Wednesday, June 27, 2012

California Foie Gras Ban in Force Next Week

Beginning next week it will be illegal in California to make, cook, or sell foie gras.

Foie gras, French for “fatty liver,” is made from the fattened livers of ducks and geese. Two to three times a day, a factory worker grabs each bird and shoves a long, thick metal tube all the way down his throat and an air pump shoots up to two pounds of corn mush into his esophagus. This is done every day until the bird’s liver increases to ten times its normal size. In addition to being extremely cruel, creating foie gras also results in very sick birds. According to the Animal Protection and Rescue League, the vast amounts of feed pumped down the ducks' throats causes enormous internal pressure, and the pipe sometimes punctures the esophagus, causing many to die from the blood that chokes their lungs. Some birds literally burst, choke to death on their own vomit, or become extremely weak that they are unable to stand. Still others die a slow, painful, and premature death by suffocation from inhalation of regurgitated feed.

Foie gras is a sick and heartless product that is considered an appealing delicacy by many food traditionalists. However, many countries have already recognized the brutality of foie gras and have passed laws to prohibit the force feeding of ducks and geese including Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Holland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Sadly, the United States is not one of them.

While this law in California will not keep people from eating geese and ducks, it will keep them from eating foie gras. It is a step in the right direction in ending the supply of an animal’s tortured body for food. The corporations that raise and slaughter pigs, chickens, turkeys, and cows are no less cruel and deserve similar attention.

Foie gras continues to be produced in New York State and is sold all over the country. In May, Farm Sanctuary and other animal protection groups filed a suit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for violating the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act, which prohibits the sale of diseased organs, hoping to ban the sale of foie gras nationally.

For more information, visit

Top photo courtesy of the Animal Protection and Rescue League.

No comments: