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Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society, Inc.
38 East Market Street, Rhinebeck, New York 12572 USA -  845-876-2626
Vegetarian - Vegan - Animal Rights - Health - Nutrition - Environment

The mission of the Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society, Inc. is to promote the vegetarian ethic in the Mid-Hudson (New York) region, educate the community and aid anyone in the pursuit of a totally vegetarian (vegan) cruelty-free and healthful lifestyle.

Articles - Letters - and More

Foie Gras - Letter to the Editor - 19 May 2004

Real Journalism: try it some time. I just finished reading, with disgust, the 1,490 puff piece praising foie gras, the gruesome gourmet product of Michael Ginor and Izzy Yanay. A paid ad couldn’t have been more one-sided or misleading.

By way of a lesson in basic journalism, I would commend to the attention of Mr. Doug Blackburn and his Times Union editors the May 13 edition of the Saugerties Times and its feature article, "Circus of Pain" by Erica Freudenberger. The Saugerties Times might have settled for a fluffy little story on the circus coming to town. Instead, they did the real work of journalism and revealed to their readers the horrors and abuses of elephants and other animals which are routine behind the scenes.

Abandoning any remote awareness of a journalist’s ethic, Blackburn’s foie gras ad invested just 315 dismissive words on the "controversy" surrounding foie gras. Quoting Ruth Reichl, the Times Union called foie gras the "ultimate guilty pleasure" and a "bit of sin". The real guilt and sin are the conditions endemic to foie gras production facilities. The guilt the Times Union should have explored is the intensive confinement inflicted on the ducks, who are thinking, feeling beings. Ginor and Yanay are guilty of the lie that forced feeding mimics ducks’ natural, pre-migratory gorging, when the feedings more closely resemble a mechanized rape of helpless animals. The sin is Ginor, Yanay and their Times Union accomplice, Blackburn, have conspired to fool readers into believing foie gras is fine food rather than a delicacy of despair.

Missing from the sprawling, lavish article are the voices of the Humane Society of the United States, League of Humane Voters and Farm Sanctuary who have worked to end this cruel factory farming enterprise. Absent, too, were the horrifying and vividly honest images of foie gras production captured by investigators at www.gourmetcruelty.com .

On the eve of this article’s publication, Ruth Fantasia, food editor, promised me the piece would be "balanced." She, like Blackburn, Ginor and Yanay, lied. The Times Union owes its readers an apology and a thorough look into the cruelty behind foie gras.


James Van Alstine
Campaigns Coordinator
Mid-Hudson Vegetarian Society

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