Factory Farming > Birds > Foie Gras - Index
Foie Gras Cruelty

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What is Foie Gras.?

Foie gras is produced by force feeding ducks or geese huge amounts of food so that their livers swell to up to 10 times their normal size. A pneumatic pipe is shoved down the birds esophagus and food is forced into the stomach. This process is repeated two or three times a day until the birds develop fatty liver. They are then slaughtered for the gourmet dish (diseased liver) known as foie gras.

* Three times a day, workers entered small duck pens in a factory-farm building. The ducks, knowing what was coming, struggled to get as far away from the men as possible.

* The workers grabbed the ducks one at a time, held them down, forced open their bills, and shoved a long metal pipe down their throats all the way to their stomachs.

* They then squeezed a lever attached to the pipe, and an air-driven pump forced a third of the day's six-to-seven pounds of corn mixture into each duck's stomach.

* Each worker was expected to force-feed 500 birds three times a day. So many ducks died when their stomachs burst from overfeeding that workers who killed fewer than 50 of "their" 500 received bonuses.

* After four weeks of force-feeding, the ducks were slaughtered, their livers six to twelve times normal size (2,3)--pale, blotchy melon-sized messes instead of small, firm, healthy organs.

In an Undercover Investigation A worker told one investigator that he could feel tumor-like lumps, caused by force-feeding, in some ducks' throats. One duck had a maggot-covered neck wound so severe that water spilled out of it when he drank. Workers routinely carried ducks by their necks, causing them to choke and defecate in distress.

Foie gras is sold as a "delicacy" which, until Commonwealth was established, was not obtainable "fresh" in the U.S.--only as processed p t de foie gras--because of import restrictions.

Only male ducks are used for foie gras--they produce larger livers and are considered better able to withstand the four weeks of torture. Female hatchlings are treated as trash--literally. Commonwealth workers were observed stuffing a nylon feed sack with female ducklings, tying the bag at the top, and dropping it into a trash can filled with scalding water. Workers killed the surviving ones by smashing their heads against the trash can.

Veterinarians who viewed the undercover investigators' video footage and read their log notes said such force-feeding would damage the pharynx and esophagus so severely that ducks would not be able to eat on their own after a short period; there is a high chance of infection from using the same pipe on so many ducks without cleanings; and food is likely to enter the lungs, causing pneumonia.

One veterinarian who accompanied police on their raid of Commonwealth Enterprises said, "All of the ducks [in the force-feeding area] exhibited signs of illness. Many of those ducks were unable to walk or stand. [Some] exhibited ... bill deformities."

Another stated, "[Force-feeding] can injure the mouth and esophagus. ... The birds appear to be ill; their eyes are dull and their feathers unkempt." A third veterinarian who accompanied police noted that "none [of the ducks] was attempting to preen. Only severely stressed or ill ducks allow their plumage to deteriorate to the degree seen in this videotape."

A New York state wildlife pathologist who examined ducks from Commonwealth said, "If this kind of thing was happening to dogs, it would be stopped immediately. "He expressed horror at their "greatly enlarged livers, the product of overfeeding by force (livers are easily torn by even minor trauma)," and at one duck's "laceration of the liver with hemorrhage into the body cavity. This type of treatment and farming of waterfowl is outside the acceptable norms of agriculture and sane treatment of animals."

What You Can do To help is This Fucking Easy:


..Contact Wolfgang Puck directly to ask him to remove crated veal and foie gras from his menus!

Mr. Wolfgang Puck
Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc.
100 N. Crescent Dr. Ste 100
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Phone: 310-432-1500,
leave a message by pressing ..3
Fax: 310-432-1630

.. Write to the Chicago Tribune, which runs "Wolfgang Puck's Kitchen" weekly in its Good Eating section:

Tribune Media Services Inc.
2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114,
Buffalo, NY. 14207.
Phone: 1-800-874-2863

.. Contact the Food Network, which runs "Wolfgang Puck's Cooking Class," every week, and tell them that you are disappointed that they are giving a platform to a person who so blatantly supports animal abuse:

Food Network
75 Ninth Avenue
NY NY 10011




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