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Do You Really Need a Down Jacket or Pillow?

Story ID:9480
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:Lakewood Ohio usa
Year:2014
Person:Suzana
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Do you really need a down jacket or a down pillow?

I am so sorry that I don't have computer capabilities of adding pictures so that you could see the poor goose I'm looking at with her or his bloody chest. A worker had torn from her -down feather by down feather until her chest was red from the blood that oozed from this terrible practice. All this suffering for the coveted down jacket, coat, pillow, or comforter. Would I be amiss to comparing this practice to pulling strands of hair from our heads? I don't think so.

Really- with that picture and my query, I believe people of compassion would need no further reason to decide to choose fiber-filled products instead. They might even consider a product made from the down of dead geese though I don't know how you would accomplish finding this out. It would probably be impossible since companies who use down are not likely to really care where or how the down originates. So for people of compassion- the best way is to avoid anything made with down.

I remember learning about this cruelty in the 80's. So when I needed a new winter coat, I made sure that I picked one with fiber fill. Imagine, I still have and use that coat today.

However, there will always be some who could care less if the unlucky goose was plucked alive or not. I found a perfect example of this type of person on Entertainment Tonight. Recently, they showed a celebrity sporting a fur jacket over a red shirt with the saying “Real Girls Eat Meat.” Here was someone who I believe didn't have an ounce of compassion in her whole body.

Then during the terrible bitter freezing days we experienced recently, I was watching a TV news
program where they told us to dress warmly. Of the three products – down, fiber-fill, and fleece, they recommended wearing something filled with down.

I was horrified to hear this because of the inherent cruelty associated with it. They should have at least added something about the plucking of down which causes extreme pain to the live geese being plucked. Did they know? Did they care? I called the station and left a message telling them about the cruelty of down jackets and coats. No response. Yes, I deserved a response. The geese who we exploit deserve a response. I just may well send them a copy of this post. I think we all should speak up against cruelty wherever we find it.

My Slovak forebears did indeed probably use down and feathers for the “perinas” they brought with them from the old country. I truly hope that those warm comforters were made with the down and feathers of dead geese. If anyone knows differently-I would certainly like to know.

Finally, not only do we cause immeasurable pain to the live geese for their precious down feathers, but let us not forget that some people still today eat foie gras- even knowing how terribly geese are force fed to fatten their livers. Having a pipe shoved down their throat and copious amounts of grain poured into it must be a horrifying meal-taking for these poor geese. I am sorry to say that I do not appreciate this product which was pioneered by the French and is probably a staple in France today. I hope I am wrong.

I had been so disappointed to find out that President Obama and his family when visiting France made it a point to eat foie gras. I then realized that Obama was not the compassionate and sensitive president I had hoped for when I voted for him. Sadly, compassionate presidents are very rare. The only one I feel who really was -was President Abraham Lincoln.

I have a cement goose in my narrow garden bed. I bet she is pleased with this post. How I got her is a story in itself.

I had always admired her when she “lived" one street over on a porch. My dog and I passed her by almost daily and admired her protective stance. Then one day a new owner of the house didn't want her and placed her on the front lawn for garbage pick-up. Oh no. She deserved better. I rang the door bell and asked if I might have her. I can't remember who answered, but they told me – yes!

I went home to get my '72 Comet. But I was in for a big surprise. She was made of cement and weighed “a ton.” I couldn't lift her up into the well of my car, and this turned out to be a blessing. So back I went home to get my trusted dolly. With effort I lifted her only a couple of inches on to it, and off we went. Since then some cruel kids battered her but I am glad that I moved her closer to my house now where I see her every day though my window. Here she stands guard every day – a reminder to me of how badly we often treat these poor birds whose down we cruelly pluck from their bodies or force feed them grain which must be the absolute pits in meal-taking for them.