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 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.