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Foie gras

Foie gras is animal cruelty deluxe.

Foie Gras: animal cruelty deluxe

This image shows a delicacy: foie gras. Something that gourmets spend a lot of money on is in fact animal cruelty ‘deluxe’. Thanks to this luxury product and people’s requests for it, geese and ducks are deliberately made ill. Up to three times a day, a metal pipe is rammed into their oesophagus. What follows is a mixture of boiled corn and pure fat, which – in the long term – makes the animals sick. Their liver is no longer able to process these large amounts of fat and grows: it will grow and grow until it’s ten times bigger than normal. It takes three weeks of force-feeding these geese and ducks until their livers are big and fatty enough to find their way into gourmet restaurants as foie gras. Mechanical feeding technology allows for a production line of force-feeding.


The tormenting feeding process takes only three seconds. Up to 400 animals per hour can be force-fed by these mechanized systems and made successively ill. A duck has to swallow this fatty mash twice a day for twelve to fifteen days. The agony of the geese lasts for about a week longer, i.e. up to 21 days. The metal tube is stuck into their throats as often as three times per day and the amount is increased from feeding to feeding. 

Geese and ducks are intentionally made ill

How brutally man sometimes deals with animals is made very clear in foie gras production. For a product that is commonly regarded as a luxury, ducks and geese are deliberately made ill. By the end of their lives, the fat content of the liver is more than 50%. Serious health problems are the result. Due to their enormous body mass, most geese and ducks can barely walk and spend most of their time sitting. The brutal manner of force-feeding through metal tubes also leads to serious injury of the oesophagus. This is particularly evident when the animals are left panting after the administration of their feed mixture.

Geese and ducks are birds that are used to living in water. Their natural instincts are to explore their surroundings, swim around and clean themselves, but none of this is possible in dark stables. Their space to move is limited; even if they had enough room to walk around, they hardly could due to their enormous weight increase. In many cases the conditions are even worse: after being force-fed, the animals are stuck into small cages so that they cannot exercise and their weight will keep increasing.


It’s hardly surprising that 10 to 20 times more animals die in the force-feeding industry than in conventional farming. The mortality rate is two to four percent; in conventional farming without force-feeding it’s only 0.2 percent.


The agony these animals have to suffer in their cut-short lives makes us speechless. We must finally do something about this animal cruelty and call for a Europe-wide ban on foie gras and its production! 


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