To make foie gras, huge amounts of grain and fat are pumped into birds’ stomachs through pipes that are rammed down their throats several times a day. Their distended livers press against their lungs, making breathing difficult and causing them to pant constantly—their livers are enlarged to 10 times their natural size in order to help create this French delicacy.
Last week, the French Deputy Minister of Ecology introduced a proposed law in France to ban the force-feeding of animals, and to help kick off the debate, he invited animal rights activist and superstar Pamela Anderson to address ministers in Paris. The proposed bill is backed by studies into the cruelty of force-feeding ducks and geese, a practice that occurs in France for the production of foie gras. In her speech, Pamela explained:
[W]e need to evolve beyond barbarism and ignorance, and to be blunt, foie gras is simply a diseased liver and that disease is called hepatic steatosis or fat liver disease. What this means is that these animals are forced to suffer excruciating pain and diarrhea, inflammations and injures throughout their short lives until the day they are slaughtered. What we see in the stores are sterile tins of a product all packaged neat and pretty, masking the reality of what is really inside.
A poll conducted in December found that record numbers of French citizens support a ban on force-feeding. Pamela continued:
I would like to respectfully call for the abolition of an industry that profits from horrific misery and abuse to produce a product that is toxic to not just the bodies of those that consume it but is also toxic to the hearts and souls of all of humanity.
As awareness of the cruelty behind foie gras grows, so does international condemnation. Foie gras production is banned in Argentina, Denmark, Germany, Israel, Italy, and the United Kingdom. In 2014, India banned the importation of foie gras and is the only country in the world known to have done so, which means that foie gras cannot legally be sold anywhere there. This decision was made by India’s government after reports demonstrated the barbaric cruelty of foie gras production at a Spanish farm that was supplying the vile product to restaurants in India.
What You Can Do
PETA is calling on all businesses still profiting from the abuse of birds to get with the times and remove this cruelly produced item from their menus.
If you spot a restaurant, hotel, or shop that still sells foie gras, please send the business a polite e-mail asking its owners to stop supporting cruelty. Do let us know when you’ve contacted a company—we’d love to hear how you get on!