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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Wed Oct 30, 2019, 11:42 PM

10. Can foie gras ever be ethical?

As the ban on foie gras is lifted in California, campaigners continue to fight against the force-feeding of geese. But what if the geese gorged themselves voluntarily? On one farm in Spain, the birds do just that

Trevor Baker
Wed 14 Jan 2015 07.50 ESTLast modified on Thu 2 Aug 2018 14.44 EDT

There has been jubilation in many of California’s swankiest restaurants this week as, for the first time in more than two years, customers have been legally allowed to enjoy the controversial delicacy foie gras. Indeed, some chefs have revelled in their role as the “baddies” of the animal rights world, boasting on social media that they’d been stocking it all along, planning celebratory feasts on the rich, creamy duck liver and all but laughing in the faces of birds choking on their food pipes.

However, the US district court has struck down the Californian ban on selling foie gras, which came into effect in 2012, not because they have a view on whether the product is cruel, but because they decided it was unconstitutional. Individual states aren’t allowed to impose rulings on “labelling, packaging or ingredient requirements”. Strictly speaking, it is not foie gras that California banned. They banned products produced by the “force-feeding of a bird for the purpose of enlarging its liver beyond normal size”.

This may seem like a semantic point, but it could be crucial in the next legal challenge. Food law expert Baylen Linnekin, himself a defender of foie gras, quotes the Humane Society campaigner Paul Shapiro’s claim that: “Force-feeding is not an ‘ingredient’ of foie gras, since foie gras can be produced without resorting to such cruel methods.” This might cause some surprise on both sides of the debate. In France, the country where foie gras is most deeply embedded in the culture, the product is defined by law as the liver of a goose or duck fattened by a feeding tube, a process known as “gavage”. Overfeeding causes a chemical change within the liver as it stores fat cells, creating the smooth texture beloved by sybarites from the ancient Egyptians to the present day.

However, there is at least one producer who doesn’t create his foie gras by force. Spanish farmer Eduardo Sousa came to prominence when food writer Dan Barber featured him in a TED talk called The Surprising Parable of Foie Gras. Sousa produces what his fans call “ethical foie”, but which he prefers to call “natural”.


Humane Decisions:

Hundreds of restaurants around the world have stopped serving foie gras because of its inherent and obvious animal cruelty.


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It's horrific when people believe humane choices might interfere with their maximum satiation. No compromises, eh?

It IS a matter of depth of character, maturity, intelligence, civility. Nothing but.

Apparently some have, after reflection, decided it's better to live without a conscience.

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