What do you enjoy reading the most here on my blog?

Search My Blog

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Chicago vs. PETA: The Foie Gras Debate!

In the last installment of this debate, it sure as heck seemed like we were seeing the end of the story. If you read my post back then, Chicago Bans Food and PETA is to Blame, you'd remember that PETA used some dirty underhanded tricks to scare the politicians into signing the bill that effectively bans the sale/production/consumption of foie gras in Chicago.

You might have also noticed the tactics they DIDN'T use in their argument - THE FACTS.

Well, Chicago restaurants, business owners, and citizens who remember that this is still AMERICA and that PETA and that law do NOT have the power to take away our rights - they've made a petition to repeal the ban and the debate is underway in the weeks before the ban takes place.

So since I obviously side on the anti-PETA and pro-America end of the debate, I'm going to present you with the FACTS that those tree-hugging tofu-fartin' hippies were just going to hide under the hemp carpet and pray nobody ever found. Their main argument is that the foie gras method is cruel and painful. Their only evidence is that video showing a farmer forcefully over-feeding a duck, possibly playing some sappy or bone-chilling music for added effect.

Now then, for the defense - I've got a bunch of evidence to the CONTRARY of what PETA wants you to believe. First off, we'll tackle the easy matter of them being kept in cages as being "cruel". Well, the FACTS tell us that for the first 12-14 weeks, the ducks and geese are neither force-fed nor are they in cages at all. They roam free in lovely grassy areas. It's only the last 2-4 weeks that they are put in cages - which is ONLY done for the feedings - and then allowed to go back out and roam free. Possibly as free as the wind blows and/or the grass grows.

So now we get to the "painful" force-feeding done to fatten up those tasty livers before harvest time. I pose to YOU this question: If YOU had to undergo a painful process every day that was possibly "traumatic", what would you do? I'll answer for you, and hopefully you'll agree with at least ONE of the answers. I'm guessing that if this happened to you, you would:

1) Not like it. Sadomasochism aside, you would indeed feel pain or trauma.

2) Not want to get back in that cage where the traumatic pain happened.

3) Not want to go near the man that did this trauma to you.

4) Not do this act TO YOURSELF, since you obviously don't like it when someone else does it to you.

In exemplum, if a bully beat you up afterschool in the parking lot, you would cry because you got beaten up, avoid both the bully and that parking lot, and not beat yourself up because you obviously don't like getting beaten up.


Scientists did a study. You know, scientists with the numbers and data and logical reasoning that don't involve sappy videos to "make a point". REAL evidence and facts backed up with proof. The kind you'd hope to see in a real debate.

1) Not liking it; feeling pain. When the brain undergoes stress and/or pain, it shoots out corticosterone. And when they tested the corticosterone levels of these roaming-free ducks and geese during their FIRST force-feeding in the cages and two MORE force-feedings, there was NO significant increase in corticosterone. They also made sure that they were testing right and the ducks were able to make it by putting them in nets for 15 minutes, and sure enough there was corticosterone and obvious stress. Nets are bad for ducks and they get stressed by being in them. Force-feeding? Not really.

2) Avoidance of force-feeding cages. When ducks and geese were studied after the initial force-feeding, ducks only showed a little bit of avoidance and geese showed no signs of avoidance at all. And over time, the avoidance measured in the ducks became shorter with time.

3) Avoidance of feeder. When presented with a complete stranger rather than the usual caregiver, there was more aversion than with the caregiver - and both decreased greatly over time. So whether done by a stranger or familiar person, by the third feeding there was very little avoidance of the force-feedings. But we come to the final phase now, which I find to be the most damning against PETA...

4) Wouldn't do it to yourself. Guess what? Ducks and geese OVERFEED THEMSELVES! Geese spontaneously overeat grass and carrots by themselves at levels of over 3kg a day if left to their own devices. Ducks are not as large, but still undergo spontaneous hyperphagia (overeating) and can consume up to 750g when they do so. These are (shockingly) about the levels of overfeeding that the farmers force-feed them. So they're feeding them what they'd NORMALLY be eating when they overeat - they're just making SURE that they do it.

And no offense, but am I the only one who thinks of the farmer as "mommy" and the ducks/geese as "babies" and the phrase "Here comes the AIRPLANE!" coming into play with a funnel and feed instead of a spoon with mashed peas?

So ducks and geese regularly overfeed themselves. When farmers make sure they do it, they neither become afraid of the farmers, nor the cages where it happens, nor do they show significant signs of pain or stress when it happens!

The defense rests, your honor.

Time for you, the jury, to deliberate. PETA presented you with scary and mean-spirited video footage of a farmer force-feeding ducks. And while it may look painful to YOU, remember the FACT that it isn't painful to THEM. PETA plays on your emotions. Science plays on the facts. And while you may not LIKE the methods used in spite of the facts saying it's okay, you admittedly have the right to NOT eat/buy/cook foie gras. And guess what? If you have the right to NOT eat it, isn't it only natural that other people have the right TO eat it?

This is America. And if you can let PETA win and trick laws into effect that ban one kind of food, who's to say they won't get away with outlawing veal, or beef, or meat in general?

You have the right to eat meat. You have the right to eat whatever the hell you want. Fight for that right.

No comments: