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(US-ny) Fowl Feast - Hudson Valley Foie Gras

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    For Hudson Valley Foie Gras, the future has never looked brighter. As the world s largest producer of fine-quality foie gras, the Sullivan County company has
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2005
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      For Hudson Valley Foie Gras, the future has never looked brighter. As
      the world's largest producer of fine-quality foie gras, the Sullivan
      County company has seen its sales explode in the last 10 years.
      Thirty-three of Zagat's 50 top-rated restaurants in New York City have
      Hudson Valley Foie Gras (HVFG) on their menus. And while per capita
      consumption is still low in the United States, a product formerly
      reserved for the super-rich is on the cusp of becoming the balsamic
      vinegar of the next decade.

      But there is a storm brewing in Sullivan County. Animal rights
      activists have dubbed foie gras "fur food." At their urging,
      California has recently joined Germany, Poland, Finland, Sweden, the
      UK, and Israel in banning foie gras production, by 2012. The ban will
      effectively put Sonoma Foie Gras, HVFG's only US competition, out of
      business.

      Now the animal defenders are setting their sights on the Hudson Valley
      and vowing to do whatever it takes to put Hudson Valley Foie Gras out
      of business.
      ...
      According to Sarahjane Blum, founder of the anti–foie gras group
      Gourmet Cruelty, lack of information is what drives the industry.
      "People either refuse to acknowledge how foie gras is made or they
      don't know. This industry survives on people's willful ignorance," she
      said.

      Blum is not the archetypal animal rights activist. The 26-year-old PhD
      candidate is a life-long vegan, but somehow avoids the off-putting,
      self-righteous attitude of most PETA-types. She claims she isn't
      trying to tell people what to eat; she just wants to show them how it
      ended up on their plate.

      Blum said that she requested tours of both US foie gras farms. But
      when her calls went unreturned, she led a group of activists on
      several late-night, self-guided tours of both establishments—with a
      video camera. The result is Delicacy of Despair, a 16-minute
      documentary that promises a view "behind the closed doors of the foie
      gras industry."

      The film paints a grim picture. The activists found ducks kept in
      isolation cages, ducks with malformed beaks and crippled feet. Some of
      the ducks were so fat their legs could no longer support them. Farm
      employees went about their business— roughly grabbing ducks by the
      neck and jamming in feeding tubes. Trashcans overflowed with duck
      corpses. There's even a shot of two ducks being eaten alive by rats.
      The film is horrifying, and incredibly effective. But my many years in
      television news has taught me that selective editing can make a bad
      situation look a thousand times worse. To find out what was really
      going on at a foie gras farm, I would have to visit one.

      --
      full story:
      http://www.chronogram.com/issue/2005/02/tastings/

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