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Down Video Contest


We have our winners! First place goes to Chris Allison for "The Heavy Truth Behind Feathers" and second place to Jose Recendez for "Down with Down." Check out their amazing videos below!


These videos get to the heart of why you should care about the down feathers used in your winter coats and bedding products. And see our Consumer Tips for how you can turn that awareness into action!


FOUR PAWS was thrilled with all the submissions and we thank all the filmmakers for their great work!

Down feathers. Have you ever thought much about where they come from?


Today, we have become more aware of the connection between the food on our plates and the lives of the animals who made that possible. This newly developed animal awareness should not only extend to what we put in our bodies, but also what we put on our bodies.


The down feather coats we wear to keep us warm and the down feather comforters we snuggle under on a cold night have a history worth investigating and a story worth telling. Because the materials used inside these products for insulation are just that: Feathers. And feathers come from birds. In fact, from millions of geese and ducks who were born with feathers for the same reasons we covet them – to keep them warm and dry in cold environments.

Producers and suppliers of down will say feathers are a natural material sourced from geese and ducks after they are slaughtered for meat production, therefore the down feathers are simply valuable by-products of the duck and goose meat industry.


However, this is not always the case and letting the public know this is where you come in!

FOUR PAWS is holding a contest for the best 30 second video describing the farm to product story of down feathers and why people should care about where the down in their coats, comforters, pillows, etc. comes from. The winner will receive $800 and the opportunity to showcase their work to thousands of people through the global work of FOUR PAWS International! (Runners up will also be featured by having their videos shared on our Youtube channel.)


FOUR PAWS has the facts, but we need your help in telling the story! Many people are unaware of the animal cruelty that often occurs in the down and feather industry.


FOUR PAWS is reaching out to students, young professionals, aspiring graphic artists, documentarians, and activists everywhere to help us create content that informs the public of the cruel practices (of live feather plucking and force-feeding) while also moving people to care about this issue, the animals involved, and the positive changes they can make.


To learn more details about the down industry, particularly the cruel practices of live feather plucking and force-feeding, please visit here.


All entries must be received by November 22, 2016 before 5pm EST. 

Contest Submission Guidelines

The goal is to create a video that gets people to think about down feathers used in products and the (often harsh) lives of the animals that made that possible, to move people to care about this issue, the animals involved, and the positive changes they can do about it.


  • Videos should be 30 seconds or less and can range from animation to live video, as long as no live animals are harmed or harassed for filming purposes.
  • All materials used in the video, including audio, must be in English.
  • Submissions should be sent via Youtube; the video should be unlisted and the link shared only with FOUR PAWS.
  • To enter the contest, complete the entry form here.
  • If selected, the filmmaker will be contacted and must provide an uncompressed version of the film (transfer method TBD).


Required video settings are:

  • HD
  • H.264 video with AAC audio in MOV or MP4 format
  • An aspect ratio no larger than 1280px wide and 720px long
  • A frame rate at, or below, 30fps
  • Stereo audio with a sample rate of 44,100hz
  • Max file size should be under 4GB

Contestants are also welcome to use this FOUR PAWS footage in their video:


Terms and Conditions of the contest are present in the entry form and also available here.


FOUR PAWS staff and an expert in the field of filmmaking, documentaries, and /or photography.

More than 700 million geese and up to 3 billion ducks are raised and slaughtered globally on industrial farms each year. While geese and ducks are raised for their meat, two of the most intense levels of suffering they are subjected to during their lives include live feather plucking and force-feeding. During live-plucking, feathers are literally ripped out of the bird’s skin leaving painful wounds. This may be done multiple times during a bird’s life. To add to this painful life, force-feeding is just that: a long tube is forcefully shoved down the throats of birds while a fatty mixture is pumped into their stomachs. This causes their livers to swell to ten times the normal size, so that humans may indulge in the liver-based “delicacy” called foie gras. Down feathers can be harvested from birds subjected to these cruel practices, with some birds enduring both live plucking and force-feeding.

As long as geese and ducks are raised for meat and their down is used, FOUR PAWS will push to ensure that they have a life free of pain and suffering and a life where their essential needs are met. This is why FOUR PAWS has been working with companies and suppliers to develop full supply chain traceability standards to ensure – to the highest extent possible – that supply chains use down feathers from geese and ducks that are not subjected to live-plucking or force-feeding.


Full traceability is possible, which is why consumers should demand that companies use full supply chain traceability standards (such as the Responsible Down Standard and/or Global Traceable Down Standard for certified down) for all the down feathers used in the products they make. We also encourage consumers to purchase jackets and bedding products with alternative filling materials, especially when companies cannot guarantee to the highest possible extent that geese and ducks are spared of the cruel practices of live-plucking and force-feeding.