Accompanied by an activist dressed as a half-plucked goose and holding graphic signs that read, "Plucked Alive," PETA supporters will congregate in downtown Yakima on Wednesday. The battered bird's point? That shoppers who would never think of buying fur often purchase jackets, gloves, pillows, or comforters filled with down because they aren't aware of the hideous suffering of birds who are often repeatedly—and painfully—plucked alive for their feathers.

"PETA wants shoppers to know that buying down products is every bit as cruel as purchasing fur, exotic skins, leather, or wool," says PETA Associate Director of Campaigns Lindsay Rajt. "The rule of thumb is easy to remember: If a product came from an animal, the chances that abuse and suffering were involved are roughly 100 percent."

To obtain down, the feathers are often ripped out of restrained, frightened, screaming birds. Warm, animal-friendly bedding and winter clothing are available everywhere. PETA encourages shoppers to check labels for synthetic down, down alternative, polyester fill, or high-tech fabrics such as PrimaLoft® and Thinsulate™—soft, washable, down-like fibers. In most cases, these alternatives are superior to down, which loses much of its insulating properties when it gets wet.

The Protest is set for noon Wednesday at Front Street and Yakima Avenue.