In a show of solidarity against the tyranny and inconvenience of compassion and conscience, food worshippers across the state are celebrating one foie gras-loving judge’s decision to overturn a California-voter approved ban on the sale of the fatty duck liver.
U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson reversed the ban, approved by the Legislature in 2004 and put into effect in 2012, on the practice of force feeding ducks and geese by jamming a tube down their throats many times a day in order to create a diseased and enlarged liver.
Hot’s Restaurant Group in California, New York producer Hudson Valley Foie Gras and a group of Canadian foie gras farmers challenged the ban in court arguing that states cannot regulate the ingredients allowed in poultry because the federal government’s Poultry Products Inspection Act trumps any state directive.
The judge decided that force-feeding birds with a metal tube before killing them and extracting their almost-bursting livers (sounds like a horror movie) is an ingredient in poultry. The court never addressed the cruelty of the practice or the treatment of the animals, who are deliberately left unprotected by any federal humane slaughter laws.
“California cannot regulate foie gras products’ ingredients by creatively phrasing its law in terms of the manner in which those ingredients were produced,” Judge Wilson wrote in his ruling.
Several lower courts as well as the California Supreme Court would disagree, as those in a position to profit off of the torture of foie-gras producing birds have been challenging the ban since it was passed back in 2004, and have been repeatedly dismissed until this one judge decided the pain and suffering the birds must endure is the price they must pay for our palatial freedoms.
This is just one setback in a state that has been putting its laws where its conscience is with the passage of multiple farm animal welfare laws.
Profiteers of the misery of farm animals have been fighting to overturn Prop. 2, which was passed by voters in 2008 and went into effect Jan.1 of this year, making the most extreme forms of confinement for egg-laying hens, pigs and calves illegal.
From the first of this year, no egg produced or sold in California can come from chickens squeezed so tightly into battery cages that they cannot fully extend their wings. Sadly, we do need a law for that as there are humans who can live with themselves profiting off cramming sentient, sensitive individuals into wired torture chambers for their short lives.
A law passed in 2011 banned selling or serving shark fins, which was also challenged in court as exceeding the state’s authority to regulate fishing. That law was enacted as a response to overwhelming evidence that our ocean’s apex predator is being decimated to the point of no return thanks to an insatiable hunger for the delicacy known as shark fin soup.
Foie gras is the deliberate torture of the animals before slaughter in order to produce a certain flavor. It has been well documented that many of those who enjoy dog and cat meat also believe that the more pain and terror inflicted on the animal before it dies, the better the flavor, resulting in the deliberate torture of the animal before slaughter.
Eating has become a religion, with self-proclaimed foodies converting en masse to worship food, and crying intolerance when their ceremonies are criticized for their cruelty.
So disconnected from the pain and suffering they are enjoying, one chef who has been active in the pro-foie gras movement told the L.A. Times “I’ve been jumping up and down for about 90 minutes,” after he heard news of the lifted ban.
The consumption zealots at the forefront of the pro-foie gras movement represent the human condition at its worst – our suicidal hunger for happiness, and our mistaken belief that we can satiate our appetite by imposing human privilege on the rest of the living world, no matter what the cost.