(NaturalNews) A delicacy in French cuisine, foie gras is served all around the world in some of the finest restaurants where food enthusiasts flock to get their fix of this rare and unusual fare. But in order to produce this controversial cuisine, farmers have to gorge ducks and geese with ghastly amounts of corn feed administered through a force-feeding tube, which causes the birds' livers to artificially expand in size, and may cause them severe pain and distress.
Though the practice has been going on for centuries, raising ducks and geese for the purpose of harvesting their bloated livers and turning them into foie gras is receiving a whole lot of media attention these days, most of which is negative. The state of California has even gone so far as to enact a ban on the sale and production of foie gras within the state, a provision that recently came into effect on July 1. (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com)
Restaurateurs throughout the state are bemoaning the ban, as are many connoisseurs who insist it violates the rights of both farmers and consumers to choose the foods they wish to grow and eat. But many others, after learning about how foie gras is produced in some commercial operations, believe the ban is appropriate as it will end what they say can only be described as an extreme form of animal abuse.
"To produce 'foie gras,' (which literally means 'fatty liver') workers ram pipes down male ducks' or geese's throats two or three times daily and pump as much as four pounds of grain and fat into the animals' stomachs, causing their livers to bloat to up to 10 times their normal size," says the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, also known as PETA.
"On some farms, a single worker may be expected to force-feed 500 birds three times each day. Because of this rush, animals are often treated roughly and left injured and suffering ... Many birds have difficulty standing because of their engorged livers, and they may tear out their own feathers and cannibalize each other out of stress."
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