Cruelty Beneath the Covers? Go Down-Free With Alicia Silverstone

Posted by on June 4, 2012 | Permalink

Actor Alicia Silverstone is no stranger to helping animals in any way that she can. From her vegan diet to her work with PETA to her interactive website The Kind Life, Alicia is always going above and beyond for animals who are harmed in any way.

Now, she is exposing a cruel trade that has received little attention: the down industry.

In a new PETA video exposé, Silverstone offers a behind-the-scenes view of the down industry, showing how millions of geese and ducks are plucked for their feathers while they are still alive – a traumatic and painful experience.

Many birds used for down have their feathers yanked out of their skin, sometimes several times a year, while they are still alive. The terrified birds are pinned down while hurried workers rip fistfuls of feathers from their sensitive bodies, often plucking them so violently that they actually tear open the birds’ skin. They then sew up the wounds using a needle and thread – without any painkillers.

In addition to damaging birds, buying down supports the cruel foie gras industry, in which birds have tubes rammed down their throats and food pumped into their stomachs in order to increase the size of their livers. The production of foie gras is so cruel that it is banned in the UK and many other parts of the world. Foie gras producers boost their profits by selling the feathers from these force-fed birds. No matter where it comes from, down is a product of cruelty to birds.

“You can help stop this suffering by purchasing only down-free products and encouraging all your friends and family members to do the same,” concludes Alicia in the video. “This is one simple way to make a huge difference for animals.”