Thursday, September 07, 2017

Pluck a Duck

Do you look smart in your puffer jacket? I think you look like a version of Michelin Man. And my goodness, aren't puffer jackets so terribly common now, no longer the desirable garment of the ladies of Rose Bay and Toorak who lunch out frequently and often.

Some of you may have guessed where I am going with this. Our Friend from Japan is visiting Melbourne and over dinner this Tuesday evening, she confirmed the shocking news I had just learnt. She said there are videos with soundtracks, and they are horrendous to watch and hear.

Puffer jackets are made up of tubes of synthetic fabric stuffed with duck down, that is their under feathers that keep them warm, and then the tubes are sewn together to make up the jacket.

Our F f J began to describe the videos from China she had seen and the noise the ducks make as they are plucked live of their down, four times a year.  We stopped her telling us more.

I was in complete ignorance about this extraordinary animal cruelty and it is just so easy to not support such cruel industry by not buying down products.

I am sure you don't want this post embellished with photos and videos. There is such a thing named as Traceable Down Standard, which is fine, but if you are not prepared to go down that expensive road, stick to synthetic, or have screaming ducks on your conscience.

China is not doing too badly in many ways. It has improved the lives of many of its citizens. It builds wonderfully high speed train lines in the blink of an eye (but at what expense). It is going very hard on its pollution problems. But in the area of cruelty to animals, it is very much behind the eight ball and very much needs to address this issue.

30 comments:

  1. Animal cruelty is an ongoing problem across the world. What big farm industries do to chickens is horrific. Thanks for the heads up. I'll be on the alert for down products.

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    1. Sandra, we are making some progress here, with cage produced eggs beginning to disappear and people choosing to buy chicken meat from birds that have been well treated. Still a long way to go.

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  2. I had recently seen stories about this practise. And shuddered.

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    1. Practice. Sigh. Brain not engaged this morning.

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    2. EC, what we do to animals generally is a very bad reflection on us.

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  3. Anonymous7:52 am

    "An International Fund for Animal Welfare report on the illegal wildlife trade says that it's the fourth most profitable criminal activity in the world, after drug smuggling, financial counterfeiting, and human trafficking. China is the world's largest consumer of illegal wildlife products, which include rhino horn, bear bile, and tiger bone.
    Profits for endangered species and their body parts are sky-high. Ivory can go for $1,000 a pound on the streets of Beijing, and the pangolin — an anteater whose scales are used to disperse blood stasis and promote pus discharge, and whose meat is considered a delicacy — can fetch up to $324 a dish at local restaurants." - Ian googled this. More here.. news.vice.com/article/china-outlaws-the-eating-of-tiger-penis-rhino-horn-and-other-endangered-animal-products

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    1. Thanks for the information and link, Ian. Things being outlawed may well reduce the problem significantly and I wasn't aware that these things are illegal in China.

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    2. And Australia is not immune from criticism of the smuggling of animals.

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  4. It amazing what one will do to make a dollar...

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    1. Dora, and that is what it is all generally about, money.

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  5. Oh Jesus. I had no idea! And here I just thought puffer jackets were ugly. Now I know they REALLY are.

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    1. Rozzie, I didn't mind them initially when they were very tailored, but now they are not and we see coats too, flapping about in the breeze like a dress that hasn't been buttoned up.

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  6. Many of these unpleasant practices seem to originate in the East, they seem to have little care for suffering, whether it be human or animal. Things must change.

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    1. Cro, I think you can generalise a bit on that. Parts of Africa, India sub continent and many Asian countries. (You probably know that here we don't mean Indian people when we say Asian)

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  7. I have a puffy jacket for super cold weather (from when I was in Berlin for Xmas) but it's not a down one. Just synthetic. Phew.

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    1. Fen, surely synthetic would be cheaper than down too. I remember a photo of you on the back of a motor bike. Maybe you were wearing the jacket then.

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    2. no, that was a leather jacket, please don't tell the vegans!

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    3. Fen, it rather depends on the treatment of the pretty lash eyed cow that provided the leather. No, I don't check about leather either.

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  8. I knew about this and thought I'd save and buy a silk filled doona but after the cocoon is spun with the critter inside, they are boiled alive and the silk thread is spun off. The Internet does have its uses.

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    1. Jah The, is that how they make silk now? How awful. Correctly farmed and harvested Eider Duck down seems to be fine.

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  9. Oh how awful, I did not know. I don't wear down though, allergic, thank goodness, never have. I never had a down sleeping bag either because in Oregon, they are useless, hold no heat when wet. Always done synthetics. Now I'm happy about that.

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    1. Strayer, while the production of synthetics is at times not great for the environment, it is certainly preferable to such cruelty.

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  10. My 25 year old ski jacket is beginning to break down and I was planning a puffer jacket for next winter, but an ethically sound down jacket is way beyond my budget, so I'll have to go synthetic now that I know how the cheaper down is collected.

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    1. River, I have a small change in the world to reduce animal cruelty. Thank you.

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  11. Oh my gosh! I had no idea they used actual duck feathers Andrew! For some reason I thought it was all synthetic.. I'm glad now that I've never wanted one ☺

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    1. Grace, I don't think they are the most flattering of garments.

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  12. It's always how silk has been made, it's just that we don't always wonder where certain materials have come from. Of course if I was rich enough to give you silk boxers for your birthday, you probably wouldn't care, such luxury.

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    1. Jah Teh, I like support and I don't like accoutrements banging about on my knees, so I don't wear boxers. Given it is an important birthday for me this year, you need to go all out. A simple silk dressing gown will do nicely, and bugger the death of moths that go into making it.

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  13. They're not my idea of looking good. I don't have one and have no intentions of getting one! :)

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    1. Lee, giving you an opportunity to brag, well, you wouldn't need one, would you.

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