Target: FDA Acting Commissioner Stephen Ostroff, M.D.
Goal: Stop selling foie gras made from tortured ducks and geese.
Foie gras is a French delicacy made of fattened duck or goose liver. This liver is obtained by housing ducks or geese in tiny, cramped cages where the animals have no space to move. In these cages the fowl go through a process known as ‘gavage,’ in which they ram pipes down their throats two or three times a day. These pipes administer a combination of grain and fat in quantities of up to four or more pounds per day, causing the livers to swell up. Due to the liver swelling, the ducks and geese can’t walk or move properly. Their abdomens are distended and the stress of not knowing what is going on drives them, quite literally, mad. They may attack each other or rip out their own feathers.
Death by slaughter is not the only end these birds face in foie gras farming sheds. Up to twenty times the amount of animals die from this force-feeding process compared to fowl reared and allowed to eat at their leisure. These force-fed birds often suffer from foot infections, diarrhea, fungal infections, heat stress, lesions, impaired liver function and fractures to the sternum. Some die from asphyxiating on their own vomit. Others suffocate on grain forced into their lungs by the tubes. Still more die from organ failure and the appalling conditions they are forced to live in.
The horror of this process doesn’t end there. Only the livers of male ducks are desired, so the approximated forty-million females are disposed of. These are tossed, live, into grinders to be used as fertilizer or cooked into cat food. It’s hard to believe, that such an event as many have only heard described in the pages of The Jungle, is happening every day in places as close to home as New York’s Hudson Valley Foie Gras.
If the abuse of poor environment isn’t enough, it’s exacerbated by demands on the workers. The Hudson Valley farm demands one worker feed up to five-hundred birds a day. This insane pace results in rough handling of the birds and even more damage and discomfort from an already torturous process. An estimated 15,000 ducks die every year in the Hudson Valley farm alone, and foie gras is made from another 5,000 diseased birds.
Help these birds and sign this petition to ban foie gras in the United States.
Dear Acting Commissioner Ostroff,
Every year ducks and geese lose their lives on foie gras farms due to deplorable conditions and abusive treatment. These animals are caged in spaces so small they can do little more than stand or sit down in their own excrement. They cannot do something as simple as move or clean themselves. Each day they are fed pounds of fat and grain by a tube shoved down their throat. They face infections, infestations by worms and maggots, broken sternums, liver failure and countless other atrocities.
Many of these ducks never live long enough to make it to slaughter and those that do are heavily diseased. There is a distinct disregard for life in the treatment of these animals. It is beyond wasteful and inhumane to deliver such a rarely eaten delicacy.
We urge you and the FDA to ban the sell and production of foie gras in the United States. It is a luxury that disregards the health and welfare of animals and the health and safety of consumers who eat meat from these sick animals.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Ethique & Animaux