After being shown eyewitness footage of ducks caked in vomit and filth and birds writhing in agony after their delicate throats were injured from being violently force-fed via steel tubes, British celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal, proprietor of the U.K. hot spot The Fat Duck, has dropped his foie gras supplier. One veterinarian called the footage, which was obtained by The Daily Mirror newspaper, a “representation of hell.”
Ducks and geese raised for foie gras endure abuse that would likely be considered illegal if dogs were the victims. To make this vile dish, metal pipes are shoved down birds’ throats and huge quantities of grain and fat are pumped into their stomachs several times a day. The birds’ livers become diseased as they swell to up to 10 times their normal size. Investigations of various foie gras farms across the U.S. and Europe have all revealed the same thing: sick, dead, and dying animals—some with holes in their necks from pipe injuries.
Foie gras production is so disgustingly cruel that it’s banned in more than a dozen countries, yet this torture in a tin still pops up at some holiday buffets and New Year’s Eve parties. Don’t let diseased liver spoil your holidays: If you’re at a party where foie gras is being served, speak up. Let the host know why foie gras should be taken off the menu and suggest bird-friendly faux gras instead.