Alicia Silverstone Urges Holiday Shoppers to Go Down-Free for the Birds

Alicia Silverstone, down feathers, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, PETA, Vaute Couture, vegan fashion, vegan clothing, vegan style, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, geese, ducks, animal cruelty, animal rights, animal welfare

Alicia Silverstone isn’t down with down. The actress-turned-vegan-lifestyle-guru and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals are putting up a united front to urge holiday shoppers to avoid products that include duck or goose feathers. In a behind-the-scenes video released Thursday, Silverstone describes the cruelty millions of birds endure as they’re plucked for their feathers each year. “Many birds used for down have their feathers yanked out of their skin, sometimes several times a year, while they are still alive,” she says. “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.”

DOWN ON DOWN

Buying down can also support foie gras, which is banned in California and many parts of the world. Foie gras producers often boost their bottom line by selling the feathers of ducks and geese that are force-fed so their livers swell by up to 10 times their normal size, says Silverstone.

Buying down can also support foie gras, which is banned in California and many parts of the world.

On many farms, birds are typically confined in tiny cages, sometimes in the dark. “They’re denied everything that is natural and important to them, including water to swim and bathe in and the opportunity to forage for food,” she adds. At the slaughterhouse, birds used for their down and feathers are hung upside down while still alive and stunned with electricity before they’re plunged into scalding-hot “defeathering” tanks.

“No matter where it comes from, down is a product of cruelty to birds,” Silverstone says. “We like to imagine that birds are walking around and their feathers are falling off and we just collect them in little baskets and be so lovely. That ain’t happening.”

This isn’t the first time Silverstone’s teamed up with PETA. In 2007, the Clueless star posed nude to tout the benefits of veganism.

+ People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

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