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Animal Defenders of Westchester
P.O. Box 205
Yonkers, NY 10704

Stop Foie Gras Production



March 30, 2005 | 1:04 p.m. ET

Objection to foie gras (Ron Reagan)

At Hurley's restaurant in Portland, Oregon, there's one thing you won't find on the menu: Pate de Foie Gras. In case you're wondering, that's a sort of liver puree, usually from ducks or geese. Oh, they've got it. But you'll have to have a private word with the waiter and you might want to whisper.

Hurley's, like a number of restaurants around the country, has gone into stealth mode when it comes to this gourmet treat.

The reason: pressure from animal rights groups who say the techniques used to produce foie gras are a "cruel and unnecessary practice." They're correct.

Foie gras is created by force-feeding grain to waterfowl in order to unnaturally enlarge their livers. Afficionados say they're simply taking advantage of a duck's natural ability to store fat.

Last time I checked, there was no natural tendency on the part of ducks to shove stainless steel tubes down their throats and pump in huge amounts of half-cooked corn.

That's how foie gras is made.

Now, I'm not a vegetarian, mind you. It's just that I have this funny objection to torturing small animals no matter how scrumptious their body parts might be.

And it's not just ducks and geese, is it? Our food industries are equal opportunity abusers: cows, chickens, pigs, and a special mention to those

little calves who for their short, miserable lives are locked into crates too small to allow movement just so we can eat veal.

Our mistreatment of these creatures is no reflection on their intrinsic worth, but it does reflect the state of our humanity. The picture is, to say the least, unattractive.

I know we're carnivores. Things die so that we can live. But simple decency requires that, whenever possible, we minimize the suffering of the beings under our control.

I've tasted foie gras. Yes, it's quite good. But not good enough to justify abusing animals.

I won't harangue you anymore- I know this subject makes folks uncomfortable.

But here's a suggestion: next time you tuck into your foie gras and marvel at how rich and delicious it is, take a look in the mirror and remind yourself how it got that way.

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