Chicago Prohibits Foie Gras

Yay Chicago!

Foie gras is produced by force-feeding grain to ducks and geese several times a day through a pipe inserted into their throats, causing their livers to expand.

Someone I work with said, “Yeah, but is that really painful?”

Hopefully, New York will follow. I’d love to see veal outlawed as well.

Read more about how foie gras is made.

61 Comments

  1. I’m kinda embarrassed to admit that I’ve had it (it just tastes like fatty meat), but for once I actually kind of AGREE with Mayor Daley when he said, “We have children getting killed by gang leaders and dope dealers. We have real issues here in this city. And we’re dealing with foie gras? Let’s get some priorities.”

    This fight has been going on for a YEAR, so at least we can move on. :)

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  2. I am speechless. Luckily I haven’t (to my knowledge) eaten Foie Gras because I think if I had I would vomit. How unbelievably cruel.

    Humans can be such animals.

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  3. i’ve never been able to eat veal as a result of when I was 15 and worked in a catering kitchen and asked my boss what veal tasted like and she said “murder”. In a really sinister voice as well. Anyhow, that kind of prevented me from ever trying it which I’m not too sad about.

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  4. hahahahhahaha

    wow.

    hahhahaha

    Oh, aimee, you crack me up. (P.S. did you see my comment to you in the other post? It’s about itchy butts.)

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  5. Megan – Isn’t that sort of a straw man argument? Addressing issues across a scale of relative importance is a practice of which any government should be capable. Otherwise, you’re stuck establishing a consensus for which single issue is most important at a given moment and addressing only that issue.

    (one straw man deserves another, yeah?)

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  6. I find it repulsive that people believe that they have the right or need to eat this way. I find it cruel.

    And while I understand that there are children who are starving and being beaten, it doesn’t make it any less cruel or necessary. Nor does it make any less necessary to try and stop it.

    Can you imagine how little would get done if we gave importance in what we fight for based on relativity?

    People care about different things. Some people care about seeing abortion made illegal. Some people care about seeing guns be made illegal. Some people want a stop sign put up in their neighborhood. Some people want a cap on gas prices. Some people want LA to lessen its smog. Hopefully, it evens out somehow.

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  7. Fair point, Toby. I just remember discussing it almost a year ago over dinner (while eating it, actually…sorry) so it sort of amazed me it took this long to decide.

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  8. My ex used to use it all the time in cooking. I never tried it, but he loved it. Although the idea made him uneasy.

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  9. do you see how powerful your site is?? the cashew/itchy butt theory has now been corroborated.

    I thank you.

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  10. I am really, really great with anything ass related. Really.

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  11. so, would you consider yourself an assmaster?

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  12. They don’t call me Missile Fart for nothing.

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  13. LOL, I read the first comment and nearly fell off my chair!

    I love fois gras. And inserting a tube down their throat is NOT how it’s done—only in NY. LOL.

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  14. So how is it done, Athena?

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  15. I guess the NYT is reporting lies?

    Do you have something you’d like to share with the rest of us Amazing Larry?

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  16. I never had any interest (or really awareness of it) until my friend actually ordered it two weeks ago while we were out to eat. I thought it was like a pate and took a taste.
    UGH. It was nasty…just fatty, nasty, blech. ::shudders at the memory of it::
    It should be banned just cause it tastes like vomit.
    For me, yes it seems cruel how it is cultivated, but I also feel like I’d be a complete hypocrite to make a stink about it since I eat all other kinds of meat, and most aren’t treated so great. I feel sick now.

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  17. simple. just overfeed them, like american kids. just kidding.

    most french farmers would not do that because they don’t like eating food from animals that have been stressed. the french are very picky eaters and eat only the best. i think articles like that have an agenda.

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  18. The article is from the New York Times. The birds are forcefed. It’s common knowledge here in the states. The NYT has no agenda. They are merely reporting the news, which is that Chicago AND California have now outlawed it.

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  19. more here. and here.

    Definition: Although the literal translation from French is “fat liver,” foie gras is the term generally used for goose liver. This specialty of Alsace and Perigord is, in fact, the enlarged liver from a goose or duck that has been force-fed and fattened over a period of four to five months. These specially bred fowl are not permitted to exercise, which, combined with the overeating, creates a huge (up to 3 pounds), fatty liver. After the bird is killed, the liver is soaked overnight in milk, water or port. It’s drained, then marinated in a mixture usually consisting of Armagnac, Port, or Madeira and various seasonings. The livers are then cooked, usually by baking.

    Yeah, that’s humane and definitely something to laugh out loud about. Sad.

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  20. well i just spoke with my husband and asked him. he said yes. boy do i feel dumb. i watched a documentary about the making of fois gras some years ago—but it showed nothing about inserting a tube.

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  21. Don’t feel dumb. I don’t think you’re alone in your thoughts. Really.

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  22. Now there is a statement even I can’t let slip by ::The New York Times has no agenda:: and you are the proud owner of the Brooklyn Bridge. The NYT is all about LIBERAL Agendas. “All the news that fits, we print – our agenda that is”

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  23. Oh, come the hell on!!! this coming from someone who thinks the only “true” news is coming from Fox? (OK that is a year old comment made by you, but still.)

    Also, I meant with the article linked above. It’s merely a freaking news story, they’re not making a statement about animal rights. Yeesh! The other link I almost used was to Fox and that one actually did quote the mayor (see Megan’s comment). It’s a short article and mentions that it was outlawed and then uses the mayor’s quote. Now, there’s an agenda for you!

    Gotta love Fox News!!

    ;]

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  24. someone has linked my comments on this board to: http://anonymouse.org/cgi-bin/anon-www.cgi/http://mihow.com/posts/2006/04/27/4201/
    and of course the advertising is all in french.
    i don’t know if that’s a joke but i’m not alittle taken back by it.

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  25. what always made me wonder is this:

    who in the hell thought up foie gras? its pretty fucking evil and sadistic to instantiate, but at some point in history someone said “boy, i bet i could totally give that animal liver disease by force feeding it, then it would taste so good”

    scbob – saying the NYT is a liberal agenda is bullshit. the NYT has a crazy conservative agenda – its a mulitnational corporation that has millions (if not billions) in investments. many writers and editors tend to have a liberal agenda that comes off in their reporting, but if you look at what the paper officially does – they’re pretty conservative in their policies, statements, and financial transactions.

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  26. Actually, Jonathan, Wikipedia explains the history of it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foie_gras

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  27. Oops – that was me. :)

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  28. I’m unbelievably confused all of a sudden.

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  29. Jonathan, be nice to my father.

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  30. Megan, thanks for that link.

    Athena, I am not sure what you mean up there.

    Jonathan, my dad was just teasing me because I am the only liberal in my family. :]

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  31. Thomas Friedman, the most popular NYT columnist (and, some say, the most popular columnist in the country) is king of neoliberal economic punditry. Don’t confuse the terms ‘neoliberal’ with ‘liberal’ in the sense that most of use use it. He’s all about deregulation, free markets, using military force to impose free markets all over the world, reducing national identities in the marketplace, and squashing environmentalism and human rights in favor of profits.

    When I think of NYT, I think of Friedman. And I think Friedman is a (trying to avoid cursing!).

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  32. i can tell who visits my website and what referring URL they used to get to me—instead of showing mihow, it showed the above.

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  33. I bet if you took most people’s foie gras and replaced it with spam they would have no freaking idea it wasn’t actually foie gras. I’m willing to bet on it.

    Seriously, do you need it THAT bad that you’re OK with having a duck or goose force fed until they die from a horribly enlarged liver?

    I don’t get the world. I really don’t get it.

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  34. Time for Jon and I to step outside and settle this. He has to be easy if he really believes the Times is conservative. What a confused young man.

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  35. I disagree with you, bob, but I won’t argue with you. Fox, however, sucks.

    Let’s talk about how evil Foie gras is instead.

    FOCUS PEOPLE! FOCUS!

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  36. I’m not too proud to admit this, since I usually don’t eat meat but I have had foie gras and it is delicious.
    Way different from spam. I don’t actually find it much more cruel any other meat making practice. I think I approve of organic free range type deals but how could I really say. I think if you eat meat and aren’t generaly picky about how it is raised you might as well eat whatever you think is tasty. Drawing the line at fatty liver seems kinda random.

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  37. I dunno. Force-feeding something until its liver expands seems really, really extra super harsh. I don’t care how tasty it is. It just seems unnecessarily cruel.

    While I don’t agree with the way most large corporate-run farms deal with their livestock, stuffing an animal full of food and not allowing it to get any exercise for the duration just so you can puree its liver, seems much more inhumane.

    We buy only free-range meats from local farms (upstate). I am happy to pay the (sometimes) 10 extra bucks to not cater to the cruelty.

    Seems to me there is no humane way to create foie gras.

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  38. The vast majority of meat eaters don’t buy local free-range meats.
    Most places thst aren’t free-range are pretty much as cruel as folks who force feed things.
    Really.
    If you are gonna eat a chicken that has no beak or a cow that can’t walk to it’s own death then you might as well eat the foie gras

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  39. I don’t eat cow. I am a fish eater. But I know exactly what goes into killing them.

    Chicken? Sometimes. So you’re telling me that the free-range chickens aren’t actually free-range? Even the ones I buy from the guy in McCarren park on Saturdays? They still have necks!

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  40. I know that most commercial meateries are horrible. That’s why I don’t buy from them.

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  41. Trying to look on the bright side, luckily, it’s not an uber mass-produced meat, seeing as there are only 2 places in the U.S. that make it. One in NY (Hudson Valley Foie Gras) and one in CA (Sonoma Valley Foie Gras). Seeing how much money people pay for it, you’d think struggling farmers would try to tap into that market. It seems pretty controlled.

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  42. I’m guessing that’s because of how it’s done. I imagine that most people wouldn’t have the stomach (pun not intended) to watch that happen to any living creature. Eventually, I bet you’d say, this ain’t cool. But people surprise me every day.

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  43. Sian – I disagree that (n) wrongs make everything ok. Chipping away at one cruel practice at a time is more useful than not, yeah?

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  44. I don’t know – farmers who raise cattle have to stick their arm up the cow’s hoo ha to see if it’s pregnant, I would doubt they’d have a problem sticking a tube down a duck’s throat if it if it was regulated (seeing as I think we paid $30 for 1 piece as an appetizer).

    At any rate, I tried it once, I don’t really have the need or desire to try it again. And now living here I couldn’t if I wanted to, anyway! :) Yay!

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  45. Oh, I don’t think is o.k.
    I just think it is random for meat eaters(not free-range eating mihows) to object just to foie gras.
    The abusive practices of the cattle and poultry industry are much more common and hurt MANY more animals but most people who eat meat don’t even think twice. I’m not down on meat eaters, every choice is personal. I just thin the specific things people get grossed out by are odd sometimes.

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  46. Yeah, but this way there is an implicit angle of class warfare that gets the general public behind the ban if only to stick it to the man – all the while setting precedent!

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  47. sian, when DC found out that some major chains were selling fur coats and they that they turned out to be dog and cat fur coats and they all FREAKED THE HELL OUT, i said the same thing you’re saying. I was so annoyed that any fur-wearing asswipe would be down with one type of fur and totally against another.

    Do you remember that? So annoying. every coat was recalled. They came from Asia and America freaked out. But had it been some other small furry animal, it’s A – OK!

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  48. I don’t know how much this will help fighting the big cattle industry.
    I would guess a lot of folks don’t even see a connection.

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  49. Fur is making a come back too.
    I hate seeing some chick who probably can’t even bring her self to touch a raw chicken breast sporting something that was peeled of a critter while it was still alive and screaming. That is so hot.

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  50. My uncle has one of those hunting places where the CEO’s go to shoot birds. Sometimes they break their legs before setting them loose so the CEO’s can shoot them and feel like they are hunters.

    I’m not sure why I contributed that. But I dunno, if I was duck, I’d rather sit in a cage and be force fed food all day and maybe watch some TV at the same time. Life’s hard for a duck.

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  51. The times IS conservative. The staff is liberal. The organization makes a lot of profit conscious decisions – one of them is clearly giving some liberals a voice ( some people pay to read maureen dowd. i’d pay more to forget she exists ). I’ve never seen the organization doing something liberal – they divide and conquer other businesses, buying up properties and either growing them or slicing and dicing for the parts.

    I think calling the NYT liberal is like calling all americans conservative just because there is one party in power.

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  52. Ugh…

    Sian, you said it. I say, should someone want a fur coat, said someone should have to watch the fur coat be made—from slaughter, to skinning, all the way until the end.

    I say the same should go for meat as well. Just a thought. I know that doesn’t make me very popular, however.

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  53. Oh, I agree.
    I eat what I think I could kill/watch die.
    It’s only fair, I think.

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  54. when i was in africa, one of the other students converted to vegetarianism after slaughtering a chicken. another student didn’t eat for a few days after she saw her host broker kill a goat.

    not fun.

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  55. i know it’s not nice, but i have had foie gras and it was good and i’d probably eat it again. there. i said it. and i have serious problems with governments restricting food options. Is Chicago prohibiting production? sales? intake? I need to go read the article…

    as for the NYTimes, i’ve been losing interest for the past few years and when they called Cat Power and Beth Orten “slacker divas” in an article headline reviewing their latest albums, i decided that enough was enough. Goodbye NY Times.

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  56. Weird. I read that article and they praised those lovely ladies. I loved that article, actually. :/

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  57. As far as the government restriction thing goes, it’s a good thing ducks and other mistreated animals don’t have governments, because I bet theirs would request they not be treated this way.

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  58. my only point is that if the production practice is legal, then i don’t want someone saying whether i can or cannot have it. one man’s foie gras may be another woman’s RU486. i don’t want my ethical (or is it moral?) line determining availability because i don’t want the other sides to determine mine. regulating the industry is one thing but banning it at the city gates makes me uncomfortable (like the Wal Mart pharmacy deal).

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  59. and the lovely ladies, well i just don’t want them called ‘slackers’. is it because their voices are low and songs tend to be moody? that doesn’t make them ‘slackers’. i just have problems with the use of that word and its connotations.
    back to scraping lead paint off the walls. (maybe its effecting my edit filter. i’ve been geting into all kinds of arguments this week.)

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  60. just got back from visiting a farm in périgord france where they do forcefeeding. while i think the tube down the throat thing is horrible, the conditions aren’t as horrible as it stated in the link given. none of the geese die from a burst liver either—they usually die from being slaughtered.

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