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Kara Raby

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Boycott Fortnum And M/Harrods Forever For Selling Foie Gras!

Birds raised for foie gras spend the first four weeks of their lives eating and growing, sometimes in semi-darkness. For the next four weeks, they are confined to cages and fed a high-protein, high-starch diet that is designed to promote rapid growth. Force-feeding begins when the birds are between 8 and 10 weeks old. For 12 to 21 days, ducks and geese are subjected to gavage—every day, up to 4 pounds of grain and fat are forced down the birds’ throats by means of an auger in a feeding tube.(9,10) The Washington Post reported that the tube “is pushed 5 inches down their throats, and more food than they want is gunned into their stomachs. If the mushy corn sticks … a stick is sometimes used to force it down.”(11) The birds’ livers, which become engorged from a carbohydrate-rich diet, can grow to be more than 10 times their normal size (a disease called “hepatic steatosis”).(12) The mortality rate of birds raised for foie gras has been found to be as much as 20 times higher than that of birds raised normally, and carcasses show wing fractures and severe tissue damage to the throat muscles.

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