In my defense I have been busy uploading items to the shop so I haven't been completely neglecting the site.
I have been vegetarian for over ten years now. My decision to give up meat was due to the condition the food was being kept in, the various different food scares at the time and of course the thought of eating another living thing really didn't appeal to me.
I am a huge animal lover but I wouldn't consider myself an animal rights activist. I would take in an animal who needed a home a lot quicker than I would pay for some mass produced breed. I condemn cruelty to animals, but I understand animals are still breed for food. Unless I feel you are out of order on any issue, I am not the sort of person to inflict my view on anyone who didn't want to hear it. I digress...
All that said, I learned something very interesting and deeply upsetting today. I had just finished making the above dream catcher and a friend asked if I could make a similar one with artificial feathers. Until this point I had no reason to question the use of feathers in my earrings or other jewellery. I had assumed (and you know what assumed did) that the feathers were plucked after the animal was dead or gathered round about like Peacock feather.
So as with any bespoke request, I hit the internet. I did a lot of looking for synthetic feather to no avail. Even the feathers claiming to be artificial only do so as a result of them being dyed, they still come from a real bird.
In my ignorance I searched for reasons why people wouldn't want real feathers.
-Was it because of it coming from an animal or
-Was it because of some form of cruelty to the birds.
I challenge you to do the same. I vow here and now, never to buy another feather again in anything, except maybe peacock feathers as they seem to be almost guaranteed to be humanely gathered (but more research is needed into that one before I will consider it). I am sickened that here in the UK it is legal to pluck the feathers out of living birds. Why should it matter what stage of the process the feathers are at? I have even read research describing how when tested the animals hormone levels changed when plucked showing that they do feel it. I ask you would you like the hair pulled out of your head to make a wig or extensions...
That leaves me with two issues...
-Can you actually buy synthetic feathers and
-What do I do with the feathers I currently have??
My first reaction is continue to make items with only the feathers I have left and with everyone sold make a donation to a bird charity. I doubt the feathers I have were plucked from live birds as this is mostly down feathers for pillows and bedding but as I have no way of knowing that the feathers were plucked after death then I would hate for a bird to have suffered in vain...
I love Design by Orla! I never know what to write in these things so that's all your getting lol!