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11/21/2011

Really? Feather fur extensions for dogs? They are as stupid as they are cruel!  »

Welcome to yet another travesty in American culture: Puppylocks. They are feather fur extensions for dogs. Feather fucking fur extensions for dogs. The world is a crazy place. It’s bad enough that people wear feather extensions, now their dogs have to? I find it completely offensive, like, towards life in general. I think it’s super whack and corny but I know that people think feather extensions look nice on them (even though they don’t) and people really care about how they look, but a dog, at best, does not give a fuck about feather extensions. Is it really worth torturing roosters for this?

The demented company that makes Puppylocks is Condition Culture. Call them and write them angry emails about how ridiculous and cruel they are—oh, and don’t forget to mention how fucked up their feather supplier is! The company they proudly get feathers from is Whiting Farms, one of the world’s largest producers of “fly tying feathers” (you know, for the glorious "sport" that is fishing). Whiting Farms says they “harvested” 125,000 roosters in the year 2000—that is pre-feather extension craze. I don’t want to imagine how many they “harvest” now.

A piece about the fad in the Seattle Times says the feathers ”come from roosters that are genetically bred and raised for their plumage. In most cases, the birds do not survive the plucking.” Some places do live-plucking? That’s a horrible and sickening process. But according to the Seattle Times, at Whiting Farms, “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.” So Whiting Farms claims it doesn’t do live-plucking, I guess thank god for small favors?

If the roosters being killed just for their feathers isn’t bad enough for you, you can read about the breeding process in ”The Hackle Manifesto" by owner Tom Whiting himself. This "manifesto" is pretty nuts actually. Does he not have a PR person?

First, Tom tells us how helpful objectifying the roosters can be:

It is good to start out with the appreciation that even though the hackle breeders get the credit for the fine feathers, it is the roosters who do the actual producing. It is the chickens, or more specifically the individual feather follicles within their skin, which generate the coveted feathers. The bird itself can be viewed (if you are a reductionist) as merely a biological support system for feather follicles extruding dry fly hackle.

It gets better:

First it should never be forgotten that the unit of use is the individual feather. The whole breeding program must always focus on the feather… Too easily does the focus of the bird or the pelt distract from the all important individual feather… So don’t select birds, select for feathers, and then use the birds that happen to be attached to those feathers.

Wow. This dude is such a dick. He does say that you have to “pamper” the roosters and create optimum conditions for them or the feathers suffer. I guess giant rows of stacked cages means pampered? 

Eventually, he gets into the difficulty of examining feathers on a live bird: 

These aren’t gentle barnyard or fancier chickens, but demons in hackle disguise. And your goal is to look at their feathers, objectively and carefully. Well I have news, he ain’t exactly going to cooperate

You see every hackle rooster seems to realize who exactly is responsible for sentencing him to a solitary cage for the last 6 months, with nothing to look at or listen to other than lots of other confined roosters. And he also realizes he probably has only one good chance to hammer the living hell out of you… And then you have to go catch the son of a bitch as he eludes you then ambushes you from under the cages. Your sentiments can quickly shift from wanting to evaluate their necks to wringing them. Some of my most sheepish moments in life have been after hurling an especially bad rooster across the barn in utter frustration, only to watch them flutter and sail to the floor, ruffled and cackling indignantly, with every single other rooster in the shed chiming in to let you know they all witnessed your little moment of weakness.

Um, say what? Who is this guy? I think he’s in too deep. Shit is getting to him. No, shit has clearly gotten to him. Or, he just blew the roof off a haughty rooster conspiracy! Those indignant mofos are in it together!

So, that is where these Puppylocks come from. Is this really justifiable in the name of some weird projected dog vanity?

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