Last weekend the company, North Face, was castigated in the press for using down feathers from geese that were part of an intensive farming enterprise in Hungary producing foie gras pate. The geese are force fed three times a day using large quantities of corn mash which, in effect, is injected into their throats using a power hose. This has the effect of fattening them rapidly and enlarging their livers , which are the basis of the pate. An utterly repugnant practice in my view, which,thankfully, is banned in the UK and several other countries.
The North Face products are used by many, including their padded jackets sometimes sported by our very own football managers and BBC reporters and by some well known celebrities worldwide. I've used their products myself and they are good, of good quality and do the job. In fairness I suspect the feathers came cheap, as a final by-product from the hapless geese, and probably were sourced through some intermediate agent enjoying a substantial mark-up in the process. However,the North Face Company could have done better in checking out the provenance of its materials and deserves to pay the inevitable penalty that will be applied by a discerning public.
However, nowhere , but nowhere in the outpourings was any criticism levelled at those whose exercise their indulgence , pay an exorbitant price for the privilege ( £25 for two slices at Fortnum and Masons was quoted in an article ) and ,seemingly, have no thought for the suffering involved. In my view the only way to stop the misery is to ban the sale of the products , ban imports at point of entry and close down the whole operation. Is this not what the European Union ought to be acting on instead of concerning itself with the dimensions of toilet seats or some similar pointless exercise? I suspect the "industry" has some staunch supporters!! Enter the "Oh la la " brigade, whose culinary excesses know no bounds and who have doubtless been feeling the pinch since the eating of Ortolan Buntings whole was outlawed!! I sometimes wonder if this is the world I want to live in.