Saving Foie Gras Takes “Guts!”

 If it talks like a duck, and walks like a duck, then it must be….human?

Such is the quacky rationale of many activists as they hoot about animal-cruelty (including and especially all of us who callously continue our non-vegetarian ways), all the while grousing about “inhumane” treatment.


Perfect logic from Vegan Central.


Of course, they conveniently overlook that “inhumane,” by definition, can only apply to humans, and animals don’t have the same rights afforded people. Common sense tells us that outright animal cruelty, such as when Michael Vick ran a dog-fighting ring, is, and should be, against the law.  But doggone it, when we start listening to fanatics who want to outlaw everything related to consumption of animals, we become sheep being led to slaughter.


While these extremists may be irrational, they’re not dumb. They target areas with liberal populations, self-righteous legislatures, and city councils that think banning things is their paternalistic responsibility.   Nowhere have these folks been more effective than the People’s Republic of California, where for years restaurant patrons have been harassed for their love of certain delicacies.  The animal rights folks claim their mission is simply one of education, yet restaurant owners feel threatened and their customers intimidated.


And with good reason, because the fanatics have just scored a “whopper” of a victory as one of the all-time greats is set to be outlawed —statewide — on July 1.


So what was their “beef” this time? Liverwurst?  Tripe?  Nope.


Or was it Right Whale, whose extraordinarily tender meat tastes even better with the knowledge that there are only about 300 of these beasts left in the wild?


No, the big “flap” in the Golden State was regarding foie gras, which is French for “really, really good food”.  According to the non-carnivores, the methods employed in making the delicacy (which has been enjoyed since ancient times) are—yes, you guessed it— “inhumane.”  The duck (or goose, if you’re in France) is fed a constant diet so that it fattens up and its liver swells to several times its “normal” size.  The animals are then “put out to pasture,” being sent to finer culinary establishments so they can end up in our stomachs. (Kind of “winging” it here, but the fact that the duck’s liver lands so close to our livers really has a poetic, full-circle effect.)
So what’s the big deal?


If you look at the facts, not much.  If you buy into deliberate misinformation, a lot.


Like most everything, there is more than one way to skin a duck, so let’s look at the real picture.  Ducks have no gag reflex, so the “force-feeding” is not painful. Sure, it looks bad when you see the video of the feeding tube inserted into the throat, but I saw humans doing that all weekend at the Jersey Shore.  Interestingly, both were intaking grain-related products: cornmeal for the duckies, and grain spirits for the humans.  Neither seemed to mind.


Speaking of New Jersey, a fascinating point comes to mind.  Every spring, birds making one of the longest migrations on the planet stop on the shores of the Delaware Bay.  Why?  To gorge themselves on the eggs of horseshoe crabs. Since their journey originates at the southern tip of South America and ends near the Arctic, they need a tremendous amount of energy.  Unfortunately for the birds, there aren’t too many service plazas along the flyway.  Armed with this intuitive knowledge, our aviary friends eat before they start their trip.  A lot.  Ditto for the stopovers. 


Interestingly, something happens to these birds as they gorge themselves for the expedition.


Their livers swell to several times their “normal” size.


Given the “inhumane” nature of such an event, I hereby call on all horseshoe crabs to stop laying eggs on the beach.  It should also be illegal for birds to engage in any such feeding activity, and offenders should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.  Enforcement of this policy guarantees that the problem will be solved, and these migratory birds will never have to deal with large livers again.


They will all be dead from starvation.




Let’s try looking for consistency from the “vegetarian outreach” side of the debate. (As an aside…

Read the rest at Philadelphia Magazine:

An accredited member of the media, Chris Freind is an independent columnist, television/radio commentator, and investigative reporter who operates his own news bureau, He can be reached at





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June 1, 2012 at 9:53 am Comments (0)