Your down coat could be the product of cruelty
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eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Your down coat could be the product of cruelty on 12/19/2013 15:44:16 MST Print View

http://www.salon.com/2013/12/15/your_down_coat_could_be_the_product_of_cruelty/

Down is often collected through a procedure called live plucking. Which is pretty much what it sounds like: A worker restrains the bird and rips out feathers by the handfuls, especially from the goose’s underbelly but sometimes also from the back. Often, pieces of skin come off as well, the birds scream in terror and struggle to get away. Sometimes they die from the trauma. Just Google “down cruelty” and you’ll find plenty of pictures of miserable, bald and dying geese straight from my nightmare. Animal rights groups contend that this practice encompasses 50-80 percent of all down.

Down obtained post-slaughter as a byproduct of meat production is considered less cruel, but it doesn’t mean that the geese haven’t been raised in crowded, inhumane factory-like conditions. According to Veterinary Practice News, “geese on Hungarian factory farms [where much of the world’s down comes from] are raised in small areas that may contain up to 20,000 geese.” Gray geese, in particular, get the worst of both worlds: They are raised for down and foie gras (mostly in Hungary, where it is still legal; all EU nations but five have banned the raising of geese for foie gras), which means the birds often endure up to six rounds of live-plucking while being force-fed and then slaughtered for their swollen livers.

So what’s in your urban-hip down coat? Very little down is produced in the U.S., most of it is imported by a California company, Allied Feather & Down. According to Four Paws, an animal rights organization in Germany, Allied sources much of its down from, you guessed it, Hungary. Hungarian down is considered to be of the highest quality because the down plumule is larger than normal, making it warmer — which is why it makes perfect economic sense for the Hungarians to specialize in both down and foie gras. Any company that sources from Allied Feather & Down probably has some live-plucked and/or foie gras down, notably North Face, the “it” down jacket company. North Face currently has by far the largest market share — 33.5 percent of the U.S. outerwear market for 2012 as reported by SportsOneSource to the New York Times — and is a favorite of celebrities such as the social activist Angelina Jolie and President Obama. A North Face representative told Salon the company is working on a “Responsible Down Standard,” but also confirmed that Allied Feather is unchanged as its source. Allied Feather did not respond to multiple requests for information on their down.


more at link ....

;)

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Your down coat could be the product of cruelty on 12/19/2013 16:10:57 MST Print View

Maybe goose prozac for the crowded conditions and goose vicodin for the plucking. Then we could catch a cool buzz from foie gras

Maybe we shoild just make more synthetics so every species dies equally from pollution and byproduckt. Get it? -duckt. Bwaa haa.



Will someone just nuke the world already? All this bitching is making my head hurt

Mike Gervais
(MikeG) - M
Copper much? on 12/19/2013 20:47:24 MST Print View

OP have you seen how much Earth they tear up to produce the amount of copper in your various E devices?

No one on this earth not living in abject poverty is free from ecological impact.

Live with it or steep in your angst to the point of anxiety.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Re: Your down coat could be the product of cruelty on 12/19/2013 21:02:19 MST Print View

It's an issue i've given some thought too. Yet, i've bought some down stuff and it's likely that some of that down comes from either China or Hungary where this is an issue.

This is one of the reason's why i wanted Richard Nisley to test the CLO levels of Angora Rabbit fur, as a possible cruelty free, sustainable replacement for Down (at least in garments, probably wouldn't work well in bags or quilts).

I bought a pound of it from a local, small farm where she brushes and cuts the hair off, for 28 dollars.

I think that good quality Angora Rabbit fur could easily be equivalent to 650 fp down.

Reason why i think this. Kapok was tested by some Scandinavian researchers and found to be almost equivalent to duck down in CLO value. This is as good or better than most synthetics (though not quite as good as PL1 or Apex).

The fibers of Kapok tend to be about an average of 30 microns, which is fine, but not super fine by any means. They are hollow, which increases their insulation capacity.

Ok, Angora rabbit fur. Depending on the breed of rabbit, the average micron count of Angora rabbit fur can get as low and fine as 12-15 microns, but like Kapok, many of these are quite hollow as well..

Twice as fine, and still hollow. That equals a lot of potential warmth. Plus, some of the fibers often get even much finer, but these are solid.

Since Angora rabbit fur is just strong enough to spin into woven fabrics (though often blended with other fibers for longer term durability wear) this indicates it's likely strong and resilient enough to be used as a loose fill that can be compressed. One problem could be matting/felting, but hydrophobic coatings may help that.

Never got a reply back from him though.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Your down coat could be the product of cruelty on 12/19/2013 21:17:22 MST Print View

One could purchase synthetic items, but they are made
from peteoleum which causes far more damage to Flora and fauna and mother earth.

Tough call.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Your down coat could be the product of cruelty on 12/19/2013 21:21:59 MST Print View

So it's all or nothing?
A person isn't allowed to question the practices of a company or industry- even if they own products from that company or industry- and suggest that perhaps things should be done differently? If I've ever bought down or an electronic device I'm no longer allowed to raise awareness or call for change in these industries?

Why all the vitriol for simply bringing the topic up?

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Re: Your down coat could be the product of cruelty on 12/19/2013 21:49:52 MST Print View

Eric, thank for posting this; even though I buy more than my fair share of down; I wish there was a way to figure out who is marketing the 'better practice" down collection for their products.

I think the big push lately for inexpensive down clothing (costco/j.c.penny/ LL Bean, etc) might be exacerbating the problem you describe.

Tad

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
Your down coat could be the product of cruelty on 12/19/2013 22:36:06 MST Print View

+ 1 Craig.

It seems to me that for our generation being part of the problem and the solution is pretty inevitable.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Re: Re: Your down coat could be the product of cruelty on 12/20/2013 00:02:23 MST Print View

This is one of the reason's why i wanted Richard Nisley to test the CLO levels of Angora Rabbit fur, as a possible cruelty free, sustainable replacement for Down (at least in garments, probably wouldn't work well in bags or quilts).

I bought a pound of it from a local, small farm where she brushes and cuts the hair off, for 28 dollars.

I think that good quality Angora Rabbit fur could easily be equivalent to 650 fp down.


angora fur might be lived plucked ... warning this vid is EXTREMELY disturbing ... its also from PETA which for me means eating tasty animals ... but even i think this practice is questionable ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RnIFDQUHqPI

as to whether you choose to use or care where your down comes from thats up to you ...

but one should be aware of it and there is nothing wrong with a conversation about it .... keep in mind that every BPLers favorite comapany, Patagucci, thinks its enough of an issue that theyve made it a priority for their sourcing

and westcomb of course uses canadian hutterite geese that are certified as not live plucked

;)

Edited by bearbreeder on 12/20/2013 00:03:01 MST.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Your down coat could be the product of cruelty on 12/20/2013 06:04:35 MST Print View

Here's the 11 pager from last time

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=28294

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Re: Your down coat could be the product of cruelty on 12/23/2013 22:56:39 MST Print View

"angora fur might be lived plucked ... warning this vid is EXTREMELY disturbing ... its also from PETA which for me means eating tasty animals ... but even i think this practice is questionable"


Yes, it "can" be and especially in places where it's mass produced, like in China (where they seem to have no respect for other creatures as a general trend anyways), but there are lot's of little North American farms where people do not do that. From visiting forums where people raise Angora rabbits, a lot of people seem to view them as almost pets first, and fiber producing animals second. PETA only likes to show the very most extremist and cruelest side of animal husbandry, and often downplays the moderate or mutually beneficial side that also exists. I'm speaking as someone that ate strictly vegetarian for a decade (for various reasons including animal cruelty), with some time eating strictly vegan, and now eats mostly vegetarian with a little fish occasionally--i mention this only to point out that i do care and think about this subject.

It's also somewhat easy to raise your own Angora rabbits, if one doesn't think they can trust a local, small farm.

Angora rabbits are bred to shed their fiber, and produce so much and shed so much that if they aren't groomed properly (often enough), they can actually die from eating too much of their own fur. Most cottage or DIY type folks either brush them, or clip their hair. Either works fine and doesn't hurt the animal.

On the other hand, i don't know of any local farms that raise geese or ducks for down collecting that i can go and buy down from.

Also, hard to beat 28 dollars a pound for such a warm fiber.

Roger Dodger
(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: Wess Siide
Re: Your down coat could be the product of cruelty / my dog sheds on 12/24/2013 13:44:34 MST Print View

My dog has two coats. 2 inch long thick, and 1 inch short thin fibers.

24 hours after vacuuming the furball tumbleweeds are rolling on the tiles.

I brush him at the park - and endless supply of dog fur. I think he is like Wolverine. he regenerates fur faster than I can brush it off.

As it seems that most Americans homes are harboring fugitive cats or rescue dogs, there's gotta be a way to harness all those volumes of pet fur into a MYOG or a recycled project.