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Home > FOIE GRAS Guide and Articles  >  Ban on foie gras

Ban on foie gras

A few days ago Arnold Schwartzenegger, governor of California, has signed a law prohibiting production and selling of foie gras - goose liver pate. The thing is that the civilized world is becoming more and more humanistic, and the production of the delicacy involves especially sophisticated torture of animals.

At special goose-growing farms the geese are deprived of any possibility to see not only a water pool, but even the common grass. They are fed by force. A worker inserts a metal pipe through a forcedly opened beak, and a machine shoots into it high-calorie food, exceeding regular norm 10-20 times. If people were fed this way, they would receive about 10 kilograms of hard food - mostly corn and peanuts. This procedure is conducted several times a day, while the birds are intentionally deprived of the ability to move, being permanently gripped by a special clutch. As a result the geese get cirrhosis of the liver, and it enlarges 10-20 times.

Some birds don't even survive until the moment of slaughtering - their stomach just explodes. Some of them die because of wounds caused by the pipe inserted into their bowels, some are eaten alive by rats, because unable to move animals can't show any resistance. In California the action of protest was started by activists who penetrated into a construction area in Sonora county where a farm was being built for production of goose liver pate. They poured cement into water pipes and destroyed everything they could. As a reply, the owners of the farm raised a scandal in the press, calling the animal defenders vandals and terrorists. However, the zoodefenders undertook another raid - now to a working farm. As a result, they have made terrible photos disclosing indescribable tortures of clutched birds. Around each of them everything was covered with what was ejected from their stomachs. Necks of geese were covered with ulcers teeming with worms. Some were already dead and partly eaten by rats. The activists took away some sick birds and presented them to the judgement of the public, and also gave interviews to representatives of the press. Later numerous demonstrations took place around "Aqua", a prestigious restaurant in the center of San Francisco, during which the activists distributed flyers telling about the origin of the main dish of the restaurant's menu.

By new laws, the production of goose liver pate and also selling it in the territory of California are strictly prohibited - though only since 2012. However, it is already clear that the liver business has no future on Californian land. In addition, Hilton hotels all over American territory have already set a moratorium on foie gras.

In Russia, as usual, everything is turned upside down, and while the world's general public is struggling with the cruel production, in Moscow inflated liver is turned into a cult. With the beginning of cold days the most expensive and respectable restaurants of the capital included the pate in their menu. In some places even weeks of foie gras were held. Tourist companies have quickly reacted to the fashion and included in their Paris tours visits to bird-breeding farms with degustation of the pate. A few days ago a fashionable TV program by Marianna Maximovskaya has shown a story about the liver, in which our domestic nouveau riches who have tasted foie gras in European restaurants were explaining how and with which wine it is right to consume it. Now the pate adorns the windows of "Eliseevsky" and "French fashon" at Tverskaya Street, which sell goods for the category of Moscow residents with income exceeding 10,000 dollars a month. And taking into account that there is 100,000 millionaires in Moscow, it is clear that the delicacy doesn't lie there for long.

It hurts to realize it, but Russia has again become a place where civilized countries dump their waste. Even though it is not radioactive but food waste. For example, in Israel forcible feeding of poultry was prohibited a year ago, though before that the country was on the third place in the world by the production of goose liver pate, France as yet remaining the leader. In Great Britain the ban is active for several years already. And in the countries where forced feeding is still permitted, not much time is left to count the profits: in 2005 EU countries are going to ban the production and selling of foie gras on their territories. But the producers are not going to abandon sound profits so easily, which means the need in new markets and territories to build poultry farms. That's when "wild" Russia was remembered.

However, besides ethical reasons there are also medical ones that can make one to ponder about the usefulness of foie gras consumption. Here is the opinion of British doctors: "Goose liver is a carcinogenic product in which the quantity of poisons, fats and cholesterol is several hundreds times higher than normal", - Megapolis writes.


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