Foie'll be back? California chefs may duck around food ban
June 28th, 2012
06:00 PM ET
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It’s been eight years since former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill No. 1520 into law, prohibiting the sale and production of foie gras in the Golden State.

On Sunday, that ban from 2004 finally goes into effect.

As stated in the legislation:

“The bill would prohibit a person from force feeding a bird for the purpose of enlarging the bird’s liver beyond normal size, and would prohibit a person from hiring another person to do so. The bill would also prohibit a product from being sold in the state if it is the result of force feeding a bird for the purpose of enlarging the bird’s liver beyond normal size. The bill would authorize an officer to issue a citation for a violation of those provisions in an amount up to $1,000 per violation per day.”

But because of loopholes in the law, supporters of the fatty duck and goose liver say foie’ll be back.

Ludo Lefebvre, the French chef of popular pop-up restaurant LudoBites in Los Angeles, will continue to serve foie gras after the July 1 deadline.

In order to skirt around the legislation, Lefebvre told Bloomberg News he will not sell the prized delicacy, but instead offer it free of charge on the chef’s menu.

Other restaurants are instating a BYOF – bring your own foie – policy: If you supply it, they’ll cook it.

While Lefebvre isn’t the only California chef planning to forge ahead foie-first, he is one of the few willing to announce it publicly.

“We plan to ‘give’ foie gras away, and charge for the accoutrements,” said a chef in San Mateo who wished to remain anonymous. “My decision is not based on enforcement at all.  The right to sell something customers want is being taken. We are in the hospitality business, and hospitality is giving customers what they want.”

“We are going to sit back and see what others do first,” said another chef in San Francisco. “I’ll probably still sell it or give it away to regulars who may request it knowing that they are on our side.”

Both chefs spoke on the condition of anonymity because of activist backlash at other establishments.

“Cry me a river,” said Ingrid Newkirk, the president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). “If you can feel any compassion about an imagined threat, why can’t you feel compassion for the real torture that you have a hand in?”

Not everyone is feeling so rebellious – notably Thomas Keller, whose two leading restaurants, The French Laundry in Napa Valley and Per Se in New York, both appeared on this year’s prestigious "World's 50 Best Restaurants" list.

“The Thomas Keller Restaurant Group will abide by the law enacted by the State of California prohibiting the sale of foie gras effective on July 1, 2012,” Keller said in a statement.

In recent months, the highly acclaimed chef became a vocal part of the Coalition for Humane and Ethical Farming Standards (CHEFS), delivering pleas to the state’s legislators to repeal the ban.

Now that a repeal before July 1 is unlikely, more people are turning their attention toward who is actually laying down the law.

In San Francisco, a spokesperson for the police department declared the bulk of the responsibility would fall into the city’s Animal Care & Control jurisdiction.

Rebecca Katz, the director of San Francisco Animal Care & Control, said they are largely complaint driven so if there are reports of a violation, they would initiate an investigation.

“The state needs to tighten the language,” said Katz. “We have limits on our ability to enforce this law as written, and frankly, given the nature of some of our other calls, I don’t know how much enforcement we can do.”

In Los Angeles, the police department also will not ignore the claims, but refer them.

“The LAPD would have no involvement in the enforcement of the foie gras ban because it’s a state mandated ordinance and it’s up to the county and state health departments to look into complaints or enforcement issues,” said Richard French, a spokesperson for the LAPD.

The scanty measures have left animal-rights activists flabbergasted.

“If the police don’t come up with a plan, then we will compel them to come up with an enforcement plan,” said Newkirk.

Newkirk encourages anti-foie activists to go to these restaurants and cause a flap. “Sit down and smoke a cigarette,” she advises.

According to Newkirk, the idea is that when the police come, they can not enact selective enforcement – and would have to write-up the restaurant for serving foie gras along with the activists for disturbing the peace.

Public squabbles aside, there is one issue the activists and supporters can agree on: educating the public.

“I think as the public becomes more informed as to how this happened, we will gain support to overturn the ban,” said the chef in San Francisco.

Newkirk agrees, but hopes for a markedly different outcome. “People will come to see it. People will come to feel ostracized and they’ll be labeled as really selfish gluttons.”

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Filed under: Animal Rights • Eatocracy TV • Foie Gras • Food Politics • Meat • News • PETA • Television • Think


soundoff (315 Responses)
  1. Michael Ma

    People in other parts of the world are being enslaved, raped, murdered, tortured, and dying of hunger. Yet these people put more effort in giving ducks a little bit more comfortable lives that were meant to be killed for human consumption anyway. Good job!

    July 1, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Reply
  2. Free Man in the Republic of Texa

    NO foie gras ???

    Never mind that the state is broke.
    Not just broke but in debt way over it's head.

    Begging for a bail out from the working tax payers
    who still have a job in other states makes perfect
    liberal sense...

    Good luck with that...

    Moving Forward -> -> ->
    To the NANNY state !!!!

    July 1, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Reply
    • PG

      Perhaps you missed the first line of the article "It’s been eight years since former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill No. 1520 into law, prohibiting the sale and production of foie gras in the Golden State."
      Arny was a republican in case you do not follow politics that closely in Texas...

      July 1, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Reply
      • Michigander5

        ..You realize that just because something is signed doesn't mean its enacted.. if you had actually read the article; it says the bill was signed in 2004, but it did not become effective until July 1st 2012....Perhaps you should read more than the first paragraph of an article.

        July 1, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Reply
        • PG

          Perhaps you should do a little research before attempting to be smart "The law included a provision that it would take effect almost eight years after enactment, in order to allow time for techniques to be developed by which foie gras could be produced without force-feeding birds. As of the date the law took effect, no such technique had been developed that was deemed commercially viable."

          July 1, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  3. Sun

    Ducks and geese overeat naturally in the fall to have enough energy to make the long flights south, which causes the fatty livers.(Who do you think figured this out? Duck and geese hunters in the fall, that's who!) Allow the birds to gorge naturally, and make foie a seasonal dish. They are doing this in Europe already. Easily done, no cruelty, problem solved, now stfu.

    July 1, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Reply
    • colin in Florida

      Yes! Thank you.

      July 1, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  4. Kristin

    I personally don't eat foie gras but I think it's terrible that the government can go around telling people what they can or cannot eat. How is this any different from how they get steaks, chicken or pork. If someone doesn't like the way the animals are treated then don't eat it. I'm sorry but I don't think the government has any right making laws like this. 

    July 1, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Reply
    • csnord

      it is not different than beef or chicken - it is the same thing, and PETA wants it that way. PETA's stated mission is to ban the consumption of all animal products of any kind to end mankind's exploitation of animals in any way shape or form. Meat, fur, leather, milk, eggs - all gone. That is their goal. They pick one small item, like foie gras to start the process and whine about the horrific process and get people to jump on board. Then they expand the ban. The fact is that the reason overfeeding a goose produces foie gras is that, in the wild, geese overfeed during the summer in order to develop an enlarged fatty liver. It gives them an energy source that they use to enable them to migrate. The "force feeding" and "cruelty" part is spin used by PETA and others to get people into an emotional lather so they'll support the cause. It works because people are, in general, incredibly gullible and incapable of independent thought or doing their own research. The foie gras produces are only taking advantage of a natural process, but pointing that out would not be in PETA's interests, would it?

      July 1, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Reply
      • colin in Florida

        YES!!! You are right.

        July 1, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  5. stateschool

    If you know that an animal has to be tortured in order for you to eat your favorite snack, and you keep eating it, there really is something wrong with you.

    July 1, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Reply
    • therotagilla

      It's simple...don't like it, don't eat it. But don't try and tell me what I can and can't do.

      July 1, 2012 at 2:18 pm | Reply
      • bob

        From a logical and moral standpoint, your argument is no better than a pro-slavery person saying "You don't like slavery, then don't own a slave, but don't tell me what to do." The whole point is that the process of making foie gras is cruel and immoral, so to act like it's just a matter of preference is obtuse.

        July 1, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Reply
        • Ally

          What a lot of people don't seem to know is that there is a perfectly natural way to farm foie. No force feeding. No cruelty.

          I don't get why the chefs in California are trying to find loop holes when all they have to do is get their foie from a farmer who uses the natural method.

          July 2, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
        • therotagilla

          So based on YOUR logic, waterfowl and humans are equal? Please extract your head from your posterior as foie gras production and slavery are miles apart. California has much bigger concerns than this and as a taxpayer I'd prefer to see those problems addressed as oppposed to creating the Foie Gras Squad. Let the geese gorge naturally and make it a seasonal dish, I'll still order it but keep government (and PETA for that matter) where it belongs. It's all fun and games until they ban someting YOU like and at this rate, it's only a matter of time.

          July 2, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Sean Lance

      If an animal is caused pain and suffering, inconsistent with the needs of food production, it's wrong to allow it to occur. However, if an animal has to suffer, in order to be made into food, i.e. the pain caused by being slaughtered, it's necessary and proper, as long as the death is brought as quickly as possible. Gavage is not necessary, to produce fois gras, it's just more convenient. You can achieve the same result by letting your fowl stock, feed naturally, on high carbohydrate grains. This increases the price of the end product, but it's better for the welfare of the animal, while it's still living and its just the right thing, to do.

      July 1, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      Maybe. But given that there are animal rights activists who make the claim that raising any animal for use as food, or harvesting them for food from the wild, amounts to "torture". It's not a workable point of view. My own opinion is that the feeding methods used to produce foie gras don't come anywhere near being torture, and there's little in the way of objective research showing I'm wrong.

      July 1, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Reply
      • Thank you

        SixDegrees, I've researched this pretty carefully and have found lots of information from vets, avian specialists, and researchers saying that indeed, the process is harmful and cruel.

        July 2, 2012 at 10:44 am | Reply
    • Johnross1968

      If you are so self-centered that you think you have the right to force others to do things or not do things because of your personal morals, then something is seriously wrong with you.

      July 1, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Reply
  6. Rod C. Venger

    The way around the ban is in the language of the ban. When the purpose of the tube feeding is to enlarge the liver beyond it's normal size, then the practice is prohibited, as are the sales. So the way around the ban is to change the reasoning for the force feeding and make the enlarged liver merely a byproduct of the practice. The way to do that would be to heavily vitamin fortify the feed...or something...with the stated purpose of making the bird healthier overall. Maybe even sponsor a study claiming that duck meat over is less greasy when the birds are fed this way with this formula. If they can create a larger human consumption market for duck meat in general rather than shipping it off to pet food companies, then it certainly could nullify the ban. Politicians, police and prosecutors...lawyers...use such tactics all of the time, walking a fine line with definitions of this and that. Even better would be an appetite enhancer that would allow the ducks to keep eating and never feel full. Allow them to eat the grain on their own, the amounts needed on the schedule needed, and the ban vanishes like a fart in the wind.

    July 1, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Reply
  7. sara

    When the human population is gone, the animals will rule the earth!!! Power to the animals!!!!! People deserve what they get, ie: animal attacks on people, diseased meat people consume from animals, and so on. Can't wait for the animals to be FREE!!!!

    July 1, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Reply
    • Rod C. Venger

      So you're the charter member of AETH...animals eating tasty humans?

      July 1, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Reply
    • therotagilla

      Okay Jeffrey Goines. Round up your Army of the 12 Monkeys and get crackin'. In the meantime, I'm enjoying my food.

      July 1, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  8. Martin

    Get the facts, folks. These poor animals are forced to overeat (only they don't even get the pleasure of eating) and live a chronically diseased existence in constant discomfort. It's also common practice to cut off their bills to accommodate the tube, so they can't even eat normally or groom themselves. And don't think their bills are just dead, hard tissue. They are full of nerves, so cutting off their bills is extremely painful.

    July 1, 2012 at 11:59 am | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      Pure BS. Is your argument so weak that you must resort to fiction in order to make it?

      July 1, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Reply
      • CoyoteLoco

        Just which six degrees do you have? I can see you probably have a GED but what about the other five?

        July 1, 2012 at 9:55 pm | Reply
    • colin in Florida

      Really, how wrong can one person be. To be honest, while I have tried foie gras, I am not a fan, so this does not affect me, one way or another.

      But you are so wrong. I have seen film taken at duck farms, where the ducks go running to the feeding area when the farmer (rancher?) shows up to feed the animals. The practically line up waiting to eat. What is torturous about that?

      July 1, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Reply
      • Roy

        Colin IN Florida– you're joking right... so basically you are completely clueless about the subject. WHie I've never heard of Marton's extreme claim of cut bills, the ducks/geese are held is cages with their necks sticking out. Typically a STEEL tub eis shoved down into in their throat and more feed than tehy would even eat is force pumped into them HUmane foie gras methods use a rubber tube which doesn't cause their throats to swel from abrasions. The wiki on it says they start with a cup a day and increase to six cups a day over 12-18 days. The seasonal methods do not produce the same quality and therefore are barely used in the industry. Entire countries have bann foie gras production because it is not simply using an animal for meat, it is treating it cruelly before death.

        If you think this is so ok. Then when you have a sick animal, pump them full of food and cage them for three weeks so you can maybe feast on his fatty liver. When you can do this to your own pet, because it is no cruel or torture, then...well you're a serial killer in the making.

        July 1, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Reply
    • Johnross1968

      OK you just making most of that up. If you have to lie to support your cause GO AWAY.

      July 1, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Reply
  9. Martin

    It doesn't take much common sense (but more than a lot of people have, apparently) to understand that if a goose or a duck won't voluntarily eat enough grain to get its liver that fat, then there's a good reason. We don't live in a black and white world; most things are some shade of gray. It's not always easy to tell what's right and what's wrong. In the case of foie gras, most people recognize that force feeding an animal is cruel and therefore wrong. The fact that many other practices applied to animals may be somewhat cruel or are perceived by a minority as such doesn't justify continuing a practice that most people recognize as clearly so.

    July 1, 2012 at 11:45 am | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      Nonsense.

      July 1, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Reply
    • Ally

      Except that geese and ducks DO naturally eat enough for their livers to get that fat. It's part of their gorging behavior before the migration.

      There are a small percentage of foie farmers who use this natural process. No force feeding. If we patronize restaurants who buy their foie from those farming it humanely then what's the problem?

      July 1, 2012 at 2:58 pm | Reply
    • Johnross1968

      It should be illegal to spout out this many lies in one day. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT AND STOP TELLING LIES.

      July 1, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Reply
    • Thank you

      Thanks, Martin, sensible response.

      July 2, 2012 at 10:48 am | Reply
  10. SixDegrees

    And as usual, Ingrid Newkirk comes up with a pointless, unworkable scheme that will only wind up torquing people off and solve nothing. She fails to understand the enforcement provisions of the law completely, and concocts a "solution" that simply won't work as she plans as a result.

    July 1, 2012 at 10:33 am | Reply
    • Mr. LA

      If sitting in a retaurant when one of her minions want to try the smoking retaliation, I think I will walk over and urinate on their persons as I have a very unusual condition called "Urinitus on Douchers". I have a note from my doctor, officers ...

      July 1, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Reply
  11. bettync

    I made a personal choice to stop eating foie gras several years ago when I saw a force feeding. My impression was that the ducks were distressed by the feeding method. It bothered me a lot, and I could not eat it any more without picturing the goose with the pipe pushed down his throat. I would love to see someone come up with a better method for fattening up the ducks. Foie gras really is delicious, and surely someone can figure out how to raise the ducks/geese humanely. I have no problem with raising animals for food, I just think humane farming is so much better.

    July 1, 2012 at 9:13 am | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      Your impression was based on your own experience – which is false when applied to ducks and geese. Humans have a gag reflex, and we immediately think of this when confronted with something being inserted into our throats. Ducks and geese, however, do not have this reflex; if they did, they would avoid such feeding altogether, yet it is commonly noted that they crowd around the feeder when feeding time approaches, indicating that there is no aversion on their part.

      Projecting human experience onto animals is an error. In this particular case, it is a comparison which is completely without merit.

      July 1, 2012 at 10:31 am | Reply
      • Thank you

        Six, you really, really need to do more research. You don't have to go to PETA for your information; I found plenty from other organizations. Plus, this practice is banned in other countries ... for a reason!

        July 2, 2012 at 10:50 am | Reply
    • Ally

      You're in luck, betty. There IS a humane method. The geese are free to eat as much as they want. Not forced. But this method takes longer and likely produces foie only seasonally. Ducks and geese naturally gorge and their liver fattens just before the migration.

      July 1, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Reply
  12. stephen

    PETA is a joke. As a chef, I enjoy whatever it is I choose to eat, and whatever it is my guest wants cooked. If you don't like it, don't support the place providing it. Achieve the majority, and you'll see the decline. Foie tastes good, as do most animals. Tell these people to worry about a real issue, like feeding the poor or providing health care. If the animal wants to avoid the plate, Darwin up and evolve.

    July 1, 2012 at 7:57 am | Reply
    • Mr. LA

      Awesome ...

      July 1, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Reply
    • cp

      stupid idiot, do you know the basics of evolution? treat living creatures with respect, and shut up!!

      July 1, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Reply
      • Johnross1968

        You Mad Bro?

        July 1, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Reply
    • Ally

      Stephen, so since you're a chef; what would the negatives be for you to follow the law and switch your foie supplier to one that uses the natural liver fattening method? I'm honestly curious.

      July 1, 2012 at 3:19 pm | Reply
  13. SixDegrees

    And as usual, Ingrid Newkirk comes up with a pointless, unworkable scheme that will only wind up pissing people off and solve nothing. She fails to understand the enforcement provisions of the law completely, and concocts a "solution" that simply won't work as she plans as a result.

    July 1, 2012 at 6:59 am | Reply
  14. flopflipper

    There are award-winning foie gras that are farmed without force feeding. Why not just serve those? No need to stop serving foie gras entirely.

    July 1, 2012 at 3:07 am | Reply
    • Ally

      Exactly! I lose respect for the chefs who have wasted 8 years just planning on ignoring the law instead of using that time to switch their supplier to a farmer who uses the natural method.

      It's going to be more expensive, but those buying foie are likely going to buy it at any price. Demand would drive the industry to switch and the force feeding would die out.

      July 1, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Reply
  15. MimiLarue

    To all of the people who enjoy a good diseased duck liver – why don't you try a cancerous cow tumor sometime??? YUM!!!

    July 1, 2012 at 12:10 am | Reply
    • matt

      You are an idiot. The liver is not diseased, it is merely distended beyond its normal size. I think the wonderful taste is well worth what some duck must endure. And remember, all the other meat we eat, those animals suffer before they are harvested, too. So why not just ban all animal products? And milk, too, because that is unpleasant for the cows. Oh, Arnold enacted this? That alone should show how stupid it was to ban. Idiots.

      July 1, 2012 at 5:42 am | Reply
      • SixDegrees

        Actually, it isn't even abnormally distended. Geese and other migratory fowl store fat in their livers naturally in preparation for migration.

        July 1, 2012 at 6:57 am | Reply
      • MimiLarue

        Matt darling – I'm sure I am an idiot. All of us Intensive Care nurses are. A liver that has such an increased amount of fat, regardless of the method for getting that way, does not function as it should. Hence the disease. But, silly me, who cares about that as long as it tastes good (to some people).

        July 1, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Reply
        • Ally

          Mimi, human livers function differently than duck and goose livers. Theirs are designed to become overly fatty every year before the migration. It happens naturally and it goes back to normal after migration. Gavage is a cruel method to speed up the process. But it's not a "diseased" liver.

          July 2, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
        • bambam

          I usually find that people who state their credentials online have no idea what they are talking about.

          July 2, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • Johnross1968

      Or they could feat on the brains of a retarded person....like you.

      July 1, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Reply
  16. Kit

    Wow, so no worry on the vilely-kept unsanitary force-fed and forced-breed birds we call chickens? Selective industry judgment. Nice. I'm sure if Monsanto or Con Agra made foie, this would NOT be an issue.

    June 30, 2012 at 10:18 pm | Reply
  17. PAPilot

    There are plenty of ways to produce fois gras without force-feeding the bird. So, therefore the law is useless anyway. It will just take medication now, but it'll be easy.

    June 30, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Reply
    • Martin

      No, the law is not useless. It doesn't prohibit the selling of foie gras produced without force feeding! Since most foie gras IS produced with force feeding, the burden of proof will be on the seller to show that the foie gras being served/sold was not produced that way.

      July 1, 2012 at 11:48 am | Reply
  18. ComeOnMan9

    I tries, I tries to do the right thing always. But if a chicken crosses my road stapled with a plate of foie gras on top of risotto accompanied by a veal chop, I am not responsible as to what would happen next.

    June 30, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Reply
  19. therotagilla

    Really, is this the most pressing issue my state can come up with? My tax dollars hard at work again. FWIW, had foie gras the other night and it was divine.

    June 30, 2012 at 5:45 pm | Reply
  20. rob

    In todays society, people have become very selective as to which rules and laws they will conform to... If they don't agree, they will just ignore them and they will somehow rationalize that they are right and the laws are wrong...
    It's the age of "I will choose my laws" abiding citizens.

    June 30, 2012 at 11:01 am | Reply
    • HWB

      Starting with President Obama and Eric Holder. If they do not respect the law of the lands, then others should not have to also if they object to them.

      June 30, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Reply
    • Johnross1968

      It is probably a reaction to it being the age of 'LET'S MAKE A LAW FOR EVERY SINGLE THING PEOPLE DO'
      They tax you for everything they can think of and then tell you what you can and cant eat. What you can and cant watch. What you can and cant say. This used to be a country that prized freedom. But everyone thinks their little peccadilloes are the most important things in the world so they have to get laws banning people from doing things they don't like. So you end up where we are now. There is a law for everything and most of them will get ignored.

      July 1, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Reply
  21. bob

    someone should force feed newkirk and then offer her enlarged liver on the menu if she so desperately wants to save a duck from torture.

    June 30, 2012 at 1:14 am | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      Unfortunately, Newkirk's don't store fat in their livers; only geese and other migratory fowl do that. She'd store the fat in her thighs and rear, and it wouldn't be very appealing.

      July 1, 2012 at 7:02 am | Reply
  22. David

    Once again, people telling other people what they can have, do, buy, enjoy...and these same people complain about other people doing the exact same thing. Will it ever end? Nope...too many stupid people.

    June 29, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Reply
  23. billybart

    The awesome thing about this law is that someone will now genetically engineer a duck that will engorge itself of it's own volition until it explodes.

    The ultimate result is that the price of this treat will be driven down because they will no longer need to be force fed. FTW!!!

    June 29, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Reply
    • bad fatty liver

      My brother has a fatty liver because he willingly gorges himself on food. He is obese and while he has a great personality and is a good husband and father in many ways, he is physically unattractive and incredibly selfish. He will suffer one or more debilitating strokes due to clotting abnormalities brought on by his fatty liver and then his family will exhaust all their financial resources trying to keep his brain dead body alive. Fatty liver is bad for ducks and bad for people. It is an abomination brought on by gluttony. People are too selfish to change their ways and in the case of both foie gras eaters and obese people, that selfishness is accompanied by bringing others down with them. You want to kill yourself? Fine, as long as you don't have dependants or force an animal to suffer for your gluttony.

      June 29, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Reply
      • Yaakov

        "Fatty liver is bad for ducks and bad for people."-Thank you for just making my day

        June 30, 2012 at 12:44 am | Reply
      • matt

        What about bacon cheeseburgers? What about putting garlic butter on a fatty, ribeye steak? I suppose all fatty food is bad because of your fat brother? Hey, some of us enjoy things like that in moderation; your brother probably also eats big macs all the time. I usually eat a healthy diet of small portions, with very little meat; I am what you call a person that eats to live, but does not LIVE to eat. So I can afford to indulge in delicious, fatty delicacies when it suits me. Don't ruin the party for all of us, just because you have a strain of gluttony in YOUR heritage. THATS YOUR PROBLEM. Get over it you whiner. If people die from strokes, get gout – as one woman I served in a restaurant told me she had from eating too much foie gras in France- well, that is their own stupid problem. If you cause health problems from eating too much, you are just a weak person.

        July 1, 2012 at 5:49 am | Reply
      • SixDegrees

        Uh – no. First, migratory fowl naturally store fat in their livers in preparation for migration; it isn't a result of overeating, that's just where they store it, just like humans peferentially store fat in their midsection and thighs. Second, the birds in question are bred for slaughter; even if a fatty liver somehow affected their health, your argument is hollow because they aren't going to live long enough to display any symptoms.

        July 1, 2012 at 7:04 am | Reply
        • CrinklyTrousers

          LOL! Thanks so much, SixDegrees, for explaining these birds' migratory habits...for the umpteenth time. We get it. You can stop now. Wow...

          July 1, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  24. Thank you

    Here's some research; this isn't all just about PETA and the government being intrusive. Sorry for the long post, but I hoped to help inform some of the people commenting here.

    The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has declared:
    "The production of fatty liver for foie Gras, however, raises serious animal welfare issues ..."

    what the experts say:

    There are a number of veterinarians, pathologists, an avian experts who have spoken out about the torture that birds endure while being raised for foie gras. Their statements are backed up by reports from a variety of sources documenting the realities of foie gras production. These statements and reports are listed here.

    · Welfare of Ducks and Geese in Foie Gras Production: A summary of the Scientific and Empirical Evidence Click here for report.
    · 2005 New York State pathologist report that foie gras birds were killed by force-feeding. Click here for report. Read article by same pathologist.

    · According to an 88-page report issued by the European Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare, entitled "Welfare Aspects of the Production of Foie Gras in Ducks and Geese":

    The problems of the force-feeding procedure are: (1) handling by humans which, in the commercial force-feeding situation, can cause aversion and discomfort for ducks and geese, (2) the potentially damaging and distressing effects of the tube which is inserted into the oesophagus, (3) the rapid intubation of a large volume of food. . . ducks at the end of the force-feeding period can have serious injuries to the oesophagus. . . It seems likely that birds have sufficient damage to oesophagus tissue, caused by the force-feeding process to have been painful to the birds.. . There is good evidence that liver structure and function that would be classified as normal is severely altered and compromised in force fed ducks and geese. . . because normal liver function is seriously impaired in birds with the hyperatrophied liver which occurs at the end of force-feeding the level of steatosis should be considered pathological. . . It is clear that steatosis and other effects of force-feeding are lethal when the procedures are continued." Click here to read the full report.

    · Dr. D.J. Alexander, a member of the EU Expert Committee, has stated, "The only recommendation the Committee can properly make is that force-feeding of ducks and geese should stop and this could be best achieved by the prohibition of the production, importation, distribution and sale of foie gras."

    · Dr. Holly Cheever, a veterinarian who has has inspected the United States’ largest foie gras producer on three different occasions between January, 1991 and November, 2005, has testified as to the cruelty inherent in foie gras production. Click here to read Dr. Cheever's explanations of the suffering experienced by birds raised for foie gras.

    · Dr. Laurie Siperstein-Cook, an avian veterinarian who examined and treated several foie gras ducks, has stated, "I believe that the conditions described, under which these birds were kept and the fact that they had been force-fed to create an obese and unhealthy state constitutes unnecessary cruelty." Dr. Siperstein-Cook has also stated, in reference to the fattening of the liver for foie Gras production, that "The liver is there to clean out toxins from the blood stream. If the liver can't work properly, you've got all these toxins flowing through the blood, making them feel bad in various ways, so it can harm various organs as well as the brain." Click here to read Dr. Siperstein-Cook's full statement.

    · Dr. Emily Levine, a veterinarian and ethology expert, after viewing video footage of ducks on a foie Gras farm, has stated:

    I have several professional concerns about the methods used to raise these birds. . .. . although these animals have a genetic predisposition to store larger amounts of fat in their liver, they do so for the specific purpose of preparing to migrate. The birds in the industry do not migrate and do not presumably receive the external environmental cues that would normally signal them to begin to eat more than usual. In addition to this, under natural situations, the birds eat a particular amount voluntarily. In light of that, it is a false statement that the techniques the industry uses is simply mimicking a natural behavior. Despite the misrepresentation of the industry using natural techniques, force-feeding in itself can cause significant discomfort. Click here for Dr. Levine's full statement.

    · An autopsy performed on a foie Gras duck in July 2003 notes, "Bacterial infection in the upper GI tract.. . .accompanied by severe impaction of the crop and esophagus." It goes on to state that "[w]ithin the liver, there is severe, diffuse macrovesicular lipidosis. The epithelium of the crop and esophagus is hyperplastic with severe hyperkeratosis."

    · The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations has declared:

    The production of fatty liver for foie Gras, however, raises serious animal welfare issues and it is not a practice that is condoned by FAO. Currently European Union legislation allows force-feeding to continue only in traditional areas of production. This situation could easily change and more restrictive legislation introduced. Elsewhere, a number of European states have already decided to ban altogether foie Gras production including Poland.

    · Hrayr Berberoglu, a Professor Emeritus of Hospitality and Tourism Management specializing in Food and Beverage, has been quoted as saying that "Force-feeding is by all accounts a cruel way of raising an animal. . . the liver is made incapable of functioning, thus becoming excessively fatty and smooth."

    · New York State Department of Environmental Conservation senior wildlife pathologist Ward Stone, who has necropsied force-fed ducks, said in a 1991 letter to Sullivan County Animal Control that "[t]his type of treatment and farming of waterfowl is outside the acceptable norms of agriculture and sane treatment of animals."

    · French veterinarian Dr. Yvan Beck, in his comprehensive study, "The force-feeding of poultry and the production of foie gras" writes:

    Foie gras is in fact a diseased liver. . . Forced feeding of waterfowl, or food induced hepatic steatosis, leads to pathological changes in the liver which cause undeniable suffering to these animals. The economic goal of the process is to effect the maximum change to this organ in the minimum amount of time in order to maximize profits. It must, however, be ended before the manifestations of degeneration, which are unavoidable beyond a certain point, affect the quality (the powdery texture) of the product or the overall health of the birds. . . . Moreover, at the end of this process the birds are unable to make the slightest exertion, which is the direct opposite of the purpose [of fatty buildup] under natural conditions. . .There is no comparison between the natural buildup of fats by waterfowl before migration, which occurs in peripheral tissue (50% in the breast area), and the extreme conditions which result from forced feeding.

    · A group of nearly fifty New York veterinarians signed on to a petition declaring foie gras production to be animal cruelty and calling for it to be banned in the state.

    · Influential French chef Albert Roux condemned the methods used to produce foie gras, saying "It's the same as cigarettes, it should carry a health warning so that people know what's been done to the animal." Click here to read more.

    · The World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) issued a February 2000 report entitled "Forced Feeding: An inquiry into the welfare of ducks and geese kept for the production of foie gras," in which it quotes Dr. Heimann, a veterinary pathologist, as saying, "The liver steatosis caused by 'gavage' is a pathological process that shows itself first by a fatty degerneration of the hepatic cells and then by necrosis. The fatty liver cannot be seen as normal. It is a categorical sign of a state of illness with clinical symptoms."

    · Also quoted in the 2000 WSPA report is veterinarian Dr. Eric Dunayer, who explained that the liver steatosis induced by forced feeding would "cause the animals to suffer from severe, debilitating metabolic diseases" and that "since the liver is the site of detoxification of. . . many substances, these chemicals will accumulate in the blood and cause an animal to feel sick, upset normal cell function, and can lead to coma and death."

    · The 2000 WSPA report also cites the comments of two other veterinarians commenting on necropsies performed on foie gras ducks:

    a. "Animals in this condititon would experience constant pain. . . I consider the production of foie gras to be inhumane as it deliberately harms the duck."
    b. "Having seen firsthand the terrible suffering of ducks. . . confirmed by autopsy reports. . . I am forced to conclude that foie gras is produced at a terrible cost to the birds themselves. Foie gras, touted as a gourmet delicacy to entice the palate, is really only the diseased tissue of a tortured, sick animal."

    Christine Nichol, a Professor of Animal Welfare at the School of Veterinary Science at the University of Bristol, states:
    "'My view on the production of foie gras is clear and supported by biological evidence. This practice causes unacceptable suffering to these animals. . . It causes pain during and as a consequence of the force-feeding, feelings of malaise as the body struggles to cope with extreme nutrient imbalance and distress caused by loss of control over the birds' most basic homeostatic regulation mechanism as their hunger control system is over-ridden.'"

    TNew York State Department of Environmental Conservation senior wildlife pathologist Ward Stone, who has necropsied force-fed ducks, said in a 1991 letter to Sullivan County Animal Control that "'[t]his type of treatment and farming of waterfowl is outside the acceptable norms of agriculture and sane treatment of animals.'"
    French veterinarian Dr. Yvan Beck, in his comprehensive study, "'The force-feeding of poultry and the production of foie gras'" writes: '"Foie gras is in fact a diseased liver. . . Forced feeding of waterfowl, or food induced hepatic steatosis, leads to pathological changes in the liver which cause undeniable suffering to these animals."'

    A group of nearly fifty New York veterinarians signed on to a petition declaring foie gras production to be animal cruelty and calling for it to be banned in the state.

    Statement by Nedim C. Buyukmihci, a veterinarian with 30 years' experience: "'Does foie gras amount to cruel and unusual punishment? — with an absolute yes. The birds do suffer during the feeding process. A stomach tube is rapidly forced through the esophagus into the stomach, sometimes leading to injury, and the huge amount of food being forced into the stomach causes harm in and of itself. Not only does the liver become enlarged, it also malfunctions, so the birds are chronically ill. The ducks are kept in crowded conditions, and their bills, which are rich in nerve endings, are removed with scissors, which causes acute and chronic pain and prevents normal feeding and preening. When you consider what these birds must endure — and the many other food choices available–it seems that promoting foie gras reflects human indulgence at its worst."'

    June 29, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Reply
    • Mike1550

      thank you! All those opposed to this ban have nothing to back their argument other than "I seen the process and the ducks don't seem to mind it"

      June 29, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Reply
    • rob

      You don't really expect anyone to read this do you?

      June 30, 2012 at 11:02 am | Reply
      • Thank you

        Sorry, it's way longer than I planned. I too freaked when I realized how long it was. I found so much information and kept going. Maybe you can skim it :).

        June 30, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Reply
    • mudfoot

      Now I want to try it!!

      June 30, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Reply
    • BIll

      tl;dr

      June 30, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      All of the "harm" mentioned in this article is speculative. Actual studies haven't been able to back up these claims.

      July 1, 2012 at 7:07 am | Reply
      • Thank you

        This isn't an "article," SixDegrees, it's information from a variety of experts spanning countries and specialties.

        July 2, 2012 at 10:52 am | Reply
  25. TheBigSarge

    you get upset when the police do the right thing by letting the proper agency handle violations? you people are idiots.

    -TheBigSarge

    June 29, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Reply
  26. TheBigSarge

    really? in a state that's known for flaunting the law on such things as drug use, child slavery and open opposition to immigration reform and law, they decide that ducks are more important that creating drug addicts, advocating crimes against children and minorities and defiance of federal law.

    just break away from the rest of the country, california and see if you can make it on your own...wait, i remember now, stockton proved that you can't.

    -TheBigSarge

    June 29, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Reply
    • HWB

      Right on. If California continues, they will I am quite sure, beat Greece to the dumpster of former states in this world.

      June 30, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Reply
    • morfiliwr

      TheBigSarge:

      I think you mean "flouting" the law; "flaunt" means "show off" or "display ostentatiously or provocatively". "Flout" means to "defiantly disregard sthg". But I agree with what you're saying.

      Sure, do nothing to stop child rape, massive illegal immigration, and drug (and human) trafficking while economically running the state into the ground, but there's plenty of time for a "small government" former Republican governator to pander to his liberal (but equally authoritarian as the far right) Hollywood elite friends by coming up with a completely USELESS law that not only has some serious constitutional "commerce clause" problems but wastes time better used for stopping child rape, illegal immigration, and other more pressing problems.

      The only thing PETA is good for is to organize a bunch of misanthropic anti-socials who are either ambivalent toward other humans or are outright hostile to (or afraid) of them, which explains their expending so much energy into elevating the importance and worth of animals over humans.

      Instead of worrying about what goes down the gullet of a goose or duck, how about worrying about how much humans shovel down their cakeholes day in and day out? (This includes vegetarians.) This country is the most bountiful and fortunate country on the planet yet fools will legislate WHAT a diner can eat but not HOW MUCH he can eat? (Bloomberg in NYC is trying.)

      Billions on this planet starve every day; the luxury of worrying about what food is acceptable or unacceptable is the height of elitism (more so than those who can pay for it) and smells like (pardon the borrowing of a Commie term) "bourgeois". I'm a little ashamed of being from that state.

      Funny how they can get all uppity about a goose liver and how they raise poultry but do nothing to feed (genuinely) hungry humans in CA. Funny how they their hearts bleed a-gusher over animals but they will let veterans, families with children, and the elderly go homeless and hungry. "Hypocrisy" doesn't even begin to cover it.

      The voters of CA decide to ban same-sex marriage and just blithely flaunt a few Bill of Rights protections; banning foie gras d'oie or de canard is just another step toward banning and criminalization of everything that a state famous for its "progressivity" and love of personal liberty claims to uphold and embrace.

      Must be nice to live in such a 'liberal' society as California. Hate to see what a 'conservative' state would do.

      From a law and constitutional perspective, the CA state courts should overturn this little law. If some folks want to eat a diseased goose liver (and I'm not very concerned about the goose's welfare considering they'd have to completely change livestock and farming practices for all animals, including chickens), I say, dig right in.

      July 1, 2012 at 2:20 am | Reply
    • morfiliwr

      TheBigSarge:

      I think you mean "flouting" the law; "flaunt" means "show off" or "display ostentatiously or provocatively". "Flout" means to "defiantly disregard sthg". But I agree with what you're saying.

      Sure, do nothing to stop child rape, massive illegal immigration, and drug (and human) trafficking while economically running the state into the ground, but there's plenty of time for a "small government" former Republican governator to pander to his liberal (but equally authoritarian as the far right) Hollywood elite friends by coming up with a completely USELESS law that not only has some serious constitutional "commerce clause" problems but wastes time better used for stopping child rape, illegal immigration, and other more pressing problems.

      The only thing PETA is good for is to organize a bunch of misanthropic anti-socials who are either ambivalent toward other humans or are outright hostile to (or afraid) of them, which explains their expending so much energy into elevating the importance and worth of animals over humans.

      Instead of worrying about what goes down the gullet of a goose or duck, how about worrying about how much humans shovel down their cakeholes day in and day out? (This includes vegetarians.) This country is the most bountiful and fortunate country on the planet yet fools will legislate WHAT a diner can eat but not HOW MUCH he can eat? (Bloomberg in NYC is trying.)

      Billions on this planet starve every day; the luxury of worrying about what food is acceptable or unacceptable is the height of elitism (more so than those who can pay for it) and smells like (pardon the borrowing of a Commie term) "bourgeois". I'm a little ashamed of being from that state.

      Funny how they can get all uppity about a goose liver and how they raise poultry but do nothing to feed (genuinely) hungry humans in CA. Funny how they their hearts bleed a-gusher over animals but they will let veterans, families with children, and the elderly go homeless and hungry. "Hypocrisy" doesn't even begin to cover it.

      The voters of CA decide to ban same-sex marriage and just blithely flout a few Bill of Rights protections; banning foie gras d'oie or de canard is just another step toward banning and criminalization of everything that a state famous for its "progressivity" and love of personal liberty claims to uphold and embrace.

      Must be nice to live in such a 'liberal' society as California. Hate to see what a 'conservative' state would do.

      From a law and constitutional perspective, the CA state courts should overturn this little law. If some folks want to eat a diseased goose liver (and I'm not very concerned about the goose's welfare considering they'd have to completely change livestock and farming practices for all animals, including chickens), I say, dig right in.

      July 1, 2012 at 2:23 am | Reply
  27. Argle Bargle

    Bah. Instead of fining them, force-feed them until their liver enlarges and then cut it out to make into some "Pâté de foie gras". Turnabout's fair play. No animal should EVER be abused to feed over-indulgent humans.

    June 29, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Reply
    • whorhay

      As distasteful as I find Foie Gras mistreating an animal is not part of the process to produce it. Farmers who raise fowls for the fatty liver are just taking advantage of the characteristics of those animals to get what they want. The types of birds they are raising will gorge before migration on their own. They have the capacity to gorge and fatten up their liver all the time but only naturally do it when they are preparing to migrate. So while the process whereby they are force fed it apparently is not painful or more distressing than their life would otherwise be in captivity.

      You might as well complain that farmers raise specific breeds of tomatoes, cause them to use trellis's and prune unproductive parts of the plant just to get more tomatoes more efficiently.

      June 29, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Reply
      • whorgay

        Whorhay, when people undergo endoscopy to examine their esphagus or even their colon, they are sedated with anesthesia. Gavage is the forceful application of a feeding tube in a conscious, restrained animal to deliver either nutrients or drugs into the stomach via the esophagus. I work in a major research facility where mice and rats are frequently gavaged (aka force-fed) anti-cancer drugs and I can tell you, those mice do NOT enjoy being gavaged. Many die by accidental tracheal placement or ruptured esophagus. Watching those deaths is awful. I cannot even imagine people choosing to eat the diseased liver of animals raised this way for PLEASURE. That is sick. I think current practices in veal farming is sick. Why is it ok to torture non-human animals (research animals included) when most people in the USA now think spanking a child is wrong?

        June 29, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Reply
        • karl Wilder

          Ducks have no gag reflex.

          June 30, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
        • BIll

          Because we are humans and they are animals.

          June 30, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
  28. Millbarge

    Poor ducks. This law makes me very happy. Hopefully soon they'll do something about the awful way they treat cows and chickens too. And those poor fish. That would be nice.

    June 29, 2012 at 3:06 pm | Reply
    • whorhay

      That's right, lets put an end to their sufferings. Billions of people all around the world would be happy to give them a new home. In fact I'm holding a nice spot on my plate between the mashed potatoes and green beans.

      June 29, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Reply
      • whorgay

        Oh whorhay, did your barefoot and pregnant wife make your dinner for you tonight in the trailer park?

        June 29, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Reply
        • HWB

          What else but foie gras and it was good.

          June 30, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  29. Zao

    I hope PETA publishes a list of the restaurants they're protesting against. I'll become a regular customer at every one of them. The real problem isn't foie gras, it's the growing influence of delusional self-centered "stop liking what I don't like" activists like PETA.

    I'll do everything I can to undermine their efforts.

    June 29, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Reply
    • Chinese will eat anything

      Zao, so you'll be dining on foie gras right after you down several portions of shark fin soup and then afterwards, you'll try to get your sausage up by fortifying with tiger pecker soup? How about some powdered rhino horn for your diminished libido? It isn't about liking anything. It's about being responsible and humane. Chinese people don't care about animals or even other Chinese people. They are devoid of conscience. Thank you chairman Mao with your wonderful Cultural Revolution. It's done everyone a lot of good.

      June 29, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Reply
      • SixDegrees

        None of your comparisons make any sense. Ducks and geese aren't endangered; every one of your examples involves animals that are, and that alone is the reason for various bans and restrictions in those cases.

        When the domestic fowl population dips to unsustainable levels, feel free to get back to us.

        July 1, 2012 at 7:09 am | Reply
    • morfiliwr

      Didn't think of that. PETA just may be doing those restaurants a huge favor by providing them with free advertisement.

      That litlte law will eventually fall (as will Prop. 8, though completely different topic.) The restaurant and hospitality industry in CA (which has a modest amount of financial resources at its disposal) will fight to defend those restaurants, poultry farmers, and businesses (usually the bigger and more upscale ones, though) in court, and the courts will side with them, for obvious constitutionally-protected commerce reasons.

      But speaking of banning things in CA (and I was born and raised in the Bay Areaa), seems CA has a running trend of wanting to ban things (the opposite of what a 'liberal' state would do). The former Governator and current babydaddy signs legislation to ban the production and sale of goosey liver while the 'people' vote to strip a constitutional protection from a segment of the population.

      Why is it that the State of Iowa – not exactly the hotbed of liberalism – had the courage to legalize same-sex marriage while having the common sense of not giving two schnitzels about force-feeding a goose? Either they are more progressive (and more loyal to the Bill of Rights) than the State of California can ever claim to be.

      Any good suggestions for 'speakeasy' restaurants serving bootleg foie gras? How stupid can CA be? Prohibition didn't work (and was wrong in essence to begin with) and now they ban fatty goose liver? Really? How about banning SuperSize soft drinks at Mickey D's? Or beluga caviar at L'Étoile? Or boiled live lobster and steamed crab down at Fisherman's Wharf? Or live steamed clams and mussels and live, freshly-shucked oysters at Legal Seafood?

      How about getting out of my plate and out of my stomach? There are enough overweight, overfed pigs in human clothing to worry about.

      July 1, 2012 at 2:43 am | Reply
  30. mustardblog

    I have visited a foie gras farm in California and can tell you that the ducks do not exhibit any outward signs of distress when being force fed, a process that takes about eight seconds. While I would not take kindly to a tube being put down my throat, I am not a duck. Governments ban foods for many reasons, e.g., to promote sustainability of the food, to protect public safety, to ensure that animals are humanely treated, possibly even to discourage unhealthy eating (NY's proposed ban on sugary soft crinks larger than 16 oz). It is not clear that foie gras invovles cruelty to ducks, although certain groups passionately believe it does. This is not a question of fact but opinion. This kind of law, although within the police powers of the state, invites scorn and devious ways to circumvent the law.

    Food law is complicated because we have so many different expectations of food – and they are often in conflict. We want food that tastes good, we want animals raised for food to be humanely treated, and wand we want freedom to choose what we eat and how we eat it.

    June 29, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Reply
    • Thank you

      mustardblog, there are so many experts - vets, researchers, avian experts, and even The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations - who say the practice of foie gras is inhumane. The proof is overwhelming, plus the practice is banned in other countries. Are we so piggish that we need another slab of food on our plates at this kind of cost? I hope not, although some of us obviously are, unfortunately.

      June 29, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Reply
      • SixDegrees

        Well, no – there's isn't any such proof at all. There is rampant speculation, unbacked by actual scientific investigation, but the studies that have been done don't back up your claims at all.

        July 1, 2012 at 7:11 am | Reply
  31. I am zee Guvanah of Cahleefourkneeya

    Becoz, we do no longer having zee beautiful hum veez to bolster our economical hardsheeps through zee gasoline taxes yah. We most bring back zee gas-guzzling owtowmotives veeheecularz to improve zee economies!

    June 29, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Reply
  32. Ally

    I'm surprised the restaurant chefs didn't just switch their supplier of fois to one that lets the livers naturally fatten up. Why knowingly break the law by trying out loop holes instead of just using a product not covered by the law?

    Demand would drive the industry and pretty soon fois farmers would turn to the natural practice because that's what sells to the restaurants. Then all but the strict "eating meat is cruel" people would be happy.

    June 29, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Reply
    • whorhay

      I thought about that myself and my suspicion is that it would mean Foie Gras being a seasonal dish. The fowls which are raised for Foie Gras usually only gorge and hence fatten up their liver in preparation for seasonal migrations. I suppose we might be able to control their environment to fool the birds into thinking it was time for migration year round but that would likely be outrageously expensive and bad for the environment given the amount of energy that might take. Alternatively we could put Tyson to work developing a breed of duck or geese that are genetically predisposed to overeat.

      June 29, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Reply
      • Ally

        Very good point.

        I still think it's a good law. It might have to become a seasonal food, like fresh morels.

        July 1, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  33. Craig

    I would eat at any restaurant that PETA is picketing. It means they're serving something good.

    June 29, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Reply
  34. Chuck Anziulewicz

    PETA? This is an organization that refers to fish as "Sea Kittens."

    June 29, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Reply
  35. Wastrel

    Any law that tries to prevent people from doing or getting what they want will be ignored and held in contempt by the people. In addition, such laws engender contempt for other laws.

    June 29, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Reply
  36. ready

    OUR FOOD DESIRVES RIGHTS

    June 29, 2012 at 11:18 am | Reply
    • Tasty Tasty Meat

      Food does deserve rights....right next to the potatoes and corn. Screw PETA.

      June 29, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Reply
      • So Delicious

        Amen, my carnivorous brother (or sister)!

        June 29, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Reply
  37. Save a bird, eat a Vegetarian

    Typical PETA. "Sit down and smoke a cigarette." How mature. Instead of filing a complaint and acting like an adult, cause a scene to get your point across. These tactics hurt their cause more than help it. Just reading the quotes from Newkirk make me want some foie gras right now.

    June 29, 2012 at 10:09 am | Reply
    • change is difficult

      "Instead of filing a complaint and acting like an adult..." Slavery of black people wasn't stopped by filing a complaint. The institution of weekends, banning sweatshops and fair wages were NOT accomplished by filing complaints. Unions used very harsh and unpleasant tactics indeed to get their point across. Very little worth having has ever in the history of mankind been achieved by simply filing a complaint. Instating equality, by logic, means that the oppressed are elevated and the priveledged lose priveledges. Priveledge losers don't do so easily.

      June 29, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Reply
      • BIll

        We're humans.

        June 30, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Reply
      • SixDegrees

        ...and nothing has ever been accomplished by Ingrid Newkirk or PETA, except to undermine their own stated cause. Newkirk's latest hallucinatory suggestion will be no different.

        July 1, 2012 at 7:14 am | Reply
  38. 2el8

    I Pickle my liver every night.

    June 29, 2012 at 8:41 am | Reply
  39. Tom Belason

    Foie gras can be raised humanely, so I'm not sure what all the fuss is about.

    June 29, 2012 at 7:49 am | Reply
    • gleasse

      The problem is too many animal rights people who think animals should have equal rights to humans and all consumption should be banned got people who are on an edge on their issue outraged on facebook lying about what this is and so of course the nannies of united states, California, who likes banning anything from intakes on cars to bb guns does what is expected of it.

      June 29, 2012 at 11:20 am | Reply
    • Patti

      What is humane about a goose dying a slow death.....???

      June 29, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Reply
      • Ally

        Patti, there are fois farmers who don't force feed. They just use the natural liver fattening cycle. How is that not humane?

        June 29, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Reply
        • NYC

          Ally,

          Patti is correct – the vast majority of birds for foie gras are force fed; It's a very cruel process and there is nothing 'human' about it.

          June 29, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
        • Ally

          NYC, I totally understand. I was pointing out to her what the person above her said that she seemed to miss. That not ALL birds are force fed. The few farmers who naturally fatten the livers do it as humanely as they can (assuming one doesn't consider the simple act of slaughtering animals for our food wrong). I do wish more farmers would adopt the less stressful feeding procedures.

          June 29, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
        • Katie A

          So Ally....if you do not think force feeding a duck until its liver explodes basically is inhumane.....how about the cages and bars the duck is forced to live in with its head sticking out a small opening in which a disgusting human can shove something down its throat.....

          The fact that we treat animals this way and SO MANY disgusting ways (especially in the US and call it "game").....is absolutely vile and gluttonous.......people need to open up their eyes and start realizing where it is the slab of meat they are eating .....actually came from...

          Lamb is the latest and greatest.....it is a BABY animal that now has become the "IN" thing to eat everywhere in this country......we slaughter MILLIONS of these babies and do it in a gross and disgusting way....every year....

          If everyone stopped eating and wanting meat......we could change it...

          I have been a vegatarian for the last 5 years and have never felt better......Not only are we slaughering animals but meat eaters are dying slow, painful deaths every day (cancer....heart and lung disease....)

          Maybe animals ARE having the last laugh......we (as humans) are ignorant and disgusting.......

          June 29, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
        • Free_Thinker451

          @Katie A - reread Ally's reply again, slowly. Try to comprehend that she said, "Some farmers fatten their ducks using the natural liver fattening cycle". THAT is humane - no tube is shoved down their throats (which is inhumane).

          Reading comprehension FTW.

          June 30, 2012 at 12:39 am |
        • Ally

          Katie, did you even read what I said? There are a small percentage of farmers who DON'T FORCE FEED. There are no cages, nothing inhumane.

          Foie would likely be more expensive and would likely have to become a seasonal dish. Which is fine with me in order to take the inhumane practice of force feeding out of the industry.

          July 1, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
      • BIll

        I don't care ducks are food

        June 30, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Reply
      • SixDegrees

        Domestic fowl don't undergo slow deaths. Quite the opposite, given that they're raised for slaughter in the first place.

        July 1, 2012 at 7:15 am | Reply
  40. arthur

    They should also ban veal and nursing crates.

    June 29, 2012 at 4:04 am | Reply
  41. James

    Foie gras is delicious!

    June 29, 2012 at 2:56 am | Reply
    • Willow

      That's your opinion. I tried some the other day due to all the hype, and it is absolutely NOT worth the price. What I bought had very little flavor. I don't know if that's normal, but I will never again spend that amount of money on foie gras.

      June 29, 2012 at 7:40 am | Reply
      • Benn

        Annnnd that's your opinion. Don't be a snot.

        June 29, 2012 at 8:36 am | Reply
      • SixDegrees

        You prepared it yourself? Good luck with that. In addition to being an expensive delicacy, foie gras is one of the more difficult ingredients to prepare properly, due to its extremely high fat content. I'm guessing you botched both the preparation and the cooking.

        July 1, 2012 at 7:17 am | Reply
    • Kyle L

      YOU would be too if we forced you into a small crate.....with an opening big enough for your head to stick through....and force fed you until your liver exploded....

      YUMMY

      June 29, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Reply
      • Mister Jones

        With some fava beans and a nice chianti ...

        June 30, 2012 at 9:46 am | Reply
      • BIll

        Except that would never happen since I'm not a goose.

        June 30, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Reply
      • SixDegrees

        Uh – ducks and geese aren't typically crated. Veering off into pure fiction isn't exactly helping your cause.

        July 1, 2012 at 7:18 am | Reply
  42. heroicslugtest

    Good on them. The government has no business telling you what you eat.

    Stuffing a duck isn't my cup of tea, but I'll fight to defend your right to fatten that bird.

    The mental image of a super fat duck waddling around just set me off. Hoo-boy. Lol!

    June 29, 2012 at 1:10 am | Reply
    • Kat D

      If that is humorous to you ......then you have no value of a life.....even if it is a bird.....

      Good luck to you......let me know in 10 years where all your meat eating got you....

      My bet.....you will either have some type of cancer.....aggression problems.....or heart disease....

      WHOO RAH

      June 29, 2012 at 10:33 pm | Reply
      • SixDegrees

        Wow. Speaking of aggression problems, how does it feel heaping scorn on someone you don't know and wishing for them to become ill? Maybe you should try eating some read meat; the satiety it induces might calm you down a little.

        July 1, 2012 at 7:20 am | Reply
  43. Tina C.

    Starting tomorrow, all my supply of heroin is free. The needle? Only $4500.

    June 29, 2012 at 12:19 am | Reply
    • Mister Jones

      That's retarded. Why would I buy a needle from you then? Aren't they a buck at Walgreens? ... Bad analogy. No cookie for you.

      June 30, 2012 at 9:48 am | Reply
  44. Larry L

    What if a customer wanted to eat live puppies? Would that be okay because... you know... the customer wanted it... ?

    June 28, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Reply
    • Guest

      Red herring. No one wants to serve live puppies.

      How about answering the real opposing points to the ban instead of making up ones that are easier to handle?

      The birds are raised for the sole purpose of slaughter for food. The feeding itself is strictly controlled for a maximum term and causes nothing worse than temporary discomfort. The bird wanders off with no ill effect when the feeding is over. It's far from torture. Watch a video of it, the birds to very little to avoid the person who's about to feed them. If it was causing them so much pain, wouldn't they struggle?

      There's nothing wrong with showing consumers where their food comes from. We could all benefit from being a little more clear-eyed about what it takes to get meat to our plates, but government needs to get out of the business of attempting to legislate morality. ESPECIALLY in a state that's as horribly mismanaged as California. I know lawmakers there have plenty of more imporant things to tackle.

      June 29, 2012 at 12:09 am | Reply
      • Tina C.

        How about heroin? Lots of people want to server heroin.

        June 29, 2012 at 12:20 am | Reply
      • Tina C.

        There's also a demand for endangered tuna; elephant tusks; baby seal pelts; and whale oil. But laws were put in place for the same reason this one was: because, left to their own devices, people will destroy the natural equilibrium of just about everything they can get their hands on.

        June 29, 2012 at 12:27 am | Reply
        • heroicslugtest

          Those things are rare. I'm against the endangered species act in general, but I can see the argument for keeping rare things alive. But ducks aren't rare. If people want to fatten them up, there is no sensible argument as to why they shouldn't be able to.

          June 29, 2012 at 6:27 am |
        • Mike

          This argument makes absolutely no connection to banning raising ducks or geese for consumption. If we were depleting the natural stock of wild ducks and geese for the seasonal consumption of their naturally engorged livers...that would be the connection needed.

          June 29, 2012 at 11:34 am |
      • Kieran

        Amen to that!

        Silly California hippies....

        June 29, 2012 at 7:45 am | Reply
      • skippydog

        While I don't really care if ducks are force fed, I don't agree with your "there are big issues so lawmakers should not spend any time on little issues" complaint. That's like saying a person with a chronic health condition shouldn't shave.

        June 29, 2012 at 11:22 am | Reply
    • Bart Hawkins

      Yes, of course, Puppies, while cute, are a legitimate food source in several cultures. Turtles are cute, too, but no one really objects to eating them.

      A straw man, of course, worthy of contempt.

      June 29, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Reply
    • Tasty Tasty Meat

      I had puppy in Korea way back in the day. Ke-gogi was tasty.

      June 29, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      Sure – why not? Although I'm not aware of any culture that eats puppies while they're still alive, there are lots of cultures where dogs are a regular menu item.

      July 1, 2012 at 7:22 am | Reply
  45. Avinoel

    PETA SUPPORTS REINSTATEMENT OF THE HORRIBLY CRUEL PRACTICES OF HORSE SLAUGHTER IN THE U.S. FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION BUT LEADS A CRUSADE AGAINST FORCE FEEDING DUCKS? COMPARE THE VIDEOS OF THE TWO PRACTICES AND ASK HOW CORRUPT IS PETA!!!

    June 28, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Reply
    • UFC iTard

      OKIE DOKIE ARTICHOKIE! ALL CAPS INCREASES CREDIBILITY!

      June 29, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Reply
      • Avinoel

        GLAD YOU AGREE WITH THE NEED TO KEEP THE HORRORS OF HORSE SLAUGHTER FROM STARTING UP AGAIN. MUCH THANKS AND SPREAD THE WORD ON PETA'S HYPOCRACY. REMEMBER, ARTICHOKES ARE PEOPLE TOO ...

        June 29, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      A ban on horse meat was recently overturned in Canada, where consumption of horse is quite common. A restaurant in Toronto celebrated by offering a dish featuring horse tenderloin accompanied with foie gras, which was sold as the "Quack and Track".

      Backlash – it's what's for dinner!

      July 1, 2012 at 7:25 am | Reply
  46. jessica

    Maybe we should shove that stuff down the Chef's mouths and watch them change their tune. Animal brutality is not "good food".

    June 28, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Reply
    • Billy

      You've seen too many Disney movies. It's a goose. In the wild they fly, eat, and poop. They poop a lot.

      June 28, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Reply
    • Guest

      So force-feeding birds is unacceptable, but advocating violennce against other humans with whome you disagree is just fine? What a horrible excuse for a person you are.

      June 29, 2012 at 12:10 am | Reply
    • heroicslugtest

      Animals are pretty brutal to each other. And humans are animals. I'm not a fan of duck, or liver, but if people want to eat fat duck organs it's okay with me.

      June 29, 2012 at 6:29 am | Reply
    • UFC iTard

      I'd love to shove my rooster down your throat and make you change your tune. Make you say bragh, bragh, bragh, bragh, bragh, bragh, bragh. AHAHAHAHAHA.

      June 29, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Reply
  47. JimSnipit

    CNN is really running this topic into the ground. This is at least the forth article on the same subject.

    June 28, 2012 at 7:34 pm | Reply
  48. Deborah

    Clearly restaurant owners care far more about making money than they do about horrific cruelty to animals or in finding a way to provide foie gras that does not involve this hideous practice. And there is a way to do it, as some farmers are doing, but it requires more time, effort and dedication. All restaurant patrons and restaurant workers should be made to watch a video on the short, painful life of the duck who is being raised for this sole purpose. And while they're at it, watch one on pig gestation crates, and perhaps dog fighting. It's all the same – humans treating animals as if they do not experience pain or neglect for the sake of their own selfish enjoyment.

    June 28, 2012 at 7:21 pm | Reply
    • Thinking things through

      I gotta admit, I don't see much difference between pig gestation crates and ducks being made into foie gras via standard practice methods.

      June 28, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Reply
    • Cliffintex

      The part you don't understand is that geese gorge themselves naturally, just prior to their migration. And why do you think that these fowls experience pain as you suggest? Missed your science classes? You're a nitwit.

      June 28, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Reply
    • Bart Hawkins

      You aren't very bright, are you?

      The REST of the duck is eaten as well, not just the liver.

      Their lives ARE short, just like those of chickens (8 weeks from chic to Chic Filet).

      The ducks don't mind being stuffed, particularly, either, and quickly become used to that route of feeding.

      I am not so much FOR foix gras as I am against ludicrous government interference in lawful commerce, aforesaid "laws," made by LOCAL (or even STATE) politicians who know about as much about science (and farming) as....well.....a goose.

      June 29, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Reply
    • UFC iTard

      Just take your own life and be buried in the forest with no coffin. That way you'll leave a negative carbon footprint as you won't have to eat anymore so you won't be contributing to emissions required to get food into your home and into your stomach. On top of that your body will serve as nutrients for the trees of the forest that turn carbon dioxide into useful oxygen. You'll be doing the world such a great service. Bye!

      June 29, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Reply
    • Mister Jones

      Are you really suggesting that anytime I want to go eat anything, I should be forced to watch an informational video? So when the pizza guy gets here in 30 minutes or less, I still need to watch an infomercial about how the sausage and pepperoni were prepared? Starting with the life of the pig perhaps? Let's call him Wilbur, and pretend he has a friend named Charolette ...

      But why stop there? Plants have feelings too!!! You should watch a full video and read a pamphlet every time you eat lettuce. And what about the awful treatment of brocolli? It's still alive when boiled! You can almost hear it scream out in pain. And some people even eat it raw. Maybe we should wait until the plant is completely dead, and has no organic material left at all. That would be the "humane" way to treat our food ...

      June 30, 2012 at 9:44 am | Reply
    • BIll

      This is why nobody takes PETA seriously

      June 30, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Reply
    • SixDegrees

      Clearly not. Many of the chefs prominently opposed to this regulation – including Thomas Keller – are in large part responsible for the current trend toward local consumption, organically raised meat and produce, and restaurants partnering with farmers to produce quality meals. They have done actual, hands-on research on this topic, and would not be serving foie gras if they felt its production was detrimental to the animals involved beyond standard poultry production techniques. You should read up on Keller, Chris Consentino and others behind this opposition; for now, you simply appear ignorant on the entire topic.

      July 1, 2012 at 7:29 am | Reply
  49. Harry

    Hi I'm just taking a gander at this article.

    June 28, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Reply
  50. Bart Hawkins

    The very idea of a state entity banning a food item generated commercially, and as a function of ordinary farming (and yes, I havve seen the "process" of stuffing geese, and the geese don't seem to mind) is just inane.

    No wonder California, Chicago, New York, etc. are in such miserable shape. Their "leaders," spent a million dollars or so to ban fatty goose liver....while leaving the OTHER miserable farming practices alone.

    Just how many geese did you protect, Arnold? Three?

    Makes my liver hurt.

    June 28, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Reply
    • Tasty Tasty Meat

      ...and why is Kalifornia bankrupt?

      June 29, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Reply
    • NYC

      Saying that something is not cruel to suit your own purposes is what is insane. Save "the ducks don't seem to mind" speech. These bans are extrremely difficult and time consuming to accomplish and would not get far on a whim. Of course it's cruel; that much should not have to be explained. And yes, I've seen the process, too. This is not about politics. It's about one good thing that has been accomplished for animals.Cruelty should not be accepted or diminished where we can change it.

      June 29, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Reply
      • Thank you

        NYC, thanks for your post. Everybody seems to forget that this practice is banned in other countries ... there's more to this story than ducks happily being overfed.

        June 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Reply
      • SixDegrees

        Uh – if you can't explain your position, then perhaps it isn't worth supporting. In the end, every "explanation" I've run across boils down to "How would you like to have a tube shoved down your throat?" And it falls apart at that point, because 1) birds don't have a gag reflex like humans do, which is what makes such insertion unsettling to the human imagination but is something the geese and ducks simply don't experience, and 2) even with a gag reflex, thousands of humans every day have tubes shoved down their throats to provide oxygen, food and water in a variety of situations where they are unable to obtain such necessities on their own. So I guess we should stop treating them, too, since the idea of such treatment is repugnant to others.

        July 1, 2012 at 7:34 am | Reply
    • Kat D

      You are an idiot.
      Just the simple fact that people on here are only seeing a duck being "over fed" is absolutely Ignorant and ridiculous...
      The fact that California banned this says MEASURES as to how people are more in tuned here with the world and themselves....I will take being broke if it means cleaner living and better morals........

      You say that these ducks "don't mind" being over fed but yet the same picture I saw (as you did) was of the conditions in which the duck was crammed into a cage with its head sitcking out and then force fed until its liver basically explodes...

      Let do that to you....and see if you "don't mind".....You are so stupid you would give the argument of "it is just a duck"

      It has eyes......its heart beats..... and honestly.....when raised by humans that care.....will follow you around like a puppy..

      Get a clue you ignorant human.

      June 29, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Reply
      • Mister Jones

        Actually, it's a pretty ridiculous argument all the way around. Ignorant human? Really? You are trying to apply "humane" morals and behavior on a non-human entity. Ducks are food. That's what happens when you are lower on the food chain. Are ducks now endangered? Low populations or anything? No. And these are farmed animals. They are born to die, and be a tasty dinner. Life in the wild is NO picnic, but I understand why that point may be a bit too complex. Go protect an animal that actually IS endangered, or better yet, go demand humane treatment of humans. There are plenty of places that need it. Let food be treated like food.

        June 30, 2012 at 9:25 am | Reply
      • rh

        But they can't arrest parents who feed their kids to the point of obesity, go figure.

        Most rich people I know wouldn't care if their mega-SUVs are destroying the environment, so how could they care about a duck or goose? They don't even care about their bleeding kids!

        June 30, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Reply
        • Ben

          I would argue that the real obesity and neglect of children is in the core Dem demographic of the innercity. I don't know of a lot of rich people who smother their children in co sleeping. In Milwaukee, it has happened a half dozen times this year in the innercity

          June 30, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
      • morfiliwr

        Kat D:

        I just love how you can be so mouthy on the internet. If you said half as much to someone in person, you'd get your dentures re-arranged.

        You just hate other humans. Maybe it's because your mommy didn't hug you enough as a puppy or didn't let you out of your cage every day. Your contempt for other humans is more worrisome than your apparent über-empathy for animals. Must not have a lot of self-worth or self-esteem. And, the way you say 'you ignorant human', you seem to be an 'animal wannabe'...which is not too far off the mark since you're already a raving one that starts with a "b".

        Maybe YOU should get a clue, you tired, uppity, self-hating animal wannabe. Your passive-aggessive rants can only provoke, at best, a cold shoulder (preferably the pork kind, smoked over a cherry and hickory wood fire with sprigs of rosemary and sage.)

        You are an idiot.
        Just the simple fact that people on here are only seeing a duck being "over fed" is absolutely Ignorant and ridiculous...
        The fact that California banned this says MEASURES as to how people are more in tuned here with the world and themselves....I will take being broke if it means cleaner living and better morals........

        You say that these ducks "don't mind" being over fed but yet the same picture I saw (as you did) was of the conditions in which the duck was crammed into a cage with its head sitcking out and then force fed until its liver basically explodes...

        Let do that to you....and see if you "don't mind".....You are so stupid you would give the argument of "it is just a duck"

        It has eyes......its heart beats..... and honestly.....when raised by humans that care.....will follow you around like a puppy..

        Get a clue you ignorant human.

        July 1, 2012 at 3:13 am | Reply
        • morfiliwr

          And, it's 'in tune with', not 'in TUNED with'. If you're going to blather nonsense online, get a better grasp of English. You've spent too much time with the critters learning 'bird-speak' and forgotten your human language.

          You must be so independently wealthy and have so much time on your hands that you can simply afford to ponder "going broke for cleaner living and better morals". Your uppityness and elitist conceit are simply astounding. OK, go broke then and think you'll live 'cleaner'. You are NOBODY, and I stress the word NOBODY, to claim to have 'better' 'morals'. You can go broke and live a clean life when you are all alone, as you are now, and when you are shunned and snubbed. Try raising your nose to your fellow humans when you eat vegetarian while living in your shopping cart.

          July 1, 2012 at 3:23 am |
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