Don’t Celebrate Mardi Gras With Cruelly Obtained Feathers – They Were Stolen From Someone

Posted on by Dan H

The Sydney Mardi Gras parade is set to be a brilliant party yet again this year. As one of the largest LGBT+ festivals in the world, the event is on track to attract hundreds of thousands of people from across Australia and overseas to celebrate. While it’s a time for extravagance, please don’t make birds suffer for it. Here’s why you should ditch feathers from your Mardi Gras outfit.

Dyed feathers are often featured in Mardi Gras costumes, from boas and feather dusters to elaborate carnival attire. But feathers aren’t obtained humanely – they’re torn from terrified birds who are killed for their flesh or skin.

At some of the largest ostrich slaughter companies in the world, ostriches are often live-plucked for the feather trade. During this process, the sensitive birds are blindfolded and held down – which causes them to panic – and their feathers are pulled from the follicle by hand or with pliers. Some birds are returned to cages, bleeding from fresh wounds, and PETA Asia’s eyewitness investigation reveals others are shot with a captive-bolt gun or electrocuted and hung upside down before their throats are slit and their featherless bodies slowly bleed out.

The feathers of other birds – from intensively farmed peacocks to chickens, turkeys, and other birds killed in the meat industry – are also often dyed or altered for commercial sale and used to decorate items like masks and other accessories. And PETA Asia’s investigative footage of Vietnam’s down industry shows a worker stabbing conscious ducks in the neck and workers cutting the legs off live, struggling birds. Their feathers were later sold to brands as “responsibly sourced” down.

A pile of chicken feathers outside a rendering plant in South Australia.Photo: Animal Liberation

A pile of chicken feathers outside a rendering plant in South Australia.

Kind revellers can celebrate with creativity and compassion by using feather-free materials.