In 2012 a California state law passed banning foie gras. Diners in the state could rest easy knowing that this disgusting fattened bird liver wouldn’t appear anywhere on their menus. In an upsetting move that hinges on a technicality, i.e., whether the liver is an “ingredient” or not, that law was overturned today by a U.S. District Court judge in Los Angeles.
Foie gras literally translates to “fatty liver,” and that’s exactly what it is. Some humans have decided that eating fattened bird liver is worth paying big bucks for. But the true cost of this so-called “delicacy” is almost unimaginable.
Birds used for foie gras are often kept in tiny cages or are packed into sheds.
Workers can ram pipes down male ducks’ or geese’s throats two or three times a day and pump as much as 4 pounds of grain and fat into their stomachs, sometimes causing their livers to swell to up to 10 times their normal size.
Just outside Montréal on a farm owned by Palmex, Inc.—a brand owned by the world’s largest foie gras producer, Rougié—PETA documented ducks lined up in rows of small iron coffin-like cages.
The birds’ heads and necks protrude through small openings to allow workers to force-feed the animals. Similar conditions have been documented on French foie gras farms, even though the country banned the use of shoe box–style cages in 2010.
The birds can do little more than stand up, lie down, and turn their heads. They’re unable to walk, turn around, or even spread their wings.
On some farms, a single worker may be expected to force-feed 500 birds three times each day.
Because workers rush, the animals are sometimes treated roughly and are often injured.
A PETA investigation of Hudson Valley Foie Gras in New York (then called “Commonwealth Enterprises”) discovered that because so many ducks died when their organs ruptured from overfeeding, workers who killed fewer than 50 birds per month were actually given a bonus!
Because of the horrible conditions and rough treatment, many ducks get bruised and broken bills and develop foot infections, kidney necrosis, spleen damage, and tumor-like lumps in their throats. One duck had a maggot-infested neck wound so severe that water spilled out of it when he drank.
Until now, California had banned both the sale and production of foie gras. And force-feeding has also been outlawed in Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.K. India has also banned the importation of foie gras, meaning that it can’t legally be sold anywhere in the country.
What you can do:
Share this blog with your family and friends and urge them not to eat foie gras. In fact, ALL animals who are used for food endure horrific suffering. Show your love for animals by not eating them!