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Monet and Matisse, Foie Gras Ducks

Story ID:9118
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Musings, Essays and Such
Location:? New York USA
Person:Farm Sanctuary
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I have known about the horrors of Foie Gras Ducks for many
years now, and think I can't learn anything new about them.
But somehow each time one of the animal welfare groups sends
us an account of their rescued animals - I always manage to
gain new insights into how cruelly we treat them.

This time Farm Sanctuary begins their newsletter about finding
Monet and Matisse, two foie gras ducks who they found dropped
off in the dead of night at their New York Sanctuary.

A mystery of how these two were rescued and brought to
the sanctuary, but indeed they were foie gras ducks because
their bills were covered with sores from the feeding tubes.

These two were very lucky ducks indeed - considering that
hundreds of thousands of them will never leave the horrible
"farms" where they are force-fed huge amounts of food through
large pipes pushed down their throats.

The writer of this newsletter muses on how Monet and Matisse
must have suffered in that foie gras factory. Yes, I called
it a farm but no way were they living on a farm. They probably
began "life" there when they were only two or three months old.

Imagine their pain when being grabbed by the neck and having
a pipe inserted down their throats into which huge quantities
of food was poured directly into their esophagus.

Many birds choke and gasp for air, and many will even die from
this cruel process. But as Farm Sanctuary noted - "Early and
agonized death is just business as usual in the factory farm

The only saving grace for these unfortunate foie gras ducks is
that they will probably be slaughtered at five months of age.
But of course, those 5 months of life were sheer hell for them.

Thinking of hell, I'm always reminded of someone's wise observation
re the animal condition. This person felt that if animals could
talk and they were asked who was their devil - without hesitation
they would point to man. And I really couldn't blame them, because
I have read so many incidences of cruelty done to them by man.


With the work of Farm Sanctuary and many caring individuals,
the California state legislature banned the production and sale
of force-fed foie gras. This compassionate law finally went
into effect in 2012. It made California the only place anywhere
where it is illegal to sell and buy this cruel product.

Not surprisingly, the profit-driven factory farm industry is now
suing to overturn the ban. Farm Sanctuary will have to go to
court to make sure that this law remains. Yes, this will be
costly, I hope those of us who can, will help to defray the

Farm Sancutary is also working to ban foie gras nationwide through
its lawsuit against the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Their
inspectors are supposed to condemn diseased animal organs. By
definition, foie gras is a diseased liver- so the USDA should not be
condoning its production or sale for public consumption.

And what about the Animal Welfare Act? If this isn't a gross violation
of it, then I don't know what is. This is terrible mistreatment of
ducks and geese -causing them much suffering. Many die as a result
of this cruel force-feeding.

Farm Sanctuary also has a petition to the US Secretary of Agriculture
Tom Vilsack - demanding that the USDA do its legal duty and ban the
sale of foie gras nationally. Of course, I will sign it and I
hope those of you who care, will find it at their internet site
and sign it there.


It is hoped that Monet and Matisse can make the same kind of recovery
as Farm Sanctuary's beloved Burton, a foie gras duck who arrived at
the sanctuary on legs that could barely straighten under the weight
of his giant force-fed body. This poor duck had diffultly breathing
because his liver was so engorged, and it pressed on his other organs.

With special attention and veterinary care, Burton improved so much
that he was able to join a group of female foie gras ducks rescued
earlier from a Canadian facility. They had been discarded to suffocate
in garbage bags.

Burton has chronic arthritis from his abuse, but he is now able to
enjoy life. He spends his days swimming in the communual pond and
baskng in the sun. A well deserved retiremnet, Burton. You surely
deserve it. If only the hundreds of thousands of other foie gras
ducks could join you.

Will it ever happen? I guess that depends on people of compassion,
and thus far, they are too few and far between in numbers to ever
see this happening any time soon.