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  1. #1
    Regular Member StefanDO's Avatar
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    Default Shuttles made of goose feathers - a dilemma for vegetarians

    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.

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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. #3
    Regular Member StefanDO's Avatar
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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.

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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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.

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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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.

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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.

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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.

    Quote Originally Posted by StefanDO View Post
    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.

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    Regular Member StefanDO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badder View Post
    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.
    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. #9
    Regular Member StefanDO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jackyche View Post
    You're not supporting the animal killing industry. You're supporting the recycle/reuse industry.
    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.

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    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StefanDO View Post
    . 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.
    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

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    Regular Member StefanDO's Avatar
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    Okay, thanks for information.

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StefanDO View Post
    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.
    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.

    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.
    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.

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    Moderator cobalt's Avatar
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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?

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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