Foie Gras: Disease Marketed as a Delicacy
Each year in the United States, a half a million ducks are tortured and killed for their diseased livers, known as foie gras (fatty liver). In the US, two companies raise ducks for foie gras: Hudson Valley in New York and Sonoma Foie Gras in California. In September, GourmetCruelty.com released the findings of their covert investigation of these facilities. They revealed ducks so infected that their eyes were gone, ducks with gaping wounds on their rears, ducks being eaten alive by rats, dying ducks covered in vomit, corpses of ducks who had suffocated from forced-feeding, garbage cans filled with dead ducks including ducks who had exploded, and ducks who had died of aspiration pneumonia as a result of having food pushed into their lungs. At Hudson Valley, rows and rows of ducks live in isolation cages so they can't avoid the force feeders with the long metal pipes who assault them three times a day for the month before they are slaughtered. "Investigators documented workers carelessly and roughly grabbing ducks by their throats as they struggled to avoid the forced-feeding pipe. The stench of death permeated the sheds." For the investigation, rescue, and what you can do, visit: http://www.gourmetcruelty.com.
Photo By: PETA
Worker force-feeding duck
Sonoma Foie Gras Sues the Animal Protection and Rescue League
In October, Sonoma Foie Gras, which raises thousands of ducks
for foie gras and meat, filed suit against four APRL
activists for trespassing and burglary. The activists, who welcome
the lawsuit as a chance to expose the cruelty of foie gras, admit
rescuing four ducks in September and claim they acted within the
law. "We believe we're upholding California's anticruelty
law," activist Bryan Pease told the San Francisco Chronicle
(10/21/03). "We don't believe rescuing animals
in need of veterinary treatment is the same as someone breaking
into a house and stealing someone's property."
Israeli Supreme Court Finds Force-Feeding Ducks and Geese Illegal
In an historic decision, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled on August 11 that the force-feeding of ducks and geese, as practiced in Israel, violates the law. One of the world's major producers of foie gras, the Israeli industry exploits mainly geese. The court's decision resulted from years of investigation and campaigning by animal protection organizations in Israel and worldwide. In Israel, the campaign was led by Anonymous for Animal Rights. Anonymous activists documented the cruelty to geese and ducks all over Israel. Their affidavits and the video they showed in court, plus their public education campaign, led to the success of their petition to the court. Starting with general ignorance of the nature of force-feeding, "the Israeli public reached a point where foie gras is perceived as morally-defective food." For more information including excerpts from the verdict, visit: http://www.upc-online.org/whatsnew/81103israel.htm.
To read the verdict in its entirety, translated into English by Concern for Helping Animals in Israel (CHAI), visit: http://www.upc-online.org/ducks/101403foiegras.htm.
Photo By: Viva
Thousands of Pekin Ducks packed into Maple Leaf Farms, CA
Whole Food Market to Improve Conditions for Ducks and Other Farmed Animals
"Whole Foods does not respond to coercion. We re-examined activists' claims and decided they were basically right." - Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, USA TODAY, 20/21/03.
In response to a 2-year campaign by the animal rights group Viva!USA, Whole Foods Market has pledged to transform the way ducks and other animals are raised for its 145 stores. According to Whole Food Market founder/CEO John Mackey, ""Viva! was instrumental in helping Whole Foods Market leadership come to understand the importance and necessity of making changes in animal production methods." In addition, Mackey said his research on animal welfare issues while in dialogue with Viva!USA Director Lauren Ornelas "convinced me to personally become a vegan. I believe a vegan lifestyle is the most animal compassionate lifestyle possible."
To learn more about Viva!USA's campaigns, including getting Trader Joe's to stop selling duck meat, visit http://www.upc-online.org/ducks/102103wholefoods.htm