It is the eleventh hour for foie gras, the fatty duck and goose liver that some consider a food delicacy, but that animal advocates consider an example of the most heinous cruelty to animals.
Tomorrow, on July 1, animal advocates will finally enjoy the realization of amazing victory for animals in California, after an eight-year wait.
In 2004, a coalition of animal rights organizations urged passage of the California ban on the sale and production of foie gras that goes into effect July 1, 2012 as planned.
The ban prohibits the “force feed[ing of] a bird for the purpose of enlarging the bird’s liver beyond normal size” and the sale of products that are a result of this process.
Force feeding involves thrusting a metal pipe down the bird’s throat for twice-daily feedings over two weeks. The duck’s liver swells from one-third of a pound to nearly two pounds. Before the birds, which are confined in darkness in small cages, are slaughtered and processed, the liver increases to about six pounds.
Force-feeding has already been outlawed in the U.K., Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, and Israel.
Some prominent American chefs are against the use of foie gras, such as Wolfgang Puck. Even Pope Benedict XVI has spoken out against foie gras cruelty.
The law, signed by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, included a grace period to allow chefs and farmers time to find alternative production, but it seems they spent the time fighting the ban. As it goes into effect restaurateurs and other supporters vie to find a way to continue providing what some call a “Delicacy of Despair.”
In Defense of Animals (IDA), a national, non-profit organization based in San Rafael, California that is dedicated to ending the exploitation and abuse of all animals wherever it exists invites you to help them ensure compliance with the law.
If you live in or visit California and see any business selling foie gras, please let them know, and they will contact the proper enforcement agency. Email email@example.com with information about violations.
More information on the foie gras controversy can be found here.
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