Thursday, May 24, 2012

Foie Gras, The Writer Who Knew Too Little

You didn’t strike me as a shy person responding on my page Spence Cooper, but I’m a little confused as to why you didn’t respond on the site you wrote the story for which was Friends Eat. So that we are all on the same page, I’ll go ahead and "cut n paste" your entire response to me. Seems only appropriate as I’m convinced it’s how you “wrote” your entire story…here is your response to me and going forward your hack story (I mean story in the most rudimentary way possible) will be in bold italics:

“If I had included more quoted material from those you were in agreement with, and less from those demented "anti-meat people", I doubt your judgment would be as harsh.”

 “And besides, duck or goose, humanely killing animals for meat is one thing, but the barbaric process of producing Foie Gras is inexcusable cruelty for the sake of momentary hedonistic pleasure.”

My judgment wasn’t on the story Spence, but rather on the irresponsible way in which it was written and presented.  It was a hack story and there wasn’t an original thought in the entire thing.  I’m not a journalist Spence so cut me a little slack here… I’m guessing two of the founding precepts of journalism are not “Remember to cut and paste.” Or “When reporting, always have an opinion and make sure your story reflects that.” 

I see you got the notes from your readers that Foie Gras can come from either Duck or Goose and also is not a Pate….Good for you for fixing that. Just one more thing Spence…and again I’m no fancy journalist like you, but shouldn’t fact checking be part of your writing “process?” After all, Foie Gras is an organ…it actually the liver. It’s a thing…Foie Gras is not made from other things to make it Foie Gras. I guess pushing an agenda can make you a bit blind to facts…. But you may want to change it again.

Now unlike you Spence, I’ve actually been to Hudson Valley Foie Gras and cared enough about the subject to learn about it… next time you do a story on something I suggest you …. Oh I dunno… maybe do some research. Since you didn’t  I’m willing to take a little time and educate you on the subject using your so called “story” to help illustrate just how uneducated both you….and the people you cut and paste from ….are… on the subject of Foie Gras.

“Foie gras production involves force-feeding restrained ducks by shoving metal pipes down their throats multiple times a day, called gavage, and pumping them full of grain, or corn and fat, which leads to acute hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver disease, which in turn leaves ducks suffering with malfunctioning livers that are ten times their normal size”

You think a metal tube is uncomfortable Spence? How about a whole fish expanding a ducks throat to 3 and 4 times its normal circumference….yet ducks  manage to do that all by themselves…. Maybe we should pass a law regulating the size of fish ducks can swallow in the wild huh Spence?!  A Ducks Crop can hold over 3 cups of food at a time and when left to their own devices and food supplies being bountiful, they will eat that much voluntarily. But maybe with some therapy Spence, we can help them with their eating “issues.”

Hepatic Lipidosis… Wow Spence, very fancy name. Fortunately for Ducks and Geese they don’t get this disease as they are waterfowl and their livers get naturally fat just before migration, it’s an energy storage system….kinda like how us humans get a gut, our body’s way of dealing with feast or famine. (Incidentally this is the same age at which the Ducks at HVFG are being fed larger amounts of food.)

“Our lawsuit is based on the fact that the PPIA dictates that diseased animal organs are supposed to be condemned by USDA inspectors, and foie gras is — by definition — a diseased organ. Thus, USDA should do its job by banning the sale of foie gras nationally.”

Yeah except the “disease” of which they speak doesn’t occur in waterfowl….opps! Guess someone forgot to do their homework!

“Force feeding causes a number of injuries: bruising or perforation of the esophagus; hemorrhaging and inflammation of the neck resulting from the repeated insertion of the pipe to the throat; and asphyxia caused by food improperly forced into the trachea.

Quite simply, no it doesn’t…and besides that, you can’t sell and make money off an animal that is dead. A healthy well cared for animal is in the best interest of the farm.  Oh, and ducks don’t have a gag reflex so they’re not choking…. Furthermore Ducks can have the esophagus blocked fully and still breath fine… “Remember swallowing whole fish?!”  Yup that’s right… they can breath and eat at the same time….imagine that Spence.

 “Wounds of the esophagus may subsequently become infected. Force feeding also results in numerous illnesses and disease, including hepatic lipidosis, bacterial and fungal infections, malnourishment, and lameness. For these reasons, mortality rates for force-feed ducks are 10 to 20 times higher than those for non-force fed ducks.”

Well pigeons “MIGHT” fly out of my ass dragging barbed wire Spence… The beginning of the paragraph is saying things that might happen. Hell with the same logic, people might spill hot coffee on them and get burned. Does that mean we should pass a law saying coffee cups should have warnings…oh, so you’re the guy they did that for!

Mortality rate for Ducks at HVFG is about 3 percent… If you think the ducks in the wild are living better than that Spence. You’re delusional! Hell, there are whole countries of people that don’t have mortality rates that good! The USA infant mortality rate average for the last three years  is 7.07…does this mean we should ban having babies Spence?!

You cut and pasted (THEN BURRIED): “…USDA would not allow a diseased organ to be sold, and called the production of foie gras “a reversible, healthy process in an animal, beyond question.””

HOLY SCHNIKES …The only fact based piece you bothered to put in your story Spence…good boy!

Look, let’s cut the crap and call this ban what it really is… one step closer to banning all meat. If you read PETA and National Humane Societies propaganda, you’ll see they are against all killing of animals for meat or otherwise. This isn’t a ban on Foie Gras, it’s a ban on meat eaters Spence…Wake up and smell the hamburgers before you’re eating tofurkey on a gluten free bun. Can the foie industry use regulation or at the very least oversight? Perhaps. Does it need to be banned outright…. No way in hell.

Look the bottom line is this Spence; these animals are raised for human consumption…period. If you find that hard to swallow then grab a granola bar (minus the honey) and speak up. Otherwise, don’t tell me what I can and can’t eat. The best we can do while they are being raised, is to do so in a respectful and reasonable manner. But in the end…they will look nice, and taste delicious with some reduced red wine sauce and Pommes Anna. Oh and Spence…don’t use the word “hedonistic”, especially when you wrote a story on Foie Gras and you don’t even know what it is to begin with. It only makes you sound…moronic.

Bon Appetite!


  1. By Spencer's logic any food we ate for reasons beyond sustenance would be for hedonistic pleasure. Whether that be foie or really tasty tofu.

    Bad writing and a cowardly way to handle the responses. If you're going to write about a hot-button topic, you have to be prepared to take some criticism, especially when you've done such a shitty job of it.

    1. The fact that he chose the topic Foie Gras, and didn't know what it was.... should have been reason enough to have the article pulled Roddy.

      The fact that Spence didn't voluntarily retract the whole story just goes to show he is too ignorant to know when he is being a dipshit. I think it just goes to prove my point that most people who think they are against foie gras, are that way because of some tired propaganda footage shown over and over again....and they find it so disturbing they never bother to look into the matter on their own.

      They accept it as gospel and start spouting off on something they don't know anything about...I think another thing that's sad, is that the host site didn't have a thing to say about the idiot's story.

      Credibility means everything... and if you lower your standards just once. Just for the sake of having something there, even if it's not right just ONE SINGLE TIME.... it becomes your new standard... What starts out as a Finely made Monte Cristo, just turns into another tired old Shit sandwich.

  2. "...mortality rates for force-feed ducks are 10 to 20 times higher than those for non-force fed ducks.”

    This breaks me up laughing. I don't know about anyone else, but I've never been served a live duck for dinner. I believe that would make the mortality rate equal, whether force fed or non-force fed. He's still attempting to use emotional blackmail by resorting to colorful and creative statistics.

    No, it can't be intellectual blackmail. It wasn't an intelligent claim.

    1. Hey Noeleen! Yeah, mortality rate is important to me with regards to things like Cattle and Chicken...mostly because I need to be sure both are completely dead before I get them and not just a little dead. So make my mortality rate 100% please!

      The mortality rate they throw around is asinine and means nothing other than to give cute little ducks that human like quality anti meat eaters crave in all animals. So that one day herds of wild cows and gaggles of geese can all live in harmony upon this great earth....

      They forget predation happens everywhere in the wild... If I had the money I'd send all the PETA and other "We want to tell you what you can eat" groups to the middle of Africa, and let them walk around for a few weeks to illustrate my point.