Monday, September 15, 2008

Duck Duck Goose and Eider Duck

Down comforters and pillow are often associated with luxury and comfort, but have you ever wondered where the feathers come from? Most goose down is the byproduct of geese raised for food and while there are bird breeders that keep geese alive for their more mature feathers, I can't help but wonder how humane their conditions are. Fortunately, if any of this makes you queasy, as it does me, there is a more animal friendly alternative which is just as luxurious and comfortable. Eiderdown is an extremely lightweight, yet wonderfully insulating type of down. It comes from the Eider Duck, a migratory sea duck, who plucks her feathers to line her nest and cover the eggs. Once the nest is abandoned, the feathers are gathered and no harm is done to the birds or the nest. As you can imagine, this process does not come cheap, but in addition to it being a more ethical process, many people will tell you that Eiderdown is far superior than goose or duck down anyway.

Read more about Eiderdown here.

Browse Eiderdown products here.

Photo taken from Plumeria Bay.

Edit: In light of a recent comment, let me clarify that I'm not suggesting we eradicate the use of down, nor am I suggesting that everything green should be expensive. I try to keep this blog light and subjective - I simply give you the information, occasionally peppered with my lame jokes or personal values (after all it is my blog), and you can do what you want with it. There are obviously more eco-friendly and less expensive options than Eider down, but on a personal level, I don't eat geese and I don't want to sleep with their feathers.


Anonymous said...

How is it bad to use the feathers of a bird that is being raised for meat?

Shouldn't we use ALL parts of the animal instead of wasting them?

Wouldn't it be better to make use of this byproduct than to be tromping around the wilderness in search of exotic wild feathers?

Not to mention, more feasible for your average consumer to actually be able to purchase?

And either way, isn't natural down preferable to petroleum-based polyester fiberfill?

Let's be careful not make "green" totally unattainable.

Jennifer said...

Good point, but it still makes me queasy. Poor goose...

Anonymous said...

Suggesting an alternative to a product does not make it any less attainable than voicing your thoughts.

I could see where you may want to rebuke her proposal if she was suggesting we completely eliminate the use of goose feathers and force everyone to use fiberfill, but that is nowhere near what the post was about.

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