Foie gras is banned for a reason

Birds on foie gras farms are gravely ill, not “happy” (see “Foie Gras Ban a Waste of Energy,” http://avl.mx/jk). Being force-fed several pounds of food every day via a pneumatic tube that is shoved down their throats causes birds’ livers to expand to more than 10 times the normal size, resulting in a disease known as hepatic steatosis.

A journalist who visited California’s sole foie gras farm, Sonoma-Artisan Foie Gras, reported that force-fed ducks “moved little and panted,” and an employee admitted that "[s]ome [ducks] die from heart failure as a result of the feeding, or from choking when they regurgitate.”

An undercover investigation at the farm revealed filthy, bedraggled birds (failure to preen is a sign of illness or distress), birds panting and struggling to breathe, birds who were too weak to stand, and even the bodies of dead birds among the living.

Up to 20 percent of birds on foie gras farms die before they can be slaughtered, 10 to 20 times the average death rate on a regular duck farm.

Leading poultry welfare scientists have emphatically stated that foie gras is cruel, which is one reason why foie gras production has been outlawed in more than a dozen countries and why compassionate people refuse to buy it, along with other cruelly produced foods that the writer, Jonathan Ammons, rightly condemns.

— Jodi Minion
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
Norfolk, Va.

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