If you needed any more reasons to avoid wearing feather extensions in your hair after viewing this anti-feh-stension gallery, here is one: over 1,500 roosters are killed for their feathers each week on one single farm in Colorado (multiply this times a handful of rooster farms in the country), and they still can’t keep up with the demand for these ludicrous accessories. Furthermore, this is causing an amusing shortage of feathers in the industry in which they’re traditionally used, namely fly fishing.
Via The Seattle Times:
At Whiting Farms Inc., in western Colorado, one of the world’s largest producers of fly tying feathers, the roosters live about a year while their saddle feathers — the ones on the bird’s backside and the most popular for hair extensions — grow as long as possible. Then the animal is euthanized.
As hair extensions, the feathers can be brushed, blow dried, straightened and curled once they are snapped into place. Most salons sell the feather strands for $5 to $10 a piece. The trend has become so popular a company online even sells feather extensions for dogs.
The craze has also left hairstylists scrambling to find rooster saddle feathers, as fly shops hold onto a select few for their regular customers. The businesses will now ask if the feathers are for hairdressing, said Shelley Ambroz, who owns MiraBella Salon and Spa in Boise.
“If you go in and you’re a woman, they won’t sell to you,” said Ambroz, who started to eye her husband’s fly-fishing gear after stores ran out.
So essentially, feather extensions are tantamount to fur: these animals are raised solely so we can kill them and wear their butt feathers in our hair. “Euthanasia” is also a ridiculous term to use to describe the killing of a healthy animal that would otherwise live several years longer, but I digress.
I obviously have no sympathy for the fly fishers, who are only going to use the feathers to kill more critters. (I also find it annoying that the fishing store guys assume all women are trying to buy them for their hair, but that’s an issue for another day.) But if anyone out there is either an ethical vegetarian/vegan, or a meat-eater who thinks it’s okay to kill animals for food but not fashion (nobody eats the roosters), you will probably want to steer clear of this trend.
Unless, of course, you buy them from an ethical seller. I am in no way endorsing feh-stensions by posting this list, but I know some of you probably still want them, and I don’t want more roosters to die than are dying already. Here are some sites where you can purchase extensions (and other things!) made from butt feathers that have dropped off of birds naturally, without any killing involved:
Veggywood (cruelty free earrings)