Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Daphne & Josephine: lucky ducks
(The happy story here is borrowed with permission from Suzanne Dragan, director of Food for Life, a program of the Animal Protection League of New Jersey [APLNJ.org].)
If you see white ducks at ponds, please know they are abandoned domestic Pekin ducks. These domestic birds, who can not fly, were once someone's "Easter duckling" or the result of a school “hatching project." Just like dogs and cats, these domestic birds require daily care, specific food (duck pellets NOT bread), safe shelter and our concern.
Abandoned ducks and geese usually starve, freeze in the winter and are killed by predators, cars or cruel people. Please give stuffed toy ducks and geese to children at Easter, and if your school system does school hatching projects, let us know so we can send them materials on alternatives.
These same ducks are used to make foie gras, a high cholesterol and disgusting "delicacy." Ducks (and geese) are forcibly overfed so that their liver becomes engorged and fatty. They are then slaughtered and their deformed livers are made into foie gras, an artery-clogging paté often served in fancy restaurants.
When the ducks are slaughtered, their soft down and feathers are used to make (down) jackets, comforters and feather pillows. So, buying down and feather products contributes to the suffering and death of innocent ducks and geese. There are plenty of man-made artificial fiber-filled jackets, comforters and pillows that are as warm, hypo-allergenic, machine-washable and less expensive than down -- but you need to read labels.
Next time you shop for winter clothing or bedding or consider eating foie gras, think of Daphne & Josephine, pictured here. They were discovered at a pond where ducks are continually dumped, only to be hit by cars or killed by other ducks.
Luckily, these two young girls couldn't figure out how to get into the water over the rocks and they were easily rescued. They both have very distinct personalities. Daphne is more vocal and Josephine is more curious. Like most ducks, they enjoy music (these girls were partial to jazz) and being sung to.
Luckily Daphne & Josephine were placed at Majestic Water Fowl in Lebanon, CT. http://www.majesticwaterfowl.org/ Most dumped ducks are not so lucky.