French chefs and French-cuisine adoring foodies are celebrating in California today because they can legally purchase and consume foie gras again. It is not such a great day for many other and for ducks. The fatty liver delicacy is abhorred by animal rights advocates because of the way ducks are tortured and subjected to an excruciatingly painful existence in order to produce the substance.
The production of foie gras involves inserting a long tube down a duck's esophagus so that corn meal can be forced directly into its stomach. This causes the duck's liver to react by becoming grossly enlarged. According to many food-lovers, this violent force-feeding process produces one of the tastiest foods available: fatty duck liver pate.
Because of the painful conditions created during the production of this food, many animal rights advocates have succeeded in getting foie gras bans passed in local governments throughout the nation. California -- known for being a legislatively progressive state -- passed a ban on foie gras back in 2004. At the time, lawmakers said that force-feeding animals was an inhumane practice. The law, however, was not set to go into effect before an eight-year grace period had passed. During this time, chefs, French food lovers and foie gras producers have fought what looked like an uphill battle to overturn the legislation.
Foie Gras Production Still Prohibited
Several months ago, the United States Supreme Court rejected an appeal to challenge the law. Nevertheless, on Wednesday, a Los Angeles United States District Judge ruled that prohibiting foie gras sales in the state was encroaching on the federal government's regulatory domain. The judge's decision effectively lifted the ban on foie gras sales; however, California farmers will still be prohibited from producing the fatty liver delicacy.
One chef in Napa said that he was overjoyed by the recent decision. He said that his sous chefs are also excited, and they can now cook with their favorite ingredient again. Meanwhile, animal rights advocates are disappointed. According to an attorney representing People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the court's ruling does not change the reality that foie gras is a product of blatant animal abuse.
What Do You Think About Foie Gras?
Do you think that foie gras should stay off California menus? Or, do you think that California consumers will miss out on a tasteful delicacy and bans on the food product are unfair and/or the product of over-reacting animal rights advocates? If you have any questions about foie gras legislation in your state, find out more information by speaking with a qualified attorney.
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