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Should restaurants still serve foie gras?

As the debate over the ethics of foie gras rages on, do you think it should be erased from our gastronomical dictionary once and for all?

Published on April 24th 2009.

Should restaurants still serve foie gras?
Yes: - 59%
No: - 41%

MOST people would consider the liver to be a throw-away part of an animal, prizing the other cuts more. But in the case of foie gras, everything is centered around cultivating and coddling the fatty liver, while the rest of the duck or goose is considered the throw-away product.

The consumption of foie gras has long been a contentious issue, because it is obtained by force-feeding ducks and geese through tubes inserted into their throats. Animal rights activists say the process is painful and distressing for the birds. Production has already been banned in Britain, and whilst most supermarkets have stopped stocking foie gras, restaurants are still allowed to import it from abroad.

The controversy remains, with animal activists constantly lobbying their MPs and some resorting to violent, anonymous protests, targeting shops and restaurants that stock it. Eating foie gras has become more than an animal cruelty issue. It has gone as far back to the old debate of eating animals in the first place.

The recent vandalism of a Cheshire restaurant proves that the liver issue is not about to go away. 39 Steps Restaurants in Styal saw six windows

smashed and the words ‘foie gras’ scrawled on the walls. The owners have now removed the dish from the menu "to protect customers and staff".

Confidential's very own Gordo has spoken out against the protests. He said: “Anonymous violent protest is hugely cowardly and ineffectual. It's wrong even if the cause was for say, poverty and children's health. You make a stand - you're either going to eat animal produce or you be a vegetarian. But don't force your opinion on someone else. I will not push a vegan down and force feed them rump steak.”

He says that the production of foie gras has become a symbol of the French wife's independence, saying they worked with geese in this way as far as 250 years ago in Gascony, the home of foie gras.

So vegetarians and meat eaters alike, what do you think? Should restaurants still serve foie gras or should it be erased from our gastronomical consciousness once and for all? Vote on the Homepage.

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9 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousApril 17th 2009.

Foie Gras tastes of nothing anyway. Shiphams paste has got more flavour. So animals die in agony for something which tastes of nothing???

The Galloping GourmandApril 17th 2009.

Surely old man you mean that foie gras tastes like nothing else!

Delia SmithApril 17th 2009.

Can you get foie gras in Liverpool yet?

AnonymousApril 17th 2009.

My blood is boiling

angry of west derbyApril 17th 2009.

I always thought all foie gras was produced in this way - force feeding geese via a funnel - but I watched a programme recently about a farm in the UK that is producing ethically farmed foie gras. I don't know if that's a contradiction in terms in their feeding regime but they didn't mention anything about force feeding - unless of course they didn't want to admit it. It seems to me that surely it's a matter of supply and demand and if people didn't buy this product, there would be no market for it and the practice would end. Is that too simple?In any case SOMEONE must like it and must be buying it whether it is from this country or from France. Like I have stated previously it IS obviously being produced here too. Is the production of veal any better than foie gras?

DigApril 17th 2009.

I've had foie gras in The Mal. If production is banned in Britain why was it on their local & homegrown menu? Although when I ate it I was ignorant as to how it was produced. I won't be eating it again. It do find it an unecessary & cruel delicacy. It wouldn't be missed in the same way our staple meats would.

Pop TartApril 17th 2009.

I have only just fully realised what this is, i think it's hideous and barbaric - it should be banned immediately, there is no need for animal suffering in this way.

AnonymousApril 17th 2009.

Appalling! Ugh

connoiseurApril 17th 2009.

It is a delicacy. we are talking about a duck for heavens sake not a child!Tis just an animal for food, who cares how its raised?The special taste is preserved by restricting movement, thus ensuring every mouthful of pate is full of flavour.In some areas of Southern France, farmers to this day actually nail the feet of the best ducks to wooden planks to completely restrict movement and promote fuller flavour.Grow up its a duck, it is there to be eaten.

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