Where does foie gras come from and what is its true price?
Foie gras liver pate is expensive. Where does foie gras come from and what is its true price?
Man has been using animals throughout his history, including as a source of food. The ethical consumption of living creatures is a separate issue. But at the current stage of development of human society, the rule applies: even if a person uses animals, he does not have the moral right to torture them. And the concept of five freedoms was developed not only to meet the needs of pets, but also for animals that live on farms. Including for those animals that are raised for meat.
But how do ducks and geese live, from whose liver foie gras are obtained? The shortest answer: in constant, ongoing torment. And there is no question of any observance of at least one of the five freedoms that are binding on all.
The fact is that the liver is the largest organ of metabolism in the body of warm-blooded living creatures and can process proteins, fats and sugar in large quantities, as well as remove toxic substances from the body. When the liver reaches its limit, fat accumulates in its cells, and it increases in size. This is what foie gras producers need.
For this to happen, ducks and geese are kept in tight pens (or even in suspended bags) and are force-fed three times a day - not just fed, but practically stuffed with food in an amount 10 (!) Times higher than the norm. The very method of feeding is monstrous, it often leads to rupture of goiter and stomach.
Veterinarians testify that after some time the birds lose their ability to eat on their own, they suffer from pneumonia and infectious diseases and experiencing constant suffering, which can be described as "unbearable". So if 50 percent of the birds survive before the slaughter, this is considered a good result.
The duration of fattening is about 1 month, and the liver of an unfortunate bird during this time reaches a huge size, exceeding the norm by 6-12 times. And this in itself causes tremendous suffering to geese and ducks.
No wonder many famous people opposed foie gras production, some of which were by no means vegetarians. One of the founders of ethology, Nobel Prize winner Conrad Lorenz wrote that foie gras production is “a shame for Europe.” Pope Benedict XVI said that such an attitude towards animals violates biblical principles. Hilton Hotels have stated that foie gras are excluded on their menu. And Bridget Bardot, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Roger Moore called for abandoning this dish.
According to the Vita animal rights center, now the main foie gras producers are France (the undisputed leader), Bulgaria, Hungary, Spain and China.
However, there are countries that banned foie gras. These are the UK, Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Norway, Finland, Argentina, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Israel. In the United States, foie gras are banned in Chicago and California.