Liver damage

At its very basic, food is for survival.

Courtesy|Donald Napoleon
Courtesy|Donald Napoleon Foie gras

Then, if your wallet’s thick enough, you could argue that food can be a delicacy.

The perennial debate on vegetarian versus meat eaters will never end: both arguments are valid. Yes, killing animals for pleasure is cruel, but sometimes, meat eaters don’t adjust very well to vegetarianism and that’s science — not bigotry.

But, the recent debate over banning foie gras in California, and the absolutely hilarious comments from some chefs has me roused a little.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not telling you what to eat.

I am, however, a little more than distressed at what geese and ducks go through while alive to become the delicacy.

See, we free-range chicken-eaters like to know that as long as that chicken was happy while alive and wasn’t afraid of dying, killing it for our survival was OK. (and yes, free-range chicken tastes way better than Walmart chicken).

But to know that geese and ducks are put through the human equivalent of liver cirrhosis for 10 to 21 days — made to swallow two to four pounds of grain every day using a food tube — just so that we can spend several hundred dollars to eat their very dead fatty liver is disgusting.

There is killing animals for survival and then there’s killing animals because you’re a sadist.

Take Ken Frank, for instance. He’s a chef in Napa Valley’s La Toque restaurant.

When a California judge overruled the ban late in January this year on foie gras in place since July 2012, Frank was quoted in The Guardian comparing the right to cook foie gras to freedom of speech.

Consumers will hardly be worse off if we stop distressing geese and ducks for food.

In fact, I’ll go as far as to say no one will be worse off if we cut down on inhumane poultry production altogether and stick to free-range rearing.


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