Featherless : The Rooster Genocide
17 Jun 2011

The Author

Profile photo of Jessica Dugan
>>>Dream Chaser Activist * Live Music Enthusiast * Cannabis Industry Expert *Sparkle Spreader * Mindfulness Teacher * Yogi Artist with a Mermaid Soul <<<


The gift of sharing a creative outlet with others is overwhelmingly powerful and offers a great feeling of success. Together, art and feather earring sales have helped support my life style for almost two years. For their trendy appeal and reasonable prices, feather earrings have become my most successful and beneficial product. Up until about one week ago, around June 8th, I had plans of going out on a limb and investing in the feather hair extension business.

Believe it or not, I know people that make a living for themselves selling feathers.  You can journey to Africa, bring the trend with you, and still take care of your traveling needs… if you know the practice well enough. With this in mind I wanted to take full advantage of my feathering talents.  I had all the tools I needed to actually make this work: marketing skills, craftsmanship, and love.

Way before I started researching places to purchase feathers, rumors of escalating prices were swirling around. It seemed to me that feather keepers were very secretive about their suppliers. I knew that the market was flooded and that competition was intense, but I never once considered rooster genocide.

The original intention for the feathers you see in almost every other girl’s hair was fly-fishing. The feathers come from a genetically inclined rooster with a specific baiting purpose. Unfortunately, the birds usually do not survive the plucking, and in some places roosters aren’t even given the chance- they’re euthanized.  According to the Seattle Times Newspaper, Whiting Farms in Delta, Colorado harvests 1,500 birds a week and still doesn’t reach the fashion market’s demand. The company has even stopped taking on new accounts, proving how severe the case is.

These facts hit me hard: how could I not have known such torture was going on?  I’m definitely not an ignorant person, but I believe greed got the best of my consciousness. Every time I traveled to a festival or show, I depended upon my feathers to purchase my ticket and enjoy my time.  Although feather making brought me dough in my pocket, I wish I’d looked further into the issue before assuming everything was alright.

Somewhere inside we all know that our beloved feathers come from living birds. But now that you, like me, REALLY KNOW, will you continue this fad? As beautiful as they may look and feel to have, they are not worth the evil behind their manufacture.

Even though terminating my feather-making career will leave my fingers bored and a large dent in my wallet, I’m calling it quits for now. As much as I need the extra cash, there’s no way I can continue such a selfish trade.  The development of better looking synthetic feathers could possibly make money and save lives. Until there is a more humane way, I am going to end my participation in this trade for the justice of these roosters (and respect for animals overall).

The universe will provide us more if we live consciously and do not ignore the consequences of our actions. Greed and vanity are sins- lets not let them get the best of us.



  1. As a fellow feather-jeweler, I’ve felt this sitting heavy on my heart for awhile now. I’m not a vegetarian, but respect for the origin of my food and craft materials is important to me – I’ve slaughtered, butchered, and learned first hand exactly the sacrifice made for my pleasure.

    Cruelty-free feathers are obviously the best way to go, but hard to find and expensive to boot. A long time ago I began boycotting Whiting Farms, as their feather-mill is far and beyond the biggest and worst for quality of animal life, as far as my research has shown.

    I’m blessed and happy to have found a supplier overseas that while 3 times the price, their birds are all cage-free, grub-forreging, dirt-bathing roosters. Non-genetic, and killed as humanely as possible so their meat can still be safely consumed. Worth the extra money and the cut on profit, as at least now some weight has been lifted off my conscious.

    Spread knowledge, demand more conscientious crafting.

    • Kate! Thank you for you serious response and your responsible crafting practice. I hope that all who finds themselves in our familiar situation will make the initiative to practice conscious crafting. You have proved to our readers that there are humane ways to go about the practice and with some research anyone is capable of finding them. Thanks again!

  2. There are a lot of questions that need to be asked about how materials are retrieved and at what feats they go through before they get to you. It is always a great quality to be investigative as it prevents you from participating in evil unknowingly. My feather fell out last week for now we’ll call it fate.

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