Do you like foie gras ?

@topffer (31797)
France
July 27, 2011 9:45am CST
Under pressure from activists opposed to the force feeding of ducks, the fair Anuga, held every two years in Cologne in Germany has decided to ban the foie gras at its next show in October. The French Secretary of State for Foreign Trade Pierre Lellouche asked today the German ambassador to exercise "authority" against the organizers of the Salon of Cologne. The Agriculture Minister has already written to his German counterpart to protest against the ban. Born in an area where the force-feeding of geese is an ancient activity - which began in Roman times 2000 years ago - I can assure that there is nothing cruel in this practice : in the wild geese "force-feed" themselves before starting their migration. Force-feeding is usually done in small farms, where the geese and ducks roam freely during 6 months before 15 days of force-feeding. They have certainly a better life than laying hens kept in battery cages, not speaking of pigs. I am really tired by the staging -- an example : http://www.sudouest.fr/images/2011/03/17/345505_gavage_460x306.jpg -- of pseudo animal lovers who do not know what they are talking about. Should we stop to eat foie gras -- -- Yes, I like foie gras, preferably with a glass of Sauternes -- because of a bad fight ? Will have I to buy clandestinely my foie gras if these pseudo environmentalists reach their goal ? What do you think of this ban triggering a Germano-French war around foie gras ?
2 people like this
5 responses
• United States
27 Jul 11
I obviously do not know much about this culture, so I can't really comment on this particular aspect of it. What I can tell you is that there are a lot of regions where "pseudo animal lovers" make a big commotion about things that they really know nothing about. I do believe that many of them have good intentions, but when you are uninformed about things the best of intentions really does not matter or have any effect on the outcome ... at least not a positive effect, which is what they are trying to achieve.
1 person likes this
@topffer (31797)
• France
27 Jul 11
What is stupid here, is that it is not an industry, but a traditional activity offering a complementary income for about 30000 farmers in South-West France : they are breeding 10 to 50 ducks/geese in each farm and not thousands. This is not comparable with breeding of chickens or pigs, and the animals are not tortured to force-feed them -- if they were, they would die --. These animal lovers are probably full of good intentions but they seem to have never seen a real farm : maybe they would change their minds if they were visiting one...
1 person likes this
• United States
27 Jul 11
I am not entirely sure what the "force feeding" entails, but it brings to mind an image of ducks and geese being chained up and threatened to eat while food is being forced down their throats. I am sure that this is not the case for several reasons. First, what would you threaten a duck or goose with that would make them scared enough to eat? Second, many animals will not overeat voluntarily unless it is in their nature to do so. This would suggest that it is just allowing them to "gorge" themselves rather than actually "force feeding" them, and in my opinion that is a completely different story. Third, do you know the effort that it would take to get all of them tied up not to mention standing there and threatening each one of them until they ate the proper amount ... it would not be feasible to do.
@topffer (31797)
• France
27 Jul 11
@purple: They are force-fed with a tube, and it took 10s every day during 15 days. @stine: You will not see geese in batteries like these one in France : it is not an industry. This farmer explains to a school how it is done : do you think that this goose is tortured ?
27 Jul 11
There's a big (make that absolutely enormous) difference between an animal voluntarily eating more to prepare for a long migratory flight (etc.) and geese being force-fed for 15 days. It doesn't matter if it's an ancient tradition or how it compares to battery farming (which, by the way, gets closer to ending thanks to people refusing to eat battery eggs) or veal production or any other kind of food production. My lady's French and she's actually stopped eating foie gras despite the fact that she adores the taste. Why? It's cruel. Stuffing a funnel down an animal's throat and forcing food down it isn't normal. Simple as that. Why do you think so many countries ban the process? Get rid of the force-feeding and it'll be fine. And yes, it can be made without force-feeding - most of the countries who make it outside of France don't force-feed. Ditch the ancient process and use natural methods, then no one will complain. Is that so hard to understand?
1 person likes this
@topffer (31797)
• France
27 Jul 11
"There's a big (make that absolutely enormous) difference between an animal voluntarily eating more to prepare for a long migratory flight (etc.) and geese being force-fed for 15 days." (...) "Get rid of the force-feeding and it'll be fine." I am not particulary attached to any ancient process -- I agree that all ancient traditions are not good --, but it can be done only for geese, because they can force-fed themselves, and not for ducks and it needs 45 days instead of 18 days for a goose : foie gras is already expensive, I am not sure that people would like to pay 4 times more for it. Maybe it is hard to understand ? Battery farming gets closer to ending ? 9 eggs / 10 are produced today in battery farming... Force-feeding last 15 days, but only 10 seconds every day and it is not cruel : I suppose that your wife comes from an urban area and has never visited a farm where geese are force-fed in France. She would probably change her mind, and continue to enjoy foie gras.
1 person likes this
27 Jul 11
"I am not sure that people would like to pay 4 times more for it. Maybe it is hard to understand?" Price has nothing to do with whether something is right or not. Maybe it SHOULD cost 4 times as much, so only stupidly rich people can enjoy the product of being horrible to animals. Battery farming is on the decline - in the UK, there's legislation in the pipeline to ban it by 2012. That's a decline, I'd say. My lady does not come from an urban area. And it's still cruel. How would you like me to force-feed your pet dog for 15 days? No? Didn't think so.
1 person likes this
@topffer (31797)
• France
27 Jul 11
Nice to see that you will ban battery eggs in 2012. I am not sure that you will be able to find eggs to eat everyday, but it is good for the hens. The 9/10 stats reflects the actual production in France : we will be probably able to sell you some. Price is everything here : the link that Stine gives in another box shows how Hungary can produce low-cost foie gras. It is not acceptable, and it has nothing to do with the French production. It is not "it SHOULD", it is the difference that you can already notice yourself in your shops between this "ethical" foie gras and a "normal" foie gras, and it is easy to explain : 45 days instead of 18, figs and acorna instead of corn. A goose would not gorge itself with corn, but I am not sure that the acorn does not give a taste to this foie gras : I never tried. It has been done during the Roman era with figs and chestnuts, but acorns are certainly less expensive than chestnuts. Sorry, you would not force-feed my pet dog if I had one, because I don't intend to eat a pet foie gras.
1 person likes this
• Canada
27 Jul 11
Ive never had foie gras, not because its not available but because the texture doesnt appeal to me. For some reason, I see it as fat and I have an aversion to fat because it rolls in my mouth and I just cant swallow it. That said, sounds like you are at the other end of the stick this time around. I remember Brigitte Bardot going on about the seals in Canada. The seals arent in any pain, same as your ducks. Oh by the way, we do have duck farms here too now. AND I dont eat seals. Its about the same texture as foie gras for me!! They talk about the ducks and the seals but those people wont look in their backyards and see that they too might do a few things that look barbaric to others. So its ok for some to go hunting when its hunting season, shoot a dear and miss, then have to walk all the way there and decide if they'll shoot it again to end its suffering......or not because they might damage the skin!! I sure hope you'll be able to eat foie gras for as long as you want to. Bon Appetit!!
1 person likes this
@topffer (31797)
• France
27 Jul 11
Brigitte Bardot is also involved in this foie gras war : she has written to the German Minister of Agriculture to ask her to not yield to the demands of France. A few years ago she defended some Canadian barnacle geese who had decided to settle in a French lake where they were attacking swimmers : the geese have been killed after two years of discussions, and she spoke of murder. She is a complete vegan, and I believe that I commit 24 murders in her mind when I eat two dozens of snails... People like her are full of good intentions, but they mainly show a lack of tolerance. I can love animals and foie gras. I know how geese and ducks are force-fed in France, and it is not cruel to force-feed 10 seconds per day during 18 days a goose : they don't suffer and they don't protest. Foie gras is fat, but it has nothing to do with butter or lard, and does not give the same sensation in mouth. It is -- or it seems -- less fat, when it is pan-fried.
1 person likes this
• Canada
28 Jul 11
I know foie gras is not fat but I still cant eat it lol. As for Brigitte Bardot, someone should have done the same to her when she had her son......she never took care of him, she even said once that she didnt love him. If thats not cruelty, I dont know what is. As I said, before you protest against something, make sure your own backyard is perfect!!! (thats aimed at Brigitte Bardot and Paul McCartney
@Mysteria (209)
• Philippines
28 Jul 11
I don't think so, from the name itself which means "fatty liver" the activity shows that its abusive. They are force fed until their liver swell to its normal size.The pitiful animal could also suffer a punctured throat and could suffer internal bleeding. I don't think its right. Its inhumane and very cruel. I'm not against eating animals or making them as food, but this went over the line.
1 person likes this
@topffer (31797)
• France
28 Jul 11
Hello Mysteria, Maybe is it a matter of culture ? Growing an animal with hormones for food is considered abusive in my country. If you think about it, they suffer during months from this treatment when a duck is force-fed only 15 days before it is killed. Anyways all are eaten.
@louievill (17125)
• Philippines
27 Jul 11
Thank you friend I learned something new from you today, I did'nt know something like that was going on in that part of the world, anyway if it's natural for the ducks to force feed before migration and it's not cruel and has been culturally and historically accepted then...I think some advocacy groups (although I'm not familiar with who wants the ban)and even some politicians do this for several reasons like ignorance, grandstanding, lack of attention...etc. Germano-French foie gas war? Start digging in (just kidding friend)
1 person likes this