Cast Your Vote: Is Foie Gras Animal Abuse?

Michy's Waffles & Foie 2.jpg
Lesley Elliott
Michy's waffles topped with seared foie gras.
California lawmakers have announced they plan to enforce a 2004 law that bans the production and sale of foie gras. Animal rights activists petitioned for the duck relief, citing it as "an inhumane practice that should be relegated to the history books."

Now, you might or might not know that force-feeding duckies and geese via a plastic tube yields a particularly large and fatty liver. Do we consider this foie gras faux pas an example of human nature in its finest hour? Perhaps not. Apparently, the companies behind the foie gras say the birds usually gorge before migrating anyway, so this process simply mimics what happens in the wild.

The real problem is that foie gras is just so damn delicious. I mean, seriously, if you were forced to choose between a life without foie and, say, moving the hell out of California -- what would you do? And as a chef, do you want the government telling you what you can and cannot prepare in the kitchen? Restaurants that continue to serve foie gras will be subject to a $1,000 fine per day. Does this violate our eating rights?

It must be said, however, that this law was postponed for eight years so that producers could have time to alter their methods for fattening up those livers. In Spain, a company named La Patería de Sousa is dedicated to the ethical farming of foie gras. They let those little birds roam free, and you know what? They eat a lot on their own and get pretty chubby without a syringe. This statute does not ban duck liver entirely, just the force-feeding procedure.

Chicago tried to ban foie gras in 2006, but outraged chefs got the measure overturned two years later. Bloomberg states Hudson Valley Foie Gras has sales of $15 million and turns out 250,000 ducks each year, and that a spokesperson said they are thinking of challenging the constitutionality of the law. "To have an entity regulated at the federal level restricted at the state level creates an unfair trade practice."

Thus, Short Order gourmands, we pose the following question: To foie or not to foie?

It's cruel, no doubt, but it tastes, really, really good. Would you vote for or against to protect the duck movement in Miami? Have we evolved past our own culinary desires? Or do we tell those ducks to shut up and suck it in?

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10 comments
Jmonday1156
Jmonday1156

California was right to pass a law banning the cruel force-feeding of ducks for foie gras. Even California’s sole foie gras factory farm supported passing the law! See www.humanesociety.org/CAFoieGr... for more info.

Guest
Guest

It's not abuse if it's yummy.

Poo
Poo

Im going to take tube and stick it down your throat and hose lard into your stomach. Fuckin asshole

Andrew Abad
Andrew Abad

although I am not a fan of the Fois (neither the method by which we obtain it or its flavor) i think a free range approach should be the one we take.

Laine Doss
Laine Doss

If it's cruel, and you acknowledge it's cruel...then if there's any humanity or compassion left in us, it can't possibly taste good. 

canturebekah
canturebekah

A Foie-Less Affair: Is California's Ban On Duck Liver Unconstitutional?...@readers:disqus I just got a $829.99 i-Pad-2 for only $103.37 and my mom got a $1498.99 HD-TV for only $251.92, they are both coming with USPS tomorrow. I would be an id!ot to ever pay full retail prices at places like Walmart or Bestbuy. I sold a 37" HDTV to my boss for $600 that I only paid $78.24 for. I use..., Tag¢ent.côm

savvysearch
savvysearch

Except that ducks don't have gag reflexes and can swallow fish whole without problem and naturally gorge themselves in the winter. It's not cruel. 

Les
Les

Well, is it like, 'Saw 5' cruel? Or just run of the mill evil? Cuz it does taste heavenly.  

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