Consumers urged to avoid foie gras

A judge may have struck down California’s progressive foie gras ban on a technicality, but it’s important to remember that foie gras is still one of the most barbaric and cruel foods — which, considering the routine horrors that take place on today’s farms, is saying something.

Foie gras is uniquely cruel because it is produced by intentionally inflicting illness on animals. Ducks and geese are force-fed several pounds of food every day via a pneumatic tube that is shoved down their throats. This causes the birds’ livers to expand to more than 10 times their normal size, resulting in a disease known as hepatic steatosis.

The birds often suffer from internal hemorrhaging, infections, ruptured organs, respiratory distress and more. They can become so debilitated that they can only move by pushing themselves along the ground with their wings.

The production process behind foie gras is so cruel that it is illegal in more than a dozen countries and will be outlawed throughout the European Union by 2020. Hopefully, California will appeal this ruling and give birds the protection they so desperately need. In the meantime, consumers can vote for kindness with their wallets by refusing to buy foie gras.

Alisa Mullins
PETA Foundation
Norfolk, Va.