Let's Not Forget
Down and Feathers
Foie gras ("fatty liver") is a very popular delicacy in
France, where most of the production takes place. It is produced by
enlarging the livers of geese and ducks through force feeding.
Even though France is the largest producer and consumer of
foie gras, it is also produced in other countries, including Hungary,
Bulgaria, the United States, Canada and China. Hungary is the second largest
producer and the largest exporter of foie gras. Most of the Hungarian foie
gras is imported into France.
The force-feeding is done by farm workers several
times a day. They will grab the animals one by one and shove long metal
pipes down their throats all the way to their stomachs. They will then
squeeze a lever attached to the pipe, activating a mechanized pump,
which will shoot a large amount of corn mixture directly into their
The foie gras industry uses mainly male ducks and
geese, because they produce larger livers. Female hatchlings are thrown
in the trash.
A farm worker force feeds the birds by plunging a long, metal pipe down
their throats several times a day.
Unable to withstand the brutal force-feeding treatment, this tortured bird
puts his head down to die.
Damage From Force-Feeding
The force-feeding will cause the animals to become grossly
overweight in just a few weeks. Their livers will expand to up to 10-12
times their normal size. The overweight animals have a lot of trouble
walking, standing and even breathing. The force-feeding also causes
severe damage to their throats. A lot of ducks and geese will die before
they are send to be slaughtered. The mortality rate of animals raised on
foie gras farms is among the highest in the farming industry.
For more information, please check out the following
Rough handling during the force feeding process results in bloodied birds,
many of them with broken bills.
Copyright © 2008 by Wanda Embar and its licensors. All Rights
Foie Gras: GNU FDL License. Other pictures by