I’ve had something stuck in my craw for a few months now, and perusing Etsy’s tips from the Merchandising Desk (September edition) I decided it was finally time to resolve some unanswered questions and feelings I have about feather extensions.
About halfway down the page in the “Trending Topics” category they state: “Feather earrings: still going strong.”
Yes…so it seems. Ok, crazy Audrey, why is that a problem?
Well — if you run a search for “feather earrings” on Etsy you get over 30,000 results.
When you run a search for “feather earrings humane“ you get exactly 72.
Whoa!! I was expecting there to be a discrepancy but that is just f-ing ridiculous. The real kicker is that now, about a century and some thirty years after feather fever swept America in hat-form, no one actually seems to be aware that millions (yep. millions.) of birds are being plucked/bludgeoned/slaughtered in the way of that“Ooh, that would look so pretty attached to my scalp!” mentality. The Audubon Society took great pains at the end of the 19th century to inspire legislation against the hunting and killing of birds like great blue heron and egrets that were otherwise destined to rest, sometimes in full-on taxidermied form, on the macabre coiffures of the gentle lady-folk.
Let’s back up a little, here. I am not, by any means, discounting that there are people out there who are responsibly collecting and crafting feathers in to earrings, or whatever. I’m not saying that those 30,000 feather earrings are created by monsters. I eat meat. Sometimes I even eat meat from 7-11. I wear leather. Sometimes when I wake up in the morning and my cats are scurrying around my feet I kick them (nicely…?) out of the way in my sleepy stupor. So I’m not riding around on this high horse saying it should stop – I’m just saying we all need a little awareness that feathers have always and will always come from being attached to the skin of a bird. What you want to do with that information is up to you.
If you just gotta jump on this trend, though, I suggest perusing the selections (and doing your reading) from the ‘humane’ search and see what you can find. Here are some lovely ones from LoveLifeWear:
And, for a little extra reading on the topic I’ve found these informative articles about feather fever:
-Stylist Kristin Jackson explains why she’ll never offer feather hair extensions in her salon
-Ke$ha and Steven Tyler are totally stealing food out of the mouths of fishermen. Way to go, crappy ‘musicians’!