How To Avoid Animal Cruelty When Buying Your Down Duvet

Avoid Animal Cruelty When Buying Your Down Duvet

Feathers and down are typically used for the insulation and padding in duvets, jackets, sleeping bags and pillows, and most of these products combine a carefully measured blend of both down and feather. Down is the product which often comes with the highest value, and it consists of the fluffy, soft undercoating that waterfowl such as ducks and geese have beneath their coarser feathers, helping to keep them warm. Although all birds have some down and feathers, land fowl such as chickens don’t have very much down, whereas geese and ducks often have the most on their bellies, where they are exposed to water. For many of us, buying a down duvet is the ultimate luxury, providing us with a cosy and warm night’s sleep, and a great place to snuggle up on winter evenings.

It may be grisly to think about, but many of us wonder about the price that various animals are paying when we go to purchase a new down duvet or set of pillows. For many of us, it is essential to have the best night’s sleep possible, and often nothing but a high quality down duvet will compare when it comes to assessing comfort and quality. However, that doesn’t mean that we want the animals who have provided us with our cosy bed to suffer. We all know that there is no magical factory somewhere that churns out natural feathers and down, and the insulating, fluffy undercoating of fibers located beneath the tougher outer layer of feathers comes from ducks, geese and other water fowl. The truth is, it is likely that the heavenly duvet you snuggle up to each morning is filled with down and feathers that was plucked from various birds. It may seem gruesome, but often the down and feathers taken from these waterfowl should be removed when they are no longer living, to save them from unnecessary pain and suffering, however this is not always the case.

The down and feathers found in most bedding and clothing come as a by-product of dearly departed ducks and geese that have been slaughtered for the purpose of food. Although the plucking of live birds used to be relatively common place, many people argue that today it is a rarer occurrence, outlawed in various European countries and the United States. However, the practice of live plucking ducks and geese continues in several factory farms in countries such as Poland, China and Hungary, where PETA estimates that fifty percent of down and feathers are plucked from live waterfowl by ‘rippers’. In this case, the ducks and geese are harmed and sadly killed in the creation of new comforters and pillows. When live geese and ducks have their feathers plucked, they are pulled forcefully from their skin, leaving sore, bleeding follicles and skin damage in the form of tears and bruising. However, the European Union forbids this form of live-plucking, and purchasing a duvet or pillow set that has been made in certain European countries, or is produced by a brand supported by the EU, may help you to sleep easier.

Editor's Note
  • The only way to ensure no animal is harmed in making your duvet is to buy one which does not contain animal products.