Harvey Nichols Drops Foie Gras

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Harvey Nichols Drops Foie Gras

[Ed. Note: Visit our section on Foie Gras for more article and video links.]

From People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
December 2010

There is no delicate way to put it: foie gras is an unspeakably vile product.

After writing to Harvey Nichols and meeting with company officials – and with the help of our campaign hero, Sir Roger Moore – the high-end department store has agreed to drop foie gras from its restaurant menus. This means that Harvey Nichols is now a completely foie gras–free retailer. This latest development follows on our 2007 success in getting the store to remove the cruel product from its shelves. Please know that important victories like this one can only be achieved with the support of caring PETA members like you!

Foie gras is a "delicacy of despair". This "torture in a tin" is made by ramming a metal pipe down frightened birds' throats and pumping enormous amounts of grain into their stomachs, causing the birds' livers to become hideously engorged. This painful overfeeding process can even cause the birds' internal organs to rupture while the animals are still alive. Eventually, the birds' diseased livers will be turned into foie gras.

Let me describe the process of producing foie gras so that you can pass the information along to friends, families, colleagues and restaurateurs:

Deprived of water to swim in and the opportunity to stretch their wings, fly or do anything else that is natural and important to them, ducks and geese who are used to produce foie gras suffer from fear, severe frustration, stress, skeletal disorders, respiratory problems, behavioral issues and everything else imaginable. Crammed into tiny pens or wire-mesh cages fouled with feces and blood, the birds have pipes shoved down their throats several times a day and are force-fed approximately 2 kilograms of grain, maize and fat. The pipes sometimes puncture the birds' throats, causing intense pain and making it impossible for them to drink. Powered by hydraulic pumps, the pipes that blast food into the bird's stomachs can cause severe tissue damage and internal bleeding. Birds have been known to shake all over in fear of their next force-feeding assault. The animals become sick and are often unable to move, and some may be eaten alive by rats and maggots.

Those who survive develop a condition called "hepatic steatosis" in which their livers swell to up to 10 times their normal size. Finally, after several weeks of this torment, the birds are killed and their livers are sold as foie gras.

There is no delicate way to put it: foie gras is an unspeakably vile product.

When people find out how much suffering goes into even the tiniest portion of foie gras, most back our campaign wholeheartedly. That was the case with Sir Roger Moore, who became a leader in the fight against foie gras after watching a PETA video. Will you please help us spread the word about the cruelty of foie gras and help all animals by showing your support today with a much-needed donation to PETA?

As you can see, PETA's campaign against foie gras is working. An ever-growing number of consumers, restaurants, airlines and other businesses are saying "no" to this disgustingly cruel food.

Harvey Nichols joins another major retailer, Selfridges, which has also agreed to stop selling foie gras following pressure from PETA and our affiliates. His Royal Highness Prince Charles has banned foie gras from all Royal residences, and a number of local authorities – including York, Bolton and Stockport councils – have banned it from council events. Earlier this year, the organisers of the Brit Awards also dropped foie gras from their menu as a direct result of PETA’s campaigning. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts soon followed suit, pulling foie gras from its menu and pledging never to serve the cruel product at its restaurant or any of its events. PETA US and its activists helped push the state of California to ban the production of foie gras by 2012. Also, newly crowned Formula 1 World Champions Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull Racing both refuse to eat or serve foie gras, and AirAsia – Malaysia's leading airline – will never again serve foie gras at its events.

But even now, the industry defends its ghastly creation. That's why, as we choose the next target of our campaign against foie gras, we need you by our side.

We're pushing hard for the day when the sale of foie gras will be banned outright in this country and when the production of foie gras will be banned across Europe. But as with all our campaigns, our success in changing the hearts of government officials, corporate leaders and the public depends on the support of committed PETA members like you.