No they don’t Indeed lay golden eggs – but geese do have a rich inner life, relationships and emotions. It’s easy to see why these swimming, family-oriented birds are so beloved by park lovers. But in the meat and fashion industries, sensitive geese are viewed as simply meat to feed to eat and feathers to steal the fluff.
Workers stuff the geese into cramped fecal-covered cages and transport them to slaughter so that their diseased livers serve as a “treat” and their feathers can be used as filling in jackets. When not exploited, however, geese lead an interesting life. Here are 8 things you may not know about them and why you should never support the industries that kill them.
1. They are devoted parents.
That’s right – “Mother Goose” is not just a fairy tale legend. Even before their eggs hatch, mother geese guard their young by camouflaging their nest with sticks and a brush to keep them warm and sheltered from predators. Male geese usually observe the nest from a distance to keep the eggs safe without revealing their location to the predator.
The inseparable bond between mother geese and their cub – also called “imprinting” – takes effect shortly after the eggs hatch. Babies immediately start following their mother everywhere and stay with their families for about a year.
2. They are glued together in a thick and thin layer.
You’ve heard the adage that “birds of a feather come together” and the faithful geese are prime examples of this. In their social circles of several families of geese, also known as the “flock,” these empathetic, close-knit birds take care of each other. They even take on shifts, performing different duties for the group – for example, when flying in a coordinated V-shaped formation, the geese take turns in a forward position so that no one gets tired. During the flight, they urge each other to keep up by emitting “beeps”, and if one of the geese in the flock gets sick or injured, several others will stay with them until they recover.
3. Geese are scalded to death for meat and force-fed foie gras – a cruel “delicacy”.
The production of meat and foie gras is not suitable for goose and gander. Those who grew up for the flesh spend their lives in filthy dark sheds where they can never migrate, mate naturally, build nests, or raise their young. They are then sent to slaughterhouses, where workers electrocute them, slit their throats (sometimes while still conscious), and send them to tanks filled with hot water.
To produce foie gras, workers stuff geese down their throats with a tube three times a day to pump their stomachs up to 4 pounds of grain and fat. Because of this, the liver of birds becomes sick and swells up to 10 times its normal size. Many birds struggle to get up because their overflowing livers swell up their belly, they can pluck out their own feathers and attack each other due to stress.
4. Geese mate for life.
Did you know that geese, like many people, are monogamous? Loving birds gather families together and mourn the death of their partner for years before mating again (although sometimes geese widows can be so grief-stricken that they refuse to “remarry”).
5. Ryan is not the only talented gosling.
Baby geese are called “goslings” and we are here for that! The small birds are also quite impressive – in just one day they can dive and swim underwater to a depth of 40 feet.
6. They have a talent for interior design.
It’s true – geese “improve the home” in their nests by collecting twigs, bark and leaves!
7. They are natural intermediaries.
Geese hate conflict. Studies have shown that when geese see other members of their flock fighting, their heart rate increases from stress.
8. Workers in the down industry often pull out handfuls of goose feathers.
Undercover footage shows goose farm workers ripping out feathers from live geese, leaving them with bleeding, gaping wounds, which are often sutured without pain relievers. Some workers kept the geese upside down by force, while the frightened birds squirmed and squealed as they tried to escape. Even if they are not plucked alive, all the geese used for their fluff are brutally killed in slaughterhouses, where it is standard practice to hang them upside down, stun them, and then cut their throats.
Geese deserve to live in peace – help them go vegan!
Smart, sociable geese don’t want to die for a dish or for having their feathers stolen for fluff. Speak out against industries that exploit these birds by refusing to carry or eat them and urging companies like Canada Goose to replace violent down with vegan materials:
urge the canadian goose to drop