Yeah, you know, those feathers in your pillow, the ones that prick you sometimes and your like, what the hell. Where do they come from? Are they sourced sustainably and humanely? We often don’t take time to notice the little things around us. I found this while trying to find a bogus topic for Youth Voices. I was looking up, “The dark side of the pillow industry” hoping to find some basket case who wanted to rant about pillows. What I actually found is disturbing. 

Goose down, which is a common filling for jackets, pillows, and other cozy things comes from, you guessed it, geese. Down is used for most things that involve insulation. To acquire down, geese farmers pluck the birds while they are alive. They hold them down, and pull all the feathers off around the breast of the bird. This often breaks the bones, because they have to kneel on their necks, and rips out chunks of skin causing the bird to bleed severely. This is how 50% to 80% of down is sourced. We can’t really know because once the feathers are off the bird they become untraceable. So when a pillow is made in the USA you can’t really know.

So yeah, that’s messed up. But what can we do? Well to start off, buy synthetic fillers that work in almost an identical way to down. These are things like polyester fiber, corn fiber, and eucalyptus fiber. Just be aware of what you’re buying in the future, and understand that everything comes at a cost. Don’t be afraid to look in the most unlikely of places, that’s usually where stuff like this happens.

  1. Eggert 4 months ago

    Thank you Strom,
    This is one of those small inhumanities no one ever considers. I am definitely switching to memory foam now. I unfortunatley do not have an article for you but this was quite eyeopening

  2. Ben 4 months ago

    Good afternoon Strom,
    Your article brought showed me how disturbing pillows can actually be. I don’t think I can sleep with a feather pillow again knowing what I know now and I will do everything I can to be conscious of what I purchase and consume. This link ( is about other animals being mistreated and used for their meat, wool and other things.

    Sincerely, Ben Yarrish

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