Caroline's notes january 2004.
Several departments in France are well known for their specialities. The department where we live, Gers, is known for the production of lots of garlic and other delicacies such as nice wines, Armagnac, magret de canard and foie gras, which literally means 'greasy liver'.
All over this region you can see the big semi circular tunnels with hundreds of duck and geese in and around them. And if you don’t see them, you smell them. They are mainly fed on maize, hence the frequency of maize fields.
The unlucky geese and ducks bred for foie gras, are never visible. They are kept in tiny cages inside and are force fed on maize pulp through 20-30 centimeter long pneumatic tubes, several times a day. This way their livers swell up to 10 times the normal size and becomes foie gras.
Because of the animal abuse involved during the production of this edible gold, it has become a hot issue. I think there is even an EU law that will prevent geese and ducks from being kept in cages, but that still doesn’t put a stop to the gavage (force feeding) itself.
To come to the point, I have decided not to buy foie gras anymore. That way I’m no longer supporting the industry (Houston, we have a problem, Perry loves it and still buys it).
But what to do when we are invited for lunch by French friends who serve up foie gras, especially for us... No way am I going to protest and tell them I’m not eating it because blah blah blah. It doesn’t do me, nor them, any good when I (foreigner and ignorant of the traditions of peasant life) start preaching, that will be a lose-goose situation. And it will certainly be the last time we will ever be invited....
So, I have signed a petition (go to http://www.stopgavage.com/) and with me not supporting the industry, I hope that less geese and ducks will have to suffer.
Until such time...