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Shuttles made of goose feathers - a dilemma for vegetarians

Discussion in 'Shuttlecock' started by StefanDO, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. StefanDO

    StefanDO Regular Member

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    Hi all! :)
    Don't laugh at me, because I'm serious here, okay? ;)

    I recently checked out some local badminton clubs and had to realize that they only accept natural feather shuttles. I understand that feather shuttles are regarded superior to nylon shuttles, and in tournaments even at low levels they use feather shuttles rather than nylon shuttles. Consequently, I didn't even dare asking if it's also okay to play with nylon shuttles at those clubs. So far I've been playing at university which focuses on recreational players, so nylon shuttles are more common there.

    Why am I making an issue of all this? Because I'm a vegetarian who doesn't want to support any industry which deals with killing animals. It's often hard, but at least I give my best. Now you may say: "Continue playing at university." However, they don't offer coaching, only playing just for fun. I need coaching to improve technique and tactics.

    I thought about two possible solutions:
    1) Find shuttles which are made of natural feathers but also accepted in clubs
    2) Find shuttles which only look like made of natural feathers (fakes ;)) - if other players don't like them, they can supply their own shuttles, at least I didn't have to buy feather shuttles

    Anyone can help? Otherwise I don't really know how to get accepted at any club. :(
     
  2. Pizza Fish

    Pizza Fish Regular Member

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    well, i would assume that any birds killed are killed for consumption and the feathers for shuttles are sold to shuttle makers, not the other way around.

    i don't think you can easily fool anybody with fake feather shuttles. tell the guys in charge at the club the problem and see what they say. i expect that they'll make some exception for you or at least try to help in some way.
     
  3. StefanDO

    StefanDO Regular Member

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    I know they aren't killed for the feathers, so the feathers are a by-product. Anyway I don't want to support that industry. I doubt they'd make an exception for me at the club, because they are used to playing with feather shuttles, so I understand that playing with nylon shuttles would bias their control later when they play with feather shuttles again.
     
  4. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    while i respect your choices, i don't think if there are any alternatives to feather shuttlecocks.

    you can find imitation furs coat, imitation leather jackets, imitation shark fins soup, and heck you can find imitation beef patties.

    but feather shuttlecocks, there are no alternatives. all the synthetic ones don't fly or play the same. if you are a badminton enthusiast you can tell easily.
     
  5. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    while i respect your choices, i don't think if there are any alternatives to feather shuttlecocks.

    you can find imitation furs coat, imitation leather jackets, imitation shark fins soup, and heck you can find imitation beef patties.

    but feather shuttlecocks, there are no alternatives. all the synthetic ones don't fly or play the same. if you are a badminton enthusiast you can tell easily.
     
  6. badder

    badder Regular Member

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    Seriously, the choice may be to find something else for fun and good health. There are a lot good stuff out there. For sure you will not die if you don't play badminton.
     
  7. jackyche

    jackyche Regular Member

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    You're not supporting the animal killing industry. You're supporting the recycle/reuse industry. They're two independent industries. Its like saying because construction industry also builds chicken coup housings, you're not going to buy any sort residential/commercial buildings. Same argument can be made for all indirectly related industries.

    I'm not trying to belittle your principles. On the contrary, I'm wish I could be a vegetarian myself. I support PETA and all its efforts. I just don't personally see the two industry as related. But that's just me.

    Either way, I applaud your beliefs.

     
  8. StefanDO

    StefanDO Regular Member

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    Well, I don't know if one has to go that far to quit playing badminton just because he wouldn't use natural feather shuttles? I like the game a lot, even if I play with nylon shuttles only ;)
     
  9. StefanDO

    StefanDO Regular Member

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    Thanks for your thoughts, I'm just not so sure about that one. I mean, shuttle manufacturers wouldn't search for the right feathers in trash bins of some slaughterhouses and grab the feathers without paying for them, right? They rather pay for them, and the money goes to those who directly deal with killing animals, therefore I think both industries are far from independent. Of course you may say that this goes for many industries. However, I try to stay away from them as good as I can.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't want to contradict for the sake of it, and I don't want to start a moral discussion or so. I was just wondering if anyone knows of artificial shuttles which aren't worse than natural feather shuttles, I'd be willing to buy them even if they were more expensive than natural feather shuttles.
     
  10. visor

    visor Regular Member

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    nope... there have been many such artificial shuttles touted over the past few years but didn't sell much because none can match the real stuff
     
  11. StefanDO

    StefanDO Regular Member

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    Okay, thanks for information. :)
     
  12. kwun

    kwun Administrator

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    yes, you are correct. just like people selling used cooking oil for money, people selling recyclable trash for money, when there is a demand and there is a supply, there is money involved.

    i am afraid the answer is no. no one has created one yet.

    i am sure it is technically possible to synthetically produce such a product. afterall with advance in technology we have created rackets frames that are a few millimeter thick and can withstand thousands of pounds of force.

    however, the problem being it is not economical to do so. it will be too costly to produce such a shuttlecock.
     
  13. cobalt

    cobalt Moderator

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    I respect your sentiments and your approach.

    I wonder if there is an opportunity to persuade some of the big manufacturers to invest in more R&D and maybe some market testing for a shuttle made of synthetic material that can emulate goose-feathers. I'm sure there would be a significant market for it.

    Top quality shuttles aren't exactly cheap, often more than $32-35 a tube. If the synthetics have anywhere from 1.5 to 2 times the life of a regular shuttle like AS30, or Aeroplane Black or RSL tourney etc (which sell in the vicinity of $20 a tube,) there could be a pretty large market!

    And the PR spinoff and profile improvement for the manufacturer would be very real. I don't know, but I'm guessing the costs for R&D and testing/marketing could easily be justified by the positives the company would gain.

    Surely this is worth a Poll, kwun?
     
  14. dimcorner

    dimcorner Regular Member

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    Even plastic shuttles can be damaged, and I would hate to buy ONE synthetic shuttle at $4 and have someone step on/mis-hit it and break it (you can always deform the cork and separate the feathers from the cork).
     
  15. Optiblue

    Optiblue Regular Member

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    You know, this is the first time I've even thought about this topic! I'm a meatatarian and suddenly I love badminton even more! Jokes aside, I have respect for you to even think about this! You can play plastics as an alternative, but there's no substitute for genuine goose feathers. Even duck feather shuttles aren't as good.
     
  16. mindfields

    mindfields Regular Member

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    gAs with many things in life it's a case of prioritising things in your life.

    If your vegetarian with an objection to using animal products then prioritising that above playing badminton with feather shuttles is fair & respectable.


    If all the clubs around you are using feathers then the simplest solution is to start your own club. Put the focus on plastic shuttles as an ethical choice & build it slowly from there. It is possible to have a high standard of games IF you can get the atmosphere at the club right. Nothing to stop you hiring a coach or roping in an experienced player with the bribe of a few drinks.

    I know of some "social" badminton clubs that use plastics that have a court that tends to have "serious" games and members come despite having to use plastics for the sociability of the club.

    You can play badminton to a high level with plastics IF you can convince people to join you.
    Lower losts, enjoyment & fun are the primary incentives to getting that achieved.

    Good luck with that.
     
  17. mindfields

    mindfields Regular Member

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    gs with many things in life it's a case of prioritising things in your life.

    If your vegetarian with an objection to using animal products then prioritising that above playing badminton with feather shuttles is fair & respectable.


    If all the clubs around you are using feathers then the simplest solution is to start your own club. Put the focus on plastic shuttles as an ethical choice & build it slowly from there. It is possible to have a high standard of games IF you can get the atmosphere at the club right. Nothing to stop you hiring a coach or roping in an experienced player with the bribe of a few drinks.

    I know of some "social" badminton clubs that use plastics that have a court that tends to have "serious" games and members come despite having to use plastics for the sociability of the club.

    You can play badminton to a high level with plastics IF you can convince people to join you.
    Lower losts, enjoyment & fun are the primary incentives to getting that achieved.

    Good luck with that.
     
  18. gundamzaku

    gundamzaku Regular Member

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    in terms of coaching there're more coaches than just those from clubs. couldn't you find a private coach who is willing to train you with nylon shuttles? granted that when you do play with feather in a competition, your shots might be a tad bit off, but the basic shots can be practiced with plastic shuttles.
     
  19. fauci

    fauci Regular Member

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    a feather shuttle is made of almost all natural materials which will decay and eventually go back to nature, while a broken plastic shuttle stays forever if not properly recycled :)
     
  20. Sander1337

    Sander1337 New Member

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    Why do you want to get better if you want to play with synthetic shuttles?

    If you get better you won't have anyone left to play with, they all want to play feather... Also, if you want to improve on your play, start playing with feather shuttles because that will learn you to feel the shuttles in an improved way... There is no point training with synthetic shuttles....
     

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