Marian Burros reports on the Times food blog on a fire that killed 15,000 ducks at Hudson Valley Foie Gras.  Fire assumed to be an accident says co-owner Michael Ginor. It’s not devastating to the business, but very sad for the animals and the people who cared for them.

The event illuminates two points.  That HVFG may be growing too fast to take care of all its animals well (this suggested by an animal rights group, mind you).  And that all the anti-foie hullabaloo has made the foie gras business better than ever.

I met Mr. Ginor last month at, ironically, Charlie Trotter’s, whom Trotter—Trotter eschews the use of foie gras in his restaurants—invited as a guest for the 20th anniversary celebrations.  Best wishes to Ginor and his staff.

UPDATE: COMMENT FROM MICHAEL GINOR, WHO CLARIFIES SOME OF THE ISSUES:

As a co-owner and co-founder of Hudson Valley Foie Gras I would like to thank Mr. Ruhlman for his well wishes and for placing his sympathy with the ducks, where they belong. We are very saddened by the fact that birds, that we so carefully and attentively care for, perished in this fire. These ducks were in a carefully maintained breading barn and not a "storage facility" as been somehow miss reported. This was a relatively large barn, approximately 60,000 square feet in size. A "Facotory farming" type of operation would squeeze 40,000 ducks in to such a space. "Humane" growing guidelines suggest 3 square feet per duck, allowing for about 20,000 ducks in such a coop. Hudson Valley utilized the space for 11,000 duck allowing about twice the suggested space per bird. I am profoundly confused by the allagation of any in humanity or involved with this unfortunate event or the suggestion that these duck were unkindly treated in anyway. 

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67 Wonderful responses to “Fire on Foie Farm”

  • Robert delGrosso

    “The event illuminates two points. That HVFG may be growing too fast to take care of all its animals well (this suggested by an animal rights group, mind you).”

    Perhaps, but here is an alternative scenario: it was an accident that could have happened on any farm.

    A few years ago a heater in a horse stable shorted out in the early morning hours of a winter day in my old hometown of North Salem, NY. Over a dozen horses died in that fire. None of them destined for the table or caged or force fed.
    It was no factory farm run by sadistic plutocrats, just a small independently owned boarding stable with two employees and where the bulk of the care was carried out by the kids and few adults who owned the horses.

  • thespian

    Hrm. If that’s a typical duck enclosure, then i’m afraid the animal rights people have a point. Then again, I think part of the sustainable meat movement is, in part, that in return for their eventual demise, we give food animals a much better life than they’d have fending for themselves. In the case of foie gras, I think we fail on that.

    Then again, I have never been able to eat foie gras; there’s an undertaste to all liver, from any animal, of any quality, that just tastes wrong on my tongue. Not bad, just…wrong. Like something is really incorrect in the food, and I don’t know why. I think liver to me is just like cilantro to some people. If it were possible or necessary to be cruel to cilantro to get flavour out of it, I just might turn a blind eye to that, too.

    I picked up Elements of Cooking last night, btw, and was up until 3 am reading it. The writing is as smooth as silk, and I just sank into it. Really excellent stuff. Something akin to it for say, ‘Elements of Herbs and Spices’ would be a brilliant follow up.

  • ruhlman

    thanks for saying that, bob, i felt odd including the anti-foie spin, and thespian does make a good point.

    thespian, thanks for the comments on the new book!

  • Artful

    You learn stuff at this blog, sometimes. I didn’t know about this technique cited in the article:

    To make foie gras, a foot-long metal tube is inserted down a duck’s gullet, gorging the animal three times a day for up to four weeks and fattening the liver to 10 times the normal size.

  • Kansas City rube

    “Assumed to be an accident” doesn’t necessarily mean accident. I wouldn’t put it past some animal rights activists to burn these ducks alive to “save” them from foie production.

    Call me a cynic but it seems like quite the coincidence.

  • thespian

    oh, good. I’m glad I had a good point; on 4 hours sleep I was worried I might be babbling.

    Actually, I know I was babbling, because regardless of what I otherwise think of the event (horrible), I just caught myself saying, “‘Fire on Foie Farm.’ ‘Fire on Foie Farm.’ ‘Fire on Foie Farm.’ Hey, that’s fun to say!”

    So perhaps there should be more sleep in my future.

  • Claudia

    Any way you look at it, it is a sorrowful thing – the loss of life of all those birds (in a scary, horrible way), and the impact, financial and physical, on a small-ish farm (in that it it is not a big AgriBiz).

  • tim

    I also don’t trust anything that an animal rights activist says. I am on the “accident that could happen anywhere” or “purposely caused by an animal ‘rights’ activist” fence.

    @claudia

    Hudson Valley is not a small operation. This will have almost no effect on their earnings.

  • szg

    I cannot get my arms around this.

    15,000 ducks that were slated to die are now dead. The only differences are how they died and for what (or lack of) purpose.

    Had the fire not occurred, these ducks would have been fattened up and then killed “humanely” so that they could offer us their livers for Foie Gras, and probably the rest of themselves as a meal or two as well.

    I am a proud meat eater, and though I also do not like Foie Gras, have done what I could to stop Foie bans from occurring where I live. But, I look at the picture of all those ducks in the recordonline article and wonder how that is humane treatment?

    The warehouse is listed at 30 x 450 feet. So if my math is right, we’re talking just over a square foot per duck.

    Can someone wiser than I shed some light on how much space ducks need? Are they penned up all the time, or is it just at night for protection?

  • Scotty

    “‘Fire on Foie Farm.’ ‘Fire on Foie Farm.’ ‘Fire on Foie Farm.’ Hey, that’s fun to say!”

    Funny, I just thought about roast duck . . . .

    On a more serious note, in these times one must feel a bit suspicious about a fire at a foie gras farm. Of course, Bob is right, and if this hadn’t been a foie gras farm it wouldn’t be covered by the Times.

  • CriminalDawnCook

    I’ve got to put my .5 cent in here and say that I am leaning towards the not-accidental “accident” theory here. Some of those animal-rights people are real whack jobs.

    (Spoken as someone who only supports animal charities)

    Like SZG said, dead is dead- and I can imagine that a humane slaughter would be kinder to those ducks than dying in a fire.

  • Claudia

    15,000 ducks is still a loss, no matter what HVFG’s size. I love roast duck. Just not this way.

  • WalktheLine

    Oh the irony…first they try to ban foie everywhere then 15,000 die in a fire. Interesting~

  • Andy

    For anyone interested in how foie gras is made, go to youtube and search “ethical foie gras.” There’s an interesting piece from Gordon Ramsay’s UK show “The F Word.” I’m not an animal activist or anything, and I love me some foie, but watching the ducks being force-fed is enough to turn people off.

  • ntsc

    Read the second posting here and went across the street to B&N and bought Elements. Thought it came out next week.

    I’m on page 3, but lunch is soon over.

  • ntsc

    The one time I’ve seen ducks being force fed, they were mugging the feeder. The animal has to act scared around the so-called abuser or I question the term ‘abuse’.

    I like fois gras, the last time I took a course at CIA which included dinner at American Bounty the #@$%& didn’t let us order from the menu and I couldn’t have it. An arugula and walnut salad is no match.

  • Kansas City rube

    So, Frances, if you’re big on the reincarnation and karma thing, don’t you think the ducks probably did something in their past lives to deserve it?

  • Frances

    “So, Frances, if you’re big on the reincarnation and karma thing, don’t you think the ducks probably did something in their past lives to deserve it?”

    And if I’m not? What then? Could I mean, “Put yourself in the duck’s place.”

  • Dennis

    “The warehouse is listed at 30 x 450 feet. So if my math is right, we’re talking just over a square foot per duck.”

    No mention for what the warehouse was used for, but even so, that assumes only 1 floor (or even that any ‘cubbys’ for the ducks were only 1 unit high), which seems unlikely given how high warehouses tend to be.

  • michael Ginor

    As a co-owner and co-founder of Hudson Valley Foie Gras I would like to thank Mr. Ruhlman for his well wishes and for placing his sympathy with the ducks, where they belong. We are very saddened by the fact that birds, that we so carefully and attentively care for, perished in this fire. These ducks were in a carefully maintained breading barn and not a “storage facility” as been somehow miss reported. This was a relatively large barn, approximately 60,000 square feet in size. A “Facotory farming” type of operation would squeeze 40,000 ducks in to such a space. “Humane” growing guidelines suggest 3 square feet per duck, allowing for about 20,000 ducks in such a coop. Hudson Valley utilized the space for 11,000 duck allowing about twice the suggested space per bird. I am profoundly confused by the allagation of any in humanity or involved with this unfortunate event or the suggestion that these duck were unkindly treated in anyway.

  • hollerhither

    Mr. Ginor, thank you for commenting to clarify as I think your comments do shed light on some of the questions people are asking. I’m sorry for the loss — for the ducks, naturally, and also for your business. Here’s hoping the animal-rights nuts (they know who they are; I am an animal-lover and donate to *respectable* charities) don’t use this as an opportunity to create a s***storm.

  • TXstarla

    Very saddened to hear of the loss suffered by your business. As for the ducks personal well-being, I must put this in context. After watching entire NEIGHBORHOODS in Southern California on fire, the fate of some ducks, how they were raised and how they are eaten is of NO CONCERN.

    As a business loss, I hope you can recover and that you have good insurance. For the animal rights folks concerned about some ducks, please put your money and energy where we need it – people who have no homes and have lost everything because of a fire – some of these fires were INTENTIONALLY set. Think about it before you whine about ducks and their precious livers.

  • brandon_w

    TXstarla, this is a foodblog, so people are going to make comments about food related events. I don’t think having sympathy for ducks, or the owners of Hudson Valley in anyway means that the people who are posting here have no sympathy for those who have lost everything in California. However there isn’t going to be a lot of discussion about it here, because it isn’t a general news blog.

  • Snoozer

    I am a big softie when it comes to animals. I cry when on my bulldog listserv someone’s dog dies. But the animal rights loons are downright terrorists. I have no problem at all imagining that this could have been deliberate.

    My husband has Crohn’s disease. As he likes to say, he’d strap down every beagle in North America if that’s what it took to find a cure. I agree. I wouldn’t enjoy it, but I’d do it.

    PS I LOVE FOIE.

  • doodad

    Why do some people just HAVE to piss on internet threads and try to derail the subject? Go elsewhere if the subject does not interest you.

    Mr. Ginor, I am very sorry to hear of your loss and hope recovery is swift for you. I am trying foie for the very first time next week (partly just because of the simpering hand wringers that have to butt into others lives) and, if I like it, hope to be a customer. It is not banned down here.

  • Kansas City rube

    I suggest everyone click on the link to TXstarla’s blog to get some perspective on how much the fires have affected her. It’s filled with entries about complex, deep issues such as Desperate Housewives advertising, Tom Cruise, and Paris Hilton. Stay up, TXstarla!

  • Snoozer

    Doodad, have you been reading this thread, or some other one?
    I think the general consensus here is sympathy for Mr. Ginor. Our host also raised the topic of animal rights activists. This has been part of the thread. You don’t want to read about it, go read a different blog.

  • misterybus

    In my faith, it is customary to thank the animals that give up their life so that I and my family may continue ours. Reading this blog today, I stopped and gave a prayer for the animals who were sacrified without a reason. I lived on a chicken ranch as a small child and am familiar with the ways of fowls. Hopefully, these birds took flight and knocked themselves unconsciousness before they were burned alive. I know this sounds gross, but I’ve seen turkeys drown watching a thunderstorm go by ( Yes, they do look up with their mouths open and no, its hard to distract them!).
    Pate or no pate, if you feel bad about this event, send a donation in the amount of your fvorite foie gras dish to your local animal shelter. Neither the ducks nor the shelter animals will know why you sent it, but it will do some good for some small soul.

  • doodad

    I am not the one who came on here and changed the subject to the fires in CA, which must have also been insured (right?), and then told everyone to stop whining. I do have sympathy as I expressed, and hope that the animal rights idiots were not responsible. I have animals in my life and at one time bred an endangered species which made me a target of some criticism as well. Mr. Ginor took the time out of what must be a true disaster for him to set the record straight (which Ruhlman prominently posted) to deflect the comments generated by said activists. So, yeah, I read it.

  • Tags

    What Frances apparently meant was that she hopes those who fed the ducks get to be fed like the ducks so they’ll understand why they would gorge themselves, not because feeding them via gavage is cruel. It’s not cruel, it’s the way they gorge themselves naturally.

  • guttergourmet

    I’d rather be a Hudson Valley duck than a Perdue chicken any day! Ginor’s book- Foie Gras- A Passion is fantastic. As Bourdain and Batali said Trotter should get over it and remember where he is on the food chain.

  • Frances

    “What Frances apparently meant was that she hopes those who fed the ducks get to be fed like the ducks so they’ll understand why they would gorge themselves, not because feeding them via gavage is cruel. It’s not cruel, it’s the way they gorge themselves naturally.”

    How can what a duck does naturally cause it’s liver to be 10x its normal size? What a duck does naturally should cause it to have a liver that is normal sized. I can say with no reservations that I would very much not like to have a liver that is 10 times too big.

    I’m the first to admit that I know very little about this issue. I exercise caution when dealing with information from animal rights activists, because it is often unreliable. It appeared to me that the method of feeding was established by people on both sides of the issue. My knee-jerk reaction as an uneducated person was, “WTF?” There are people who can rationalize what constitutes cruelty or humanity by virtue of their own position on the food chain. I really can’t argue the point because I can’t look at it from that POV.

    I try to express my ideas and opinions on a given subject, not on the people joining in on the discussion.

    To Michael Ginor, thank you for posting a message here. I’m sorry for your loss.

  • Joel

    I’m glad I’m not that only one who wondered upon reading, “very sad for the animals,” what the hell?

    From the ducks perspective, do you they care one way or the other if they die in a terrifying fire in a group, or watching in horror as their friends die one at time the hand of the butcher, suddenly realizing their turn is coming soon?

    In either case, they’re dead. Just in this instance, we won’t be able to munch on their carcases.

  • Joel

    “From the ducks perspective, do you they care one way or the other if they die as a group in a terrifying fire , or watching in horror as their friends die one at time, at the hand of the butcher, suddenly realizing their turn is coming soon?”

    Maybe that’s better? I cannot be sure. Tonight I’m doing damage to my own liver through the consumption of copious amounts of beer.

  • Vincent

    As a chef, when I learned of the fire, I was devastated. The loss of food alone…

    I then pissed myself laughing out loud at the French chefs that lashed at me daily until I could fire, poach and cook foie correctly. In my mind they were disturbingly turning in their graves as the barn burned.

    Kharmic retribution to Jean-Michel (not the famous one) ,Marc the Exec Sous and some dick named Farel. The lipidous smoke will stick to them like glue.

    HVFG has a wonderful product, the most consistent in the U.S., and I hope that they come back with great consistency and acceptance.

  • txstarla

    “I suggest everyone click on the link to TXstarla’s blog to get some perspective on how much the fires have affected her. It’s filled with entries about complex, deep issues such as Desperate Housewives advertising, Tom Cruise, and Paris Hilton. Stay up, TXstarla!”

    Thanks. My blog is exactly as presented. I do not claim to ramble there about anything very important. Never said I did. I did not speak of the fires because I spent 4 days of my LIFE LIVING IN IT. I write about silly observations because I can…

    The treatment of ducks is just of no concern to me. Hoping that the owner had good insurance is a valid concern. I hope his business can recover. My “whining” comments were directed at animal rights activists, not foodies. If you took offense, move along, nothing to see here.

  • Susan

    Poor ducks. I’m sticking with mock duck. That stuff tastes better anyway.

  • Vincent

    Deeply disturbed by the fires in Cali – some of my staff has family affected by the devastation there. We are bringing people in from cali to work with us for the holiday catering season to help.

    I went through this with hurricane Andrew and Katrina – its a hard process. I can forward info for people that need help or jobs if anyone would like.

  • Tags

    The normal size of a duck’s liver varies just as its eating habits vary. When it gorges itself either naturally or artificially, the size of the liver corresponds to what the duck eats. The liver does not take note of whether the duck is eating “normally,” it either grows or shrinks according to input. And ducks do normally gorge themselves in nature.

  • Josh

    The first thing I thought when I heard this story –
    Thats a tough break for the farmer
    The second thing I thought –
    That must have smelled AMAZING!

  • Scott

    To that the deaths of these ducks and the loss to their keepers “is of NO CONCERN” is just plain short sighted and ignorant. No one on this thread is suggesting that the fires in California are unimportant. I just think that as compassionate and intelligent people we have the ability to care about more than one thing at a time. Lives and livelihoods were lost in both tragedies. A loss of 15,000 animals in a single fire is devastating and just because they weren’t human lives does not mean that they are “of NO CONCERN”. As many people have already stated, this is a food blog. As such, the people who contribute to this blog will discuss food related issues.

  • misterybus

    “Amazing” is definitely not the word I would use about the smell of a burning fowl. You may never have seen a duck before it is dressed, Josh, but I guarantee you they do have feathers and burnt bird feathers with their attached saliva and feces could only smell “amazing” if you have just been sprayed by a skunk!

  • txstarla

    Scott twists my words to say… “To that the deaths of these ducks and the loss to their keepers “is of NO CONCERN” is just plain short sighted and ignorant.”

    Do not misquote me sir. I was very concerned over the BUSINESS loss. Of no concern to me (and I wrote) was how the ducks are treated to make the product. My comments were directed at animal rights activists (read them and you will see) who I think should take more time to help their fellow human. My opinion, stated clearly. Please do not twist it to fit your posts.

  • Kal

    I’m surprised to see so many people suggesting that the ducks were going to die anyway, so what’s the big deal? We’re ALL going to die anyway, and I’d really rather not be burned to death, thanks.

    These ducks died in one of the most horrifying, painful ways possible, and died for nothing. There is no redeeming quality to that whatsoever. It’s impossible to see any usefulness in this situation.

    They were slated for humane deaths followed by the use of their flesh for a purpose. Regardless of how one feels about that, certainly there is more reason, purpose, and usefulness to it than the senseless destruction they suffered.

  • Sara

    Frances — if you’re interested in learning a bit about Foie Gras and don’t want to delve into a thick tome, you should check out Jeffrey Steingarten’s piece about it. Like him or hate him, Steingarten is an exceptional food writer who doesn’t, in any way, shy away from research. The foie article is both meticulously reserached and written, and includes a detailed account of a visit to a foie gras farm and what actually goes on in terms of space and feeding method. It’s really excellent. And by some divine providence, it is still available for free online on the Men’s Vogue website (it’s also in his second book [I think], “It Must Have Been Something I Ate”):

    http://www.mensvogue.com/food/articles/2006/08/21/foie_gras

    [Note: Page 5 has most of the medical/scientific data on it. Very interesting stuff]

  • Scott

    First I should apologize to tsstarla. Upon reading your post again I realize that I did miss your point. I’m sorry. I understand that your target was animal rights activists who can lack a broad enough focus to recognize a larger tragedy. I should have read your post a second time before I started to type.I would like to say in my defense that your original post wasn’t entirely clear.
    Also, I maintain that the way in which animals are raised and eaten matters. I eat duck and foie gras and I care about where my food comes from and how it is produced, shipped, and prepared. My original point, minus the reactionary misquoting, was that this is more than a business loss. It’s when we start to think of livestock as “units” as opposed to living creatures that we begin to mistreat them and that has the potential to affect the quality and safety of the food we eat.

    Txstarla, you’re right. Helping the people of southern California has a higher priority than our full tummies. However, our ideals, the ones that make us compassionate towards animals, shouldn’t be set aside at times like these.

  • txstarla

    Scott,
    I should have made myself more clear also… I am in the process of recovering from eating food I did not know I was allergic to…

    Hold for it,

    sea urchin.

    After the lovely emergency room visit, being pumped full of drugs, and 2 hours of breathing treatments, I am recovering at home with way too much time on the computer.

    Really awesome sushi from a great place here in the San Fernando Valley, I just never had eaten sea urchin before. Now I know why.

  • Joel

    Kal,

    If telling yourself that “They were slated for humane deaths followed by the use of their flesh for a purpose.” helps you sleep at night, then keep doing so.

    The rest of us will keep an eye on reality for you. No need to thank us.

  • szg

    I step away for just a little while (a day or so) and this thread goes all sorts of crazy.

    Thanks to Mr. Ginor for his clarifying statement on the size of the facility and the square footage allotted to his ducks.

  • Lizzie

    I’d like to offer my deepest sympathies to Mr. Ginor and the rest of the farmers at Hudson Valley Foie Gras. The loss of the ducks’ lives is a tragic one and we can assume that the caretakers for these animals feel it most deeply.

    However, we can be thankful that no humans were hurt in the blaze. Additionaly, the business and the quality of the product do not look like they will be affected by the fire, which resulted in the loss of breeder ducks. The farm has always worked towards ensuring a continued supply of eggs and is switching to alternative suppliers that are already in place.

    For anyone who’d like to learn more about the issues surrounding foie gras, check out http://legalfoiegras.blogspot.com/ .

  • Frances

    Thanks Sara. Who knew? Regarding the big question, “What would Jesus eat?” We know anecdotally that he ate figs because he cursed a fig tree that failed to have fruit when he wanted it. But my guess would be that he ate whatever was offered to him from the goodness of people’s hearts. His point perhaps being that intention is what renders a thing clean or unclean.

    In general: I cannot base my opinion of a practice on the reaction to it by those on both sides of the issue. For example, I would not change my position on abortion just because there are radical whackos out there blowing up womens clinics or become in favor of capital punishment if protesters switched from candlelight vigils to heaving molotov cocktails at prisons.

    Likewise, I would not disavow my personal commitment to the ethical treatment of animals simply because PETA has shown itself to be repugnant and harmful in their methods of protest. How other people react to something is not my problem if I did not perpetrate the issue.

    What it all boils down to me is that mankind long ago learned how to exploit a function of nature. I still don’t agree with the idea of the liver being so large that the duck has trouble walking (and I think that perhaps taking the practice to that length would amount to simple greed).

    However, from what I’ve read so far, it seems to me that animals are being exploited in this world in far more horrific ways – ways that make this practice pale in significance. As a rational person who sometimes finds Nature irrational, I try to work things out for myself based on facts and not opinions. Being on top of the food chain entails a huge responsiblity on our parts to protect and maintain the environment and respect all the other creatures who live in it.

    It is possible to love animals and humans too. I shouldn’t even have to mention this, except that there are people who seem to want to assume the worst of those who disagree with them on issues of ethics or morality. Eh, whatever. People who are respectful advocates of animals are also people who are advocates for the rights of children, the disenfranchised, and the elderly. They are drawn to defend those who cannot defend themselves. We also tend to let our wallets do the talking.

  • Tags

    The duck gorges itself in nature. When it does this it has trouble walking, just like I do when I gorge myself.

    People who are respectful advocates of animals are the salt of the earth, but when they put artisan duck farmers out of business they put the greedy agribusinesses in the position of buying them out and taking them over. Then, your ConAgras and Tysons will be the only game in town.

    At this point, PETA and the duck terrorists will be shut out completely because the only duck farmers left will be factory duck farmers with their impenetrable compounds.

    We’ll even have less jobs because the profit motive will take over and efficiencies that don’t consider employing people to be an asset will be the new world order.

  • Frances

    I hope we receive an update on the cause of the fire when it is determined. All we know right now is that it was believed to be an accident. Only the insane would believe it’s better for an animal to die a horrific death by fire than to live in a caring environment and humanely butchered. If Michael Ginor says he raises his ducks humanely, then that is good enough for me.

    There is no point in trying to educate radical extremists about anything or sway their opinions, no matter what their issue is. The focus should be on people who realize that they don’t know everything, and who ultimately let reason prevail.

    The best that can be hoped for is that it is the rational people who are elected to office and that they make educated decisions. This did not happen in California, but that doesn’t mean the law can’t be reversed.

    It is very easy for something like foie production to be villified by opponents, because the plight of foie eaters is not a very sympathetic cause. I doubt if my choosing not to eat it will affect the market in the least.

  • Darcie

    “From the ducks perspective, do you they care one way or the other if they die in a terrifying fire in a group, or watching in horror as their friends die one at time the hand of the butcher, suddenly realizing their turn is coming soon?” – Joel

    This is being quite anthropomorphic. I don’t think ducks ever realize “their turn is coming soon.” People (and *maybe* primates) seem to be the only creatures aware of their own impending demise. And we obsess over it needlessly, if you ask me.

    This is not to say the ducks didn’t panic in the fire. Fight or flight and all that. I am sure it wasn’t pleasant and was probably painful (hopefully smoke inhalation did them in which is less painful), but I also think that when it comes their time to die, animals don’t get philosophic about it.

    I am sorry for the loss of life, animal or human, for anyone who suffers from a fire. Recently there was a fire in a stable here and 45 horses lost their lives. It was quite tragic.

    As for foie gras, I have had it and I liked it, but I don’t eat it frequently. I respect *all* the animals who were killed for my gustatory pleasure. I have helped in the butchering of chickens, pigs and cows (I basically grew up on my grandparents’ farm), which provided me appreciation for my meals. The same goes for gardening, in my opinion. Knowing all that is involved to get your food to the grocery store makes you appreciate and value it more.

  • voneil

    Doesn’t anyone think about the WORDS that Michael Ginor needlessly slaughtered in his comment? Poor, innocent, misspelled words. Yikes. Priorities, people.

  • Egaeus

    I’m pretty neutral on foie gras having never eaten it and having seen much worse conditions for most animals whose meat is sold at the supermarket to little protest. However, as far as those of you espousing the view that the gorging practice is natural (which it is to some extent), you are failing to explain the need for the tube.