Foie Gras....PETA's whipping boy or don't care?

I don’t eat any critter’s liver, and I hope none of them eats mine. I instantly knew as a child that something was not right. Later, I found that organ meats have more cholesterol than the fattiest meats. So, you have somebody bully a bird so that its liver will be deadlier than usual? I won’t fight that. In fact, you can have my share. Bon appetit.


and I agree with the pan sear, and the oven finish. Deglaze the pan with some cognac and enjoy.

Mmm, foie gras.

I’m with Bourdain on this one. The ducks waddle right up to have the tube stuck in their beaks. Ain’t cruel. Just yummy.

The thread title is “Foie Gras… PETA’s whipping boy or don’t care?” I can have never eaten foie gras and still weigh in on the topic as delineated in the OP. It seems to be asking about your opinion, if it bothers you morally or not, not “how do you like it served?” Though that’s what it seems to be about now, I agree, so I won’t share my opinion of it in the interest of not threadshitting.

I’m very conflicted… I hate the idea of force feeding birds to get foie gras… But after spending 4 months in the south of France last year, I gotta say I **loved ** having foie gras - and had it whenever possible…

So I care - sort of…

I was just being stupid. Although you love eating the stuff, it amused me that you wanted opinions on a subject, but also have “THIS SUBJECT IS EVIL” as a username. .com was from Arrested Development. “I’m not Oscar! (.com)” Your username reminded me of that.

In other words, move along…

That’s just it…the point of my thread. It’s so damn captivating that you find yourself on a blissful flying silken carpet of meat butter that you just…don’t care how it got there, but just that it IS there.

I would have gone blissfully about my business had devilsknew expressed an opinion of the morality of it all. Instead we got… “no comment.” That’s what made me confused.

What is interesting is that in Gascony, where the people there have the highest (or did, last I checked) consumption of foie gras in the known universe, they also have a correspondingly low instance of heart disease.
It must be that “low stress” lifestyle that they live…red wine consumption alone cannot account for this discrepancy.
As an American, I truly believe that stress amongst the other combining factors is the SINGLE leading cause of heart disease. Or at least actual heart attacks, since even if your arteries are clogged, if you don’t get your tailfeathers in a bind over evry little thing than ye olde blood pump doesn’t have as many opportunities to get into a tizzy.

Ah, kindred soul…seared on the outside to a crisp, firmed in an oven, pan deglazing for the brown bits…God never had it so good. Or never gave it so good. Or whatever. It’s fucking good. It’s great. It’s really beyond compare if it’s done just right.
Hot or cold, it is the meat of kings, especially when served with the wine of kings, like a Tokay dessert wine…unbelievable starshines popping in the mind when the combination of pairings is correct…
Too bad for me that foie is so damn expensive…
What’s notable is that I’ve only eaten it maybe thirty times in my life…but treasured every morsel.
And there’s no comparison to Ortalans. That is a dead tradition.
PETA can fuck itself for all I care.
Bring on the veal!

I can’t bring myself to eat it, because even if they are just dumb birds (and I actually hate most birds), I’ve seen some pictures and stuff that put me off it. Birds being stuffed so full of food that they die choking on their own vomit, shit blood, stuff like that. I’m sure there are more humane ways to do it, but I just wouldn’t ever be able to take a bite without picturing that poor fucking bird dead in a pool of vomit, so I’ll skip it.

Yeah, I’m one of those self-hating carnivores*. Why can’t we just grow meat in petri dishes??

*Except fish. Fish are basically swimming plants. I’d eat the motherfuckers still gasping for air.

In the grand scheme of things in our world to feel bad about, foi gras is low on my list. I take the glorious taste in echange for the slight moral issues happily. Now, if there was a taste equivalency to pate, I would switch.

For example, I have found that I do not need to eat much veal. In truth, chicken or pork in the veal dishes I enjoy are just as good (or at least close enough).

Pate, however, has no substitute that I have found where the difference equals my personal issue regarding the moral complications surrounding force feeding fowl for fulfillment and fancy.

Let me put it this way. I could only hope that someday people will enjoy my foie gras. Nourishing other beings is a pretty honarable burial.
To answer the above query, I responded originally with more than my retraction, but edited myself.

I still see the ethical concerns, but I believe these ducks would die, regardless…or maybe they just want to outlaw the consumption of duck? Seems like it would make more sense.

IIRC, the City of Chicago, with its Solomonic Wisdom and impeccable reputation for political purity, has banned the sale of foie gras, so as not to despoil its reputation. :rolleyes:

The thing that everyone seems to gloss over on the Foie Gras debate is the horrible way in which most of the meat animals in the US are raised. Chickens are packed in tiny cages and de-beaked, cows stand in piles of feces in feed lots for months and are fed a diet that is nigh on poisonous. And we’re worried about Foie Gras ducks?!? They’re living the high life compared to the average chicken. Same with most veal operations - compared to a standard cow, they’ve got it pretty well.

So if you’re against Foie Gras based on animal cruelty, get out your Google and look at some of the other meat. It’s almost all bad, the exceptions being the meats sold by places like Niman Ranch - you can feel good about their meat, while also playing a pretty penny for the happy-cow steaks. Want cheap meat? Resign yourself to the animals living a pretty miserable life.

I agree - except I want to know more of what you know about veal. The only thing I know about veal is that decades old sad picture of the calf with broken legs in a crate, or something. If you can reassure me that was out-of-context propaganda or an aberration in the industry, I’ll be your bestest internet friend ('cause I haven’t had veal in 20 years!)

Of all the meat products to be up in arms about because of cruelty concerns, foie gras seems the most misguided. And I’ve never had the stuff, but I bet I’d love it; I loved well prepared calf’s liver as a kid.

Overall, I prefer meat that I’ve personally killed. Not only does wild game have more (and better) flavor than the meat from grocery stores, I get pleasure and satisfaction from the hunt and the kill itself. Cruelty, or lack thereof, doesn’t enter into it; though I suppose one could make the case that the deer leads a life free from human-inflicted cruelty right up until the moment I put a bullet through it.
Producing foie gras ducks and geese myself is impractical for many reasons, so I’ve never attempted it. Squeamishness about forcefeeding them or killing them isn’t what stops me, though.
Eating meat means causing pain and death in animals. That is an inescapable fact. It just doesn’t bother most people as long as they don’t have to do the messy parts themselves. Nor should it.

Off topic, but this is why those “California Happy Cow” commercials kind of tick me off. From what I’ve seen, most Wisconsin cattle actually have a pasture to walk in. I’ve never seen a feed lot in Wisconsin. I hear they are pretty popular in California though. Which cows do you think would be more happy*?

*granted, cows aren’t real bright, so maybe they just don’t care

Well, you mean, everyone but the people protesting foie gras. Every single person I personally know who finds foie gras morally objectionable ALSO finds factory farming morally objectionable. The vast majority of said personal acquaintances who have spoken out against foie gras are vegan or vegetarian, and do not eat any animal meat at all.

Most of the literature I’ve seen from animal-welfare organizations also seems to stress that industrialized animal agriculture in all its forms causes suffering, and are against KFC just as much as foie gras. Admittedly foie gras is an easier target, but the hypocrisy you seem to be pointing out is mostly absent from thoughtful people with whom I’ve interacted.

Average Joe and Jane Blow off the streets might eat meat and still express horror at foie gras, but that’s (IMHO) more a product of their por understanding of modern factory farming practices. And they’re not the folks driving this protest.


edit: quote tags

I took a quick look around the web, and there’s various places that produce “happy” veal. When I wrote my post, I was thinking of something I heard on NPR about a week ago that was talking about how the veal industry in general was changing because of consumer demand. Of course, now that I’ve mouthed off about it, I can’t find any cites for it :frowning:

If I recall correctly, waaaay back when, veal was simply baby cows, slaughtered early. The US Veal industry wanted to be able to age the cows a little more, so they came up with the whole “don’t let 'em move and feed 'em milk” scheme, which allowed the cows to get older but the meat was still the signature white veal color. Lately, farmers have figured out how to raise them more humanely, with better feed, and still get the same texture and flavor (but not the color).

And another sneaky fact: veal stock is the basis of a LOT of sauces. In most “fine dining” restaurants, it’s everywhere. And I would venture to guess that non-fine dining restaurants use it pretty ubiquitously in frozen sauces and such. So even if you avoid veal, chances are you have it if you ever order soups or anything with sauce on it.

As far as foie gras goes… yes, you would love it. The first time I had foie gras I did it because of pressure, it was at a work party when I was very young and I was NOT a liver eater. I thought it would be really gross. Then I had one bite, and it was the most sublime thing I’d ever put in my mouth.