Ban Foie Gras Force Feeding
A day in the life of a bird destined to be served up as the French delicacy known as “foie gras” is something most of us could not bear to imagine. Yet, hundreds of thousands of ducks and geese across the world end up on United States dinner tables after enduring lives of unspeakable suffering. It begins with force feeding. Each day foie gras farmers shove metal or plastic tubes down the esophagus of the birds, and force feed them large amounts of high calorie “food” until the birds are at a bursting point. Indeed, some birds die excruciating deaths during feeding because their stomachs rupture. This process is repeated two or three times daily for two to four weeks until the birds are slaughtered. The goal: to achieve a diseased and grossly swollen liver in a matter of weeks. As observed by the Humane Society of the United States:
“Due to this abnormal diet, the birds' livers can enlarge up to 10 times the normal size, making it difficult for the birds to move comfortably, though sometimes they have no choice. Often, the birds are crammed into small cages where they cannot even turn around or spread their wings.” (http://www.hsus.org/farm/news/ournews/chicago_foie_gras_ban.html)
Once this goal is met, the birds are killed and sold as an expensive delicacy. Slaughter may come as a relief to these birds who are forced to endure daily force-feeding and the sensation of their livers swelling inside them to absurd levels. The birds are entirely conscious during the force feedings and during the after effects. Veterinarians weighing in on this subject have concluded that the birds suffer greatly:
“When a human liver swells to such an abnormal size, the diagnosis is hepatic lipidosis, fatty liver disease, a very painful condition that requires draining of accumulated fluid from the abdomen. Forty-eight New York-licensed veterinarians-the state where most U.S. foie gras is produced-signed a statement declaring that foie gras production is inherently cruel apart from the terrible feeding method, because foie gras is in fact the painful disease hepatic lipidosis.” (http://www.poultry.org/foiegras.htm)
In the face of this appalling cruelty, jurisdictions across the world have taken steps to ban the sale and production of foie gras. Chicago became the first United States city to ban the sale of foie gras, effective August 22, 2006. California’s ban on force-feeding will go into effect in 2012. Foreign nations including Argentina, Ireland, and Italy have imposed various forms of national bans on foie gras.
Currently, U.S. citizens in various states are joining forces in attempt to end the needless suffering involved in foie gras production on both state and national levels. Your support is vital to these efforts. Sign this petition to show your support for a ban on foie gras production and sale in your home state and on a national level.
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Despite the United States’ reputation as a world leader, this nation continues to support appalling cruelty in the name of culinary delicacy. Foie gras is produced through the frequent force feeding of defenseless ducks and geese until the birds’ livers become diseased and swollen. Licensed veterinarians who have performed autopsies on these birds conclude that they suffer greatly. Birds destined to be served as foie gras are kept in small pens and force fed at least twice daily. Force feeding involves shoving a metal or plastic tube down the esophagus of the birds, and pumping large amounts of high calorie substances into their systems until the birds are at a bursting point. Indeed, some birds die excruciating deaths during feeding because their stomachs rupture. This practice causes the birds’ livers to swell to up to ten times their normal size. The birds are entirely conscious during the force feedings and during the after effects.
The force feeding of birds is barbaric and unnecessary. In the face of this appalling cruelty, jurisdictions across the world have taken steps to ban the sale and production of foie gras. Chicago became the first United States city to ban the sale of foie gras, effective August 22, 2006. California’s ban on force-feeding will go into effect in 2012. Over twelve foreign nations, including Argentina, Ireland, and Italy, have imposed various forms of national bans on foie gras.
Please support legislation in your state banning the force feeding of water fowl. Please become a leader in your home state by helping to eradicate this cruel and inhumane practice.