Don’t Read This

If you don’t want to read something that will make you sad or angry, don’t read this. I wish I hadn’t seen that news story on Channel 7 the other night. Whenever I think humans are taking steps toward compassion and understanding, our meanness comes roaring out of  the pit where we keep shoving it, shocking and sickening us.

About a year ago, California established a ban on selling or creating foie gras.

Everyone involved in its production, and its spoiled consumers, screamed in pain. How can you take away this delicacy? How can you attack our delusions of aristocracy? Do you like ducks better than people?

Torturing ducks to death to please human palates may or may not be the worst thing the factory farmers do. But I’m guessing it’s one of the top three. I’m also guessing that most of the foie gras sold does not come from animals who have been humanely slaughtered. The news story, based on videos—I don’t recall who took them–was graphic. The force-feeding that so distorted their bodies that they couldn’t move, the rat-infested pens where they sat helpless, easy prey to hungry rodents.

And now the ban has been overturned. How can this happen?

When I lived closer to the Petaluma River, I walked the dogs there in the morning. One day I saw a pair of river otters. All kinds of water birds swam and fed there. In the spring, the mother mallards would come out of their nests, hidden deep in the creeks, leading their broods on a daily swim. One day, as I stood above the water, a mother swimming close to the opposite shore took one look at me and swam around her babies to put her own body between them and me. I moved on. This was her home. I was just visiting. She was right to be wary of me.




One Response

  1. I don’t even like to read fiction about torture. And I’m told that animal torture in fiction hurts sales. But for foie gras it’s ok?

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