cross the street. A human can or can choose to be mostly or partly vegan or can even attempt to be pure carnivore if so desired (or to eat the old lady). We can choose.

We can stop and help or drive on by. There are multiple continuums and we navigate through life making choices that move us about them. These choices can be informed by a philosophy or a religion or morality or anger or malice or any number of other factors and influences above and beyond mere instinct. That is what it is to be human.

We decide who we are and how we will behave. We decide whether to care or not or what to care about. We can start a ripple of hope or happiness or love, sometimes by merely smiling, or we can induce a current of pain or hatred or fear, sometimes with a simple offhand comment that we didn't even give a second thought to.

I offer at this moment a smile and a frothy cup of compassion. Cheers.

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Compassion on 01/28/2010 23:04:54 MST Print View

I'll drink to that.

Dewey Riesterer
(Kutenay) - F
Faustian? on 01/28/2010 23:09:24 MST Print View

Michael,I don't "get" that aspect of your approach to biological reality, but, I do much as you do in my daily life and have for many years. I tend to believe individual actions and the sum thereof are a far more practical method of bringing about the social changes necessary to "clean up" the current environmental mess humans have made on this planet...and, I DO think that is doable.

So, I honestly do not see a ...Faustian... aspect to your thoughts and the actions that result from them; it has been a LONG time since I read Goethe, but, I think that you are being a little too hard on yourself, here.

I eat some dairy products because I LIKE them and I eat much of my "red" meat as wild game I hunt and bring home. I do not kill very many animals as we cannot use much meat and I think that many people should eat more fish and other protein sources, such as "beancurd", of which I am very fond.

But, I also find discussions like this very enlightening and well worth having; I get a bit tired of continual "gearhead" comments, especially when the person giving advice has never seen the item(s) spoken about or been in the region(s) where they are to be used. This thread has been really enjoyable and has made me do some serious thinking......difficult at my advanced age.....

Edited by Kutenay on 01/28/2010 23:11:17 MST.