Pack Topics: Foie gras ban and better animal-protection law

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Let’s start in New Jersey, where a new bill could lead to animal protection orders being issued against those convicted of animal cruelty. The protection orders could be for specified times or permanent. It means the individual would be banned from interacting with a specified animal or animals in general.

What a great animal-welfare law this would be. New Jersey 101.5 reports the bill was approved Thursday by the Assembly Agriculture Committee and could soon go to the full Assembly.

And get this great quote from a elected official – “” “As a humane society, we should not tolerate abuses against animals any more than we would against a person,” said Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “”

AND – In the category of CLUELESS, we have a farmer in California who is speaking out in opposition to the new ban on foie gras in the state. Keep in mind that this product is manufactured by forcing food down the throats of ducks and geese to create fatty livers.

The farmer, who admits he inserts a funnel down the throats of the birds, calls the ban an end to the “American Dream.” (His idea of the American dream is abusing ducks?) And he is quoted in the article posted on the Mother Nature Network website as saying, “I feel that emotion and intimidation have prevailed over reason and science.”

Stuffing a funnel down a duck’s throat to force it to eat in an unnatural way, in order to produce a completely unnecessary product eaten by people who either don’t know about this process or have their noses stuck too far in the air to care – is neither reasonable or science-based.

 

Foie gras: Come on … is anything too much for some people?

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While those on the side of compassion continue to speak out for the improved treatment of animals and to protect them from cruelty, a few folks on the other side keep coming up with different ways to torture animals – mostly in the name of profit.

Foie gras (translated from French to English as ‘fatty liver’) is hitting the headlines more of late. The so-called menu item is created by stuffing a pipe down the esophagus of ducks, to force feed them into having a fatty liver.

The reality is our society will continue to consume meat, for at the least the foreseeable future. Thankfully, there is a movement – fueled by animal-welfare advocates – to improve the conditions for animals on farms. But the effort has been slow to advance, as too many defenders of the inhumane practices fight against treating animals with at least a little compassion.

But even more troubling is some of the more recent practices developed by the factory farming industry. So somebody decided a fat duck liver tastes good. And in response to this revelation, an extremely cruel method of fattening up the liver moved to the top of list of the methods of ‘production.’

Our society has advanced in many positive ways over the last several decades. Where some people in the middle of the last century were considered to be second-class citizens, the push for equal rights changed much of that.

But factory farming has taken a wide, sweeping turn in the wrong direction over the last several decades. And it’s hard to understand how, in 2012, some of these practices are considered acceptable at all.

I think, with all of the vast menu options available at restaurants all over the country, we can do without new developments such as foie gras, if it means another species of animal will added to the list of those who suffer every day.

Where does it stop? How much is too much? Where do we, as a society, draw the line – at least when it comes the fancy items on the menu?

The Associated Press reports a ban on foie gras will go into place in California on July 1. Back in 2004, the California legislature gave the industry seven years to develop a cruelty-free method of producing the product. It didn’t happen and sadly, a group of chefs has launched an effort to overturn the ban.