It’s a happy new year for ducks and geese after Great Britain’s House of Lords pulled foie gras from its restaurant menus. PETA U.K. had appealed to the lords, pointing out that it was entirely inappropriate to be serving a dish that is so cruel that it is illegal to produce in the U.K. Baroness Young of Hornsey responded by saying, “Just as we do not tolerate cruelty to dogs or cats, so we should reject inflicting pain and suffering on birds.”
In the foie gras farm exposé that he narrated for PETA, Sir Roger Moore explains that workers ram hard metal pipes down ducks’ and geese’s throats several times a day and force-feed them grain, causing their livers to swell to up to 10 times their normal size. The pipes sometimes puncture the birds’ throats, and many animals suffer from ruptured internal organs, fungal and bacterial infections, and liver failure. Those who survive the traumatic force-feeding process are slaughtered, and their diseased livers are sold as a “delicacy.” This is obviously a highly traumatic, recurring experience for the birds, who stop grooming and withdraw, shaking, into the far reaches of their pens if they can.
The House of Lords joins countless other high-profile British venues in banning foie gras from the menu, including the House of Commons, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Wimbledon, Lord’s Cricket Ground, high-end retailer Harvey Nichols, and all the residences of His Royal Highness Prince Charles.