- I get the impression that most contributors to this forum are conscious of the well being of the planet, and the creatures that inhabit it, so I thought I'd pass on this information I received from REI about the down they use to fill sleeping bags.
I'd decided to replace my synthetic filled sleeping bag with a down filled bag. It is lighter by over one pound from my synthetic bag and likely to be warmer in the mountains.
I was concerned that the down was not 'live-plucked' (a cruel practice banned in America and Europe) and so I asked REI's head office what was the source of the down they used and how the down was taken from the birds. The response was that all of their down comes from China and was a bi-product of geese slaughtered for human consumption. I asked how they could be sure of that, and received no response.
My feelings are that I don't want to be responsible for either the killing of animals so that I can be warm, or the possible pain caused to them by live-plucking. 30% of down in the US and Europe are obtained by the molt of chicks from the nestings - and consequently much softer than feathers taken from mature birds at death - or before.
I'm not passing this information intending it to be a crusade, but information that readers may wish to use when making comfort decisions that effect much more than just ourselves.