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Top 5 Reasons to Ban Foie Gras Nationwide

Written by Alisa Mullins | July 1, 2012

With California’s foie gras ban having taken effect July 1, it’s time for the rest of the country to do some soul-searching, starting with New York, the only state in the union with operating foie gras farms. Here are the top five reasons for the rest of the country to follow California’s lead in banning this dreadful “delicacy”:


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1.      Gavage Is Savage

Birds raised for foie gras are force-fed multiple pounds of grain and fat every day via a pneumatic tube that is rammed down their throats—a process that former California Sen. John Burton colorfully describes as “doing the equivalent of waterboarding.” Burton, who spearheaded California’s ban, has said of chefs opposing the ban: “I’d like to sit … them down and have duck and goose fat—better yet, dry oatmeal—shoved down their throats over and over and over again.”

2.      Foie Gras Is Sick—Literally

Force-feeding causes birds’ livers to swell to as much as 10 times their normal size, resulting in a painful disease known as hepatic steatosis (which makes foie gras a diseased organ and therefore illegal to sell in the U.S., according to a lawsuit filed last month by several animal protection groups). The birds often suffer from internal hemorrhaging, fungal and bacterial infections, and hepatic encephalopathy, a brain disease caused when their livers fail.

3.      Foie Gras Makes Me—and Ducks—Gag

Contrary to the claims of foie gras peddlers, ducks do have a gag reflex, and, in fact, often vomit after being force-fed. An employee at California’s now-defunct foie gras farm admitted that “[s]ome [ducks] die from heart failure as a result of the feeding, or from choking when they regurgitate.” An undercover investigator at a Canadian foie gras farm saw a duck vomiting blood after the force-feeding pipe apparently punctured his esophagus or stomach.

4.      Ducks Aren’t Shoes

Undercover video shot on French farms, which supply much of the foie gras sold worldwide, shows ducks crammed individually into shoebox-like cages that are barely larger than the birds’ bodies. Their heads and necks protrude through a small opening for force-feeding. The ducks are confined in this way—unable even to stretch a wing or take a single step in any direction—for 24 hours a day. Many don’t survive the ordeal: An average of 20 percent of ducks on foie gras farms die before slaughter. That’s 10 to 20 times the average death rate on a regular duck farm.

5.      Everybody Else Is Doing It

Force-feeding birds has been denounced worldwide by experts in the field of poultry welfare. The scientific consensus is so strong that foie gras production has been banned in more than a dozen countries, including the U.K., Israel, Germany, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland, and it will be outlawed throughout the European Union by 2020. Prince Charles refuses to allow foie gras on Royal menus, and celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck refuses to serve it.


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While we wait for the rest of the country to follow California’s progressive lead, you can help ducks right now by urging the gourmet grocery chain Dean and DeLuca to stop selling foie gras.

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  • Carouselle says:

    Yep, I’m boycotting Dean & DeLuca along with any retailer that sells foie gras.

  • elisangela tavares says:

    That is a shame! I do not have words!

  • ALFONSO LOFORTE says:

    My letter to Dean & Deluca; I am shocked and saddened to learn of the cruel methods used in the making of foie gras. I am joining thousands of others concerned about the ethical treatment of animals to boycott the cruel method of making foie gras and I will continue to encourage others to do the same.

  • VASRAO says:

    Just reading this, made me sick.How can people think it as gourmet food ?

  • Mary Negron says:

    Dios, por qué hay tanta gente tan ignorante, por qué permites que maltraten a un ser vivo. Por qué hay tanta crueldad hacia los animales. Por qué se permite tanto maltrato a los animales si estamos en un país primer mundista. Estoy consternada por lo que acabo de ver. Como puedo aportar para evitar este acto tan horroroso.

  • Annexian says:

    I’m for eating meat. However, the cruelty of factory farms is sickening. If you eat a sick animal, well what is your meal. And lots of these victim animals, if you caught them hunting you’d only shoot them to put them out of their misery. IMO what should be enforced, at least with a label that has teeth. (meaning severe fines/even imprisonment for false labeling) We should allow Foie Gras, but only NATURAL Foie Gras. Hear me out, please. Imagine a nice large field next to a lake or river. There’d be lots of birds there, more than nature would support naturally, but not enough to be packed. The birds would have an abundance of natural meal and of course could peck at the insects that would grow near the water and crawl/fly in from elsewhere. I’d clip the birds wings so they couldn’t fly away, sorry, but they’d not be abused or maimed otherwise. They could run around in flocks or by themselves, eat like kings, swim, hide in a bunch of small shelters… More or less nature with controlled predation. Towards fall they’d eat and eat and eat and eat. Naturally they’d gorge their livers as full as possible with no suffering or gross force feeding. So when we slaughtered them, they’d produce natural Foie Gras. Mabye 1/2 as big as current ops, but I’d bet 3/4 but it’d be the meat equivalent of a natural grown tomato versus industrial hothouse one. Likewise, the seeds and insects combined with the staple cheap corn meal would make them far tastier but still quite big and plump. Such an operation while not conforming to all your ideals (we still eat critters) would be far less crueler than the current industrial system. And the consumers would LOVE it and support it, being willing to pay more to reduce their guilt and since the meat costs more use it more wisely and less. HOWEVER, Anyone doing this would lose his shirt. The big ag corporations would simply slap fake “Labels” on their same products and sell it at 1/2 the minimum price. Furthermore they’d probably hamstring the delivery/saleability at the supermarket. The biggest step that is needed is to break “Big Ag” and get some “Charter Revokal” lawsuits underway. They are the ones that block the true progress to man’s diet, forcing mountains of “Corn Syrup” and “Cheap Meat” on us. They are the ones that block “Farmer’s Markets” and keep the gardener from being able to sell surplus to the grocery store. Matter of fact, lots of “Zoning laws” popping up to forbid gardening, even in the backyard, to force people to buy from them only.

  • Hastaroth says:

    “and it will be outlawed throughout the European Union by 2020 And by then,millions of geese will have a horrible dead….. OUTLAW IT IMMEDIATELY!!!!

  • CynthBage says:

    I saw a TV news story about how high-end restaurants were holding “farewell to fois gras” parties and lamented how their “way of life” was being threatened. I’m more concerned about how the ducks and geese whose torture was being celebrated lost their own “way of life” centuries ago when this disgusting item was invented.

  • Jovanka says:

    How can you possibly eat any of this, knowing it caused so much suffering and pain? Please, please, please, producers and consumers, just reconsider.

  • mike says:

    Way to go cali. Chicago banned it, and then our “wonderful” ex mayor reversed it. Useless, awful politician.

  • Ashley says:

    I just saw this news clip about people who are actually raising money to fight this ban. They say they are being brave and standing up for their rights. They use terms like “food animals” which they are afraid of losing their right to consume. What a bunch of ignorant pieces of human garbage. If they were brave they would serve golden retriever and kittens, but they are just greedy for money and luxury food. Meat is flesh and all animals are made of flesh, including humans. I hope these long pigs choke to death on their tortured goose livers.

  • Monique Girod says:

    Il faut arrêter cette pratique barbare inventée EN FRANCE ! mais il y a de grands élevages aussi cruels en Hongrie, Bulgarie, Chine….

  • Mikaela says:

    These people has no heart. How can they be so emotionally numb that they can do such things to animals! This cruelty has to stop now! Please urge Dean & DeLuca to drop Foie Gras! so we can put an end to this horrible practise!

  • maria jose says:

    Poor animals, in all world it´s happen this horror, in trelew, argentina we figth too!!!!

  • Tessie Racanelli says:

    They should ban it from Canada too!!!

  • Mary Butera says:

    Dean And Deluca Please Stop Please Stop Selling Foie Gras Stop This CRUELTY…………………………………………………….

  • Chelle says:

    i wish the hell they would ban this in Ireland. But i suppose what can you expect from our government!It makes me physically sick to think people want to eat this stuff. Horray to Prince Charles`for not allowing this!

  • Vijay says:

    This is cruel, Hope this comes to an end. I wish other living creatures are left without harm

  • Jean Gilchrest says:

    Please stop the torture of these animals for an unnecessary/unnatural food product.

  • djhixson says:

    sick,sick,sick,why would anyone eat a duck anyway!

  • Beata Kuczera Tracz says:

    Is sick and barbaric :-((((

  • Michiel Wouda says:

    It’s sick that these animals have to suffer so highly just because brainless human beings want to eat this so called ‘luxurous’ meal. BAN IT NOW!

  • jez oleary says:

    This is still being sold in Sainsburys UK.!!! disgusting!

  • Ayrton says:

    this is vile!

  • martha csallner says:

    please stop this cruelity!!!!

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