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XiaNaphryz
LATIN, MATRIPEDICABUS, DO YOU SPEAK IT
(06-29-2012, 05:13 AM)
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Foie gras lovers scrambling as California ban nears:

This weekend, foie gras fattened duck or goose liver will vanish from California restaurants and gourmet groceries.

And that has sent Sean Jordan on a one-man "foie gras bender."

The Hollywood television producer resident knows that the pricey delicacy obtained from force-fed birds has been condemned by animal rights activists. Concerns about cruelty are what drove legislators in Sacramento to make California the first state in the nation to ban sales and production of the product.

But Jordan just can't help himself. With Sunday's deadline fast approaching, the 39-year-old said he's plotting a goose liver spree. Among his planned stops is a trip to Hatfield's restaurant in Hollywood for a $25 foie gras appetizer.

"The ban is sneaking up on me with no time to spare," he said. "I've got to hit as much as I can."


He's not alone.

Restaurants and fans across the state are bidding au revoir with a passion. Eateries such as Petrossian in West Hollywood and Chaya Brasserie in Beverly Hills have designed lavish, multi-course tasting menus featuring foie gras poached, seared and even served in parfait and ice cream desserts. The Bazaar in West Los Angeles has foie gras on a stick, swathed in cotton candy, for $5 a pop.

Diners are organizing group events such as "foie gras crawls."

In Santa Monica, restaurant Melisse is offering a seven-course, $185 Foie for All menu. Debuted just three months ago, the menu is now ordered by half of all customers, chef Ken Takayama said.

"I have never bought so much foie gras in my entire cooking career," Takayama said. "It's just insane."


The French specialty, pronounced "fwah grah," is often served as a complete organ or as a mousse or pate. More than two millennia ago, the ancient Greeks enjoyed the delicacy; it has since been served to French monarch Louis XVI, passengers on the Titanic and countless foodies.

Fans adore foie gras for its rich, buttery flavor. Chefs say it's a central tenet of their cooking repertoire comparable to caviar and truffles.

But animal welfare advocates have long decried the force feeding of geese and ducks that's often used to produce it. Known as gavage, the process involves gorging a fowl with grain via a tube pushed down its throat.

Some experts believe the method doesn't hurt the birds, which don't have a gag reflex. Animal rights advocates say it's inhumane, causing pain and wreaking havoc with the animals' psychological state.


"Trends shift. People will buy something else," said Ingrid Newkirk, president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. "The world doesn't turn economically on the sales of foie gras."

Italy, Britain and Germany have banned foie gras. In the U.S., Chicago outlawed it for a couple of years before reversing its decision in 2008.

In California, a ban was signed into law in 2004 by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger; it forbids the in-state sale and production of products derived from force-fed birds. Restaurateurs and Sonoma Foie Gras, the only producer in California, were given eight years until July 1, 2012 to adapt.

Starting next week, violators face a potential fine of as much as $1,000 a day.

That penalty is enough to persuade Chef Greg Daniels of Haven Gastropub & Brewery in Pasadena to reluctantly abide by the law.

"Paying that much a day could sink us," he said. "Trying to sell foie doesn't seem worth it for me."

Some chefs are scrambling for alternatives.

In downtown Los Angeles, the Lazy Ox Canteen will be serving a Forget Foie menu laden with the livers of pork, chicken, rabbit and other animals not included in Sunday's ban.

In Pasadena, Chef Akira Hirose of Maison Akira is experimenting with monkfish liver. It's "a little bit fishy" but about a third the price of standard foie gras.

"Sometimes I appreciate conditions like these because they make me more creative," Hirose said.

Other restaurants are looking into offering Faux Gras, a vegan pate made from lentils, walnuts and onions.

But after decades spent trying to build up California's reputation as a culinary destination, some restaurateurs worry that food hubs such as Napa, San Francisco and Los Angeles could lose tourism traffic to New York and Vegas.

The Coalition for Humane and Ethical Farming Standards, made up of more than 100 chefs opposed to the ban, has lawyers hunting for loopholes.

"These are the predictable effects of prohibition," said Nathan Ballard, spokesman for the group.

Foie gras lovers have become more vocal as the deadline looms, creating what John Burton, the San Francisco Democrat who wrote the bill in 2004 while president pro tem of the state Senate calls "a three-ring circus."

"Were they sleeping for seven years?" said Burton, currently chairman of the California Democratic Party. "They really, in my opinion, ought to get over it."


Restaurateurs are still holding on to hope for a repeal. But for now, foie gras' exile is imminent.

And it's "going to be a big deal economically," said chef and French native Ludo Lefebvre. At his occasional Southern California pop-up restaurants, foie gras was both his most expensive dish and top seller, he said.

Lefebvre recently hosted more than 300 guests at two foie gras dinners, which he said sold out in an hour. A foie gras event at his food truck brought three times as many patrons as usual.

Despite the prospect of a $1,000-per-day fine, a few of Lefebvre's chef peers are rumored to be stashing away foie gras to quietly serve to favored customers, he said, and some have considered charging a fee to prepare foie gras brought in by patrons. Lefebvre won't sell any of the product, but plans to "investigate" his options.

"Some chefs are going to have foie gras no matter what. But for me, the law is the law," Lefebvre said. "C'est la vie."

Similar "farewell to foie gras" meals are being offered up here in the SF Bay Area as well this weekend.

Meals at high end places like French Laundry won't be the same. :( Well prepared foie gras is awesome, Thomas Keller's torchon preparation being my favorite.
Feep
Second-hand Citizen
(06-29-2012, 05:19 AM)
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The entire meat supply chain, as I understand it, is unethical and horrible. I don't see why foie gras should be banned...

...especially because it is so delicious.
demon
I don't mean to alarm you but you have dogs on your face
(06-29-2012, 05:20 AM)
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Interesting. Never knew what foie gras was before. A video of the force-feeding process that produces it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQzH58WJt0Y (not really graphic)


Originally Posted by Feep

The entire meat supply chain, as I understand it, is unethical and horrible. I don't see why foie gras should be banned...

...especially because it is so delicious.

Not a bad point. Is it really that much if at all worse than what animals go through at factor farms? Their lives are a living hell either way.
Avixph
Member
(06-29-2012, 05:20 AM)
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What does it even taste like?
WanderingWind
Banned
(06-29-2012, 05:21 AM)
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Originally Posted by Avixph

What does it even taste like?

Basically...butter. Butter with a bit of nuttiness and some umami.
MThanded
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(06-29-2012, 05:23 AM)
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Originally Posted by Feep

The entire meat supply chain, as I understand it, is unethical and horrible. I don't see why foie gras should be banned...

...especially because it is so delicious.

Don't they force feed the ducks to get the liver consistency they want. If I remember that was the big controversy. The distinction being that other animals aren't force fed.
xbhaskarx
(06-29-2012, 05:24 AM)
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Good riddance. Hopefully veal is next.
Feep
Second-hand Citizen
(06-29-2012, 05:25 AM)
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Originally Posted by MThanded

Don't they force feed the ducks to get the liver consistency they want. If I remember that was the big controversy

Right, but factory farms are effectively just as bad.

I mean, I don't actually care, I love meat, but if you're going to be banning this, you should ban all meat products altogether.
Korey
Juniored for the safety and protection of the United States of America. U S A U S A U S A
(06-29-2012, 05:25 AM)
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Originally Posted by demon

Interesting. Never knew what foie gras was before. A video of the force-feeding process that produces it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQzH58WJt0Y (not really graphic)

Not a bad point. Is it really that much if at all worse than what animals go through at factor farms? Their lives are a living hell either way.

I'm pretty sure less ducks will be tortured now. So it's worth it.
effingvic
Member
(06-29-2012, 05:26 AM)
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dont have a problem with this.
Chumly
Power Girl's bosom
gives me strength
(06-29-2012, 05:29 AM)

Originally Posted by demon

Interesting. Never knew what foie gras was before. A video of the force-feeding process that produces it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQzH58WJt0Y (not really graphic)



Not a bad point. Is it really that much if at all worse than what animals go through at factor farms? Their lives are a living hell either way.

Well thats depressing. I didn't know how it was made
Alphahawk
Member
(06-29-2012, 05:30 AM)
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I read this thread title like three times trying to decipher it.
bangai-o
Banned
(06-29-2012, 05:31 AM)
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this is Tony Chu.
IceCold
Member
(06-29-2012, 05:40 AM)
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Originally Posted by xbhaskarx

Good riddance. Hopefully veal is next.

Why? Veal is delicious man.
xbhaskarx
(06-29-2012, 05:42 AM)
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Originally Posted by IceCold

Why? Veal is delicious man.

I've never tried it. But then I'm a vegan so I'm not exactly arguing it should be banned "because it isn't delicious enough"....
M-PG71C
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(06-29-2012, 05:44 AM)
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Originally Posted by WanderingWind

Basically...butter. Butter with a bit of nuttiness and some umami.

Yes. YEEEESSSSSS.

A complete shame, Cali. I expected better. It's not like the meat industry has anything "humane" about it. It's a means to an end. I want my damn foie gras damnit.
LyleLanley
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(06-29-2012, 05:44 AM)
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Originally Posted by IceCold

Why? Veal is delicious man.

Oh man, I could go for some veal right about now.
pigeon
fuck yo restraining order
(06-29-2012, 05:48 AM)
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I am sad about this. Not really surprised, since California has always been on the vegan edge of animal rights, but I don't really agree with it. As has been stated, a foie gras goose has an infinitely better existence than, say, a laying hen. When my wife and I went to Fleur de Lys last year I think half our courses had foie gras in them, and it was awesome.
gimmmick
Member
(06-29-2012, 05:49 AM)
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Idiot state. Foie is tasty

Dude Abides
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(06-29-2012, 05:49 AM)
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Originally Posted by Feep

Right, but factory farms are effectively just as bad.

I mean, I don't actually care, I love meat, but if you're going to be banning this, you should ban all meat products altogether.

This is true, but there's no reason to make the perfect the enemy of the good.
Arksy
Member
(06-29-2012, 05:50 AM)
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Because Veal production is an especially cruel when compared to other forms of meat production. Here's why.

But I would agree with Feep. It's all bad but no one is going to stop the meat production industry any time soon.
Avixph
Member
(06-29-2012, 05:52 AM)
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Originally Posted by WanderingWind

Basically...butter. Butter with a bit of nuttiness and some umami.

Sounds disgusting.
XiaNaphryz
LATIN, MATRIPEDICABUS, DO YOU SPEAK IT
(06-29-2012, 05:56 AM)
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Originally Posted by Avixph

Sounds disgusting.

You can't really describe it. It's damn good though.
cvxfreak
HOLY FUCKING CRAP
(06-29-2012, 05:57 AM)
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Well, there's always Vegas...
Tideas
Banned
(06-29-2012, 05:57 AM)
i can't understand people who wants to get rid of certain meat. Who cares if they get hurt. Or have to be killed 'humanely'.

They're animals. Meant for us to eat. Dominate. Rule over.

You think a cow would not have a human farm somewhere if they were on top of the food chain?

Back in the days, hunters would club the animals' head a few time before it died. OH GOSH the pain!

Thank God our ancestors weren't this pussy, or else we might have died as a specie
wenis
Registered for GAF on September 11, 2001.
(06-29-2012, 06:00 AM)
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That's too bad. It's quite good when it's prepared right.
demon
I don't mean to alarm you but you have dogs on your face
(06-29-2012, 06:01 AM)
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Originally Posted by Tideas

i can't understand people who wants to get rid of certain meat. Who cares if they get hurt. Or have to be killed 'humanely'.

They're animals. Meant for us to eat. Dominate. Rule over.

You think a cow would not have a human farm somewhere if they were on top of the food chain?

Back in the days, hunters would club the animals' head a few time before it died. OH GOSH the pain!

Thank God our ancestors weren't this pussy, or else we might have died as a specie

I'm sure an animal would prefer a few seconds of clubbing at the end of its life to the life of torture that the vast, vast, vast majority of animals we eat have to endure. And don't bullshit yourself, it is torture for them.
Esch
Once got into a vicious fistfight with a coat hanger
(06-29-2012, 06:02 AM)
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Originally Posted by Tideas

i can't understand people who wants to get rid of certain meat. Who cares if they get hurt. Or have to be killed 'humanely'.

They're animals. Meant for us to eat. Dominate. Rule over.

You think a cow would not have a human farm somewhere if they were on top of the food chain?

Back in the days, hunters would club the animals' head a few time before it died. OH GOSH the pain!

Thank God our ancestors weren't this pussy, or else we might have died as a specie

Tideas
ignorant rich american who cannot figure out how forums work
(Yesterday, 11:57 PM)
Kitsunebaby
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(06-29-2012, 06:06 AM)
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Originally Posted by xbhaskarx

Good riddance. Hopefully veal is next.

Over my dead body. Veal is amazing.

Foie gras can be pretty great, too. Thankfully it's still legal here.
beelzebozo
Jealous Bastard
(06-29-2012, 06:06 AM)
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it's true that the animal product industry in america needs a complete revamping, and any steps toward that i see as a very good thing.
Tideas
Banned
(06-29-2012, 06:08 AM)

Originally Posted by demon

I'm sure an animal would prefer a few seconds of clubbing at the end of its life to the life of torture that the vast, vast, vast majority of animals we eat have to endure. And don't bullshit yourself, it is torture for them.

okay. it's torture for them. so what? They're not human.
beelzebozo
Jealous Bastard
(06-29-2012, 06:11 AM)
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Originally Posted by Tideas

okay. it's torture for them. so what? They're not human.

goose observing human being tortured: "okay. it's torture for them. so what? they're not geese."
Korey
Juniored for the safety and protection of the United States of America. U S A U S A U S A
(06-29-2012, 06:12 AM)
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Originally Posted by Tideas

okay. it's torture for them. so what? They're not human.

That's a strange way to think. You might be psycopathic, may want to get that checked out.
XiaNaphryz
LATIN, MATRIPEDICABUS, DO YOU SPEAK IT
(06-29-2012, 06:13 AM)
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Originally Posted by beelzebozo

it's true that the animal product industry in america needs a complete revamping, and any steps toward that i see as a very good thing.

Let's be honest, foie gras is an easy target because it's a high-end niche ingredient without a lot of major groups defending it outside of high profile chefs. Any sort of real reform against the major meat industries and the lobbies behind them is going to be a much harder fight.

There's also no guarantee this ban will last, Chicago eventually repealed their ban so there's precedent.
evil solrac v3.0
(06-29-2012, 06:13 AM)
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Originally Posted by Tideas

okay. it's torture for them. so what? They're not human.

are you usually this idiotic? dominate over the animals? this is some grade-A level bullshit you have going on display right now.
Haly
One day I realized that sadness is just another word for not enough coffee.
(06-29-2012, 06:13 AM)
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Foie gras is really the only time I condone animal cruelty.
Dude Abides
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(06-29-2012, 06:13 AM)
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Originally Posted by Tideas

i can't understand people who wants to get rid of certain meat. Who cares if they get hurt. Or have to be killed 'humanely'.

They're animals. Meant for us to eat. Dominate. Rule over.

You think a cow would not have a human farm somewhere if they were on top of the food chain?

Back in the days, hunters would club the animals' head a few time before it died. OH GOSH the pain!

Thank God our ancestors weren't this pussy, or else we might have died as a specie

Indeed. Nothing says brute badass caveman domination quite like foie gras delicately spread on a toast point.
kittens
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(06-29-2012, 06:15 AM)
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Awesome. It's an exceptionally abhorrent practice.
Dr.Guru of Peru
played the long game
(06-29-2012, 06:15 AM)
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Originally Posted by Tideas

i can't understand people who wants to get rid of certain meat. Who cares if they get hurt. Or have to be killed 'humanely'.

They're animals. Meant for us to eat. Dominate. Rule over.

You think a cow would not have a human farm somewhere if they were on top of the food chain?

Back in the days, hunters would club the animals' head a few time before it died. OH GOSH the pain!

Thank God our ancestors weren't this pussy, or else we might have died as a specie

I don't even agree with or support the ban, but I really really want to hear your explanation of how supporting it makes someone a "pussy". How exactly are you a bigger man than someone else because you purchase meat in a supermarket or eat it in a restaurant?
DanteFox
Banned
(06-29-2012, 06:16 AM)
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I heard that the ducks aren't really harmed by the tube that they stick down their throat because ducks and geese are used to swallowing whole fish.
beelzebozo
Jealous Bastard
(06-29-2012, 06:19 AM)
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Originally Posted by XiaNaphryz

Let's be honest, foie gras is an easy target because it's a high-end niche ingredient without a lot of major groups defending it outside of high profile chefs. Any sort of real reform against the major meat industries and the lobbies behind them is going to be a much harder fight.

There's also no guarantee this ban will last, Chicago eventually repealed their ban so there's precedent.

even if it's overturned, i think the raising of these sort of questions point to an undercurrent of discomfort with the way animals are used, easier to ignore when the food product is abstracted away from the actual animal, but harder to ignore in the modern age when it's so easy to disseminate information about what these products are and what their living conditions are. i certainly don't wanna seem like a granola-crunching goob on this whole issue, but as much as i love great food, force-feeding an animal who doesn't want to eat to purposefully make its liver unhealthy just seems straight up obviously unethical.

the alternate method i just read about on wikipedia (like the good modern man that i am) is less troubling--i.e., just slaughter the goose at a time when the liver is naturally fattened with no forced feeding--but still, yeah, i don't think any single loss or victory for the issue matters as much as the fact that it keeps coming up, and will keep coming up.

Originally Posted by DanteFox

I heard that the ducks aren't really harmed by the tube that they stick down their throat because ducks and geese are used to swallowing whole fish.


i'm not sure it matters whether it hurts them or not. you're forcing food down their throats. it feels perverse to me to rob the goose of any sort of providence over its own life, including when it eats. i'm sure the meat industry is full of far worse things, but this does have the particular stink of something obviously screwy.
Last edited by beelzebozo; 06-29-2012 at 06:22 AM.
Curtisaur
Forum Landmine
(06-29-2012, 06:19 AM)
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Have any foie gras speakeasies sprouted up yet?
Utako
Banned
(06-29-2012, 06:19 AM)
That sucks for those guys. I just had the most amazing foie gras last week, a dish I enjoy - thoroughly - at least once per quarter.

For the production of (extremely delicious) food, you can be cruel.
Aquavelvaman
Member
(06-29-2012, 06:26 AM)
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It's not really cruel. Ducks eat whole fish. The feeding tube is smaller than the fish they eat.

The idea that it's even in the same universe of cruelty to the shitty conditions that every chicken you've ever eaten lived through is laughable.
dr3upmushroom
If you stop seeing my posts, you can probably guess why
(06-29-2012, 06:28 AM)
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Originally Posted by Chumly

Well thats depressing. I didn't know how it was made

That video looks pretty insane as a human, but if you keep in mind that the birds don't have a gag reflex I don't see how it's any worse than raising any other animal to be eaten.


Originally Posted by Aquavelvaman


The idea that it's even in the same universe of cruelty to the shitty conditions that every chicken you've ever eaten lived through is laughable.

Definitely. I don't like like the idea of the birds being force fed and raised to be eaten, but in that video they're actually in a decent sized pen and the handler doesn't seem to be treating them overly rough or anything (I mean besides shoving a tube down their throats).

An outright ban seems really hypocritical. If I remember right all Prop 2 did with veal was make it so the calves have room to stretch out a bit in their cages.
Last edited by dr3upmushroom; 06-29-2012 at 06:32 AM.
pigeon
fuck yo restraining order
(06-29-2012, 06:29 AM)
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Originally Posted by beelzebozo

i'm not sure it matters whether it hurts them or not. you're forcing food down their throats. it feels perverse to me to rob the goose of any sort of providence over its own life, including when it eats. i'm sure the meat industry is full of far worse things, but this does have the particular stink of something obviously screwy.

I know what you mean, but on the other hand, it's worth remembering that animals, though they may have their own form of semi-intelligence, are not like us. They have a whole different set of instincts and desires and we have to judge their distress on that basis. I mean, we castrate a vast percentage of domestic animals and it's generally accepted that they don't really, you know, mind all that much. I'd really like to see some detailed research on how the animals feel about gavage -- the EU report comes right out and says the evidence of distress is inconclusive.
blame space
Member with a nice beard and a broken TV
(06-29-2012, 06:29 AM)
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you guys know they torture and kill animals to make meat, right?
beelzebozo
Jealous Bastard
(06-29-2012, 06:31 AM)
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Originally Posted by blame space

you guys know they torture and kill animals to make meat, right?

they don't always torture the animals, mind you, and that really doesn't make any individual instance of torture justified (not that this is necessarily torture--i just have mixed feelings about it, as someone who both loves animals and loves food)

Originally Posted by pigeon

I know what you mean, but on the other hand, it's worth remembering that animals, though they may have their own form of semi-intelligence, are not like us. They have a whole different set of instincts and desires and we have to judge their distress on that basis. I mean, we castrate a vast percentage of domestic animals and it's generally accepted that they don't really, you know, mind all that much. I'd really like to see some detailed research on how the animals feel about gavage -- the EU report comes right out and says the evidence of distress is inconclusive.

good observation. actually, if the geese seem to enjoy the gavage, i'd not have as much a problem with it.
blame space
Member with a nice beard and a broken TV
(06-29-2012, 06:32 AM)
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OK, they don't always torture animals.
RukusProvider
Banned
(06-29-2012, 06:35 AM)
Bullshit. I love Foie Gras. God I hate this states politics.

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