Thursday, 31 January 2013

MP stands up against foie gras

It has been a while since I commented on the evil foie gras trade.

I feel a pang of guilt about this as we should not stop banging on about until its sale has been outlawed.

For anyone who doesn’t know, foie gras is the so-called luxury food item that involves force feeding ducks and geese until their livers swell.

A metal tube is forced down their throats as they are held by the neck and their stomachs mechanically stuffed with grain.

This is done three times a day and as the birds become accustomed to the routine they panic at “feeding time”, injuring themselves to get away.

The metal cages they are housed in do not allow this, and the procedure goes on until they develop liver disease which gives the pate its flavour.

Personally, the stuff would make me want to be sick, and even thinking about it brings on a sense of nausea.

It is one of the worst forms of animal abuse we inflict on these gentle creatures, purely for greed and profit.

Its production is illegal in the UK, and pressure groups are tirelessly campaigning for it to be banned in other countries.

But some people still like it.

Peta has long campaigned to get its sale stopped in Britain, targeting London’s Fortnam & Mason, one of the few shops to still deal in it.

Harrods has stopped, and thankfully you won’t find it in Tesco or Sainsbury’s.

Just before Christmas the House of Lords removed it from the menu joining the likes of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Wimbledon and Lord’s Cricket Ground.

But the fact remains it still exists on British shelves.

This is a disgrace and I am always happy to voice my disgust and disapproval.

Yesterday MP Zac Goldsmith joined the call for Fortnum & Mason to drop foie gras.

In a letter to the store’s chief executive, he urged Ewan Venters to recognise widespread public disgust to its production.

Part of the problem is people don’t know what goes into its production, others don’t care.

I once spoke to a foie gras eater who was surprised I was so opposed to it - he enjoyed it, but had no idea how it was produced.

The only thing I would ask is if you do eat it, be aware of what goes on, if you can still stomach it, then I suppose it is then up to personal conscience.

Otherwise - please stop.

Foie gras production:

Huge amounts of grain are pumped into the stomachs of geese through metal pipes, which are rammed down their throats several times a day. 

Their distended livers, which can swell to up to 10 times their normal size, press against their lungs, causing them to pant constantly. 

Vets and avian experts agree there is no humane way to produce foie gras. 

Animal protection groups including the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), Compassion in World Farming, Animal Defenders International, Animal Aid, Viva!, Four Paws, One Kind, Save Me and the International Veterinary Society have all called for an end to the sale of foie gras.

With a bit of luck the UK may soon follow California and Israel’s lead in banning it outright.

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