Yeah, and slaves liked being slaves! It gave their lives structure!Long gone are the days when defenders of factory farming argued that farm animals simply aren't capable of suffering, or are too stupid to even know they're suffering, as was sometimes self-servingly claimed. Today's proponents of animal agribusiness instead acknowledge that of course they're concerned about preventing animal suffering, but that our nation's billions of chickens, turkeys, pigs, and other farm animals could hardly be happier.
We saw this phenomenon in a recent New York Times article when someone who opposes a law banning force-feeding ducks and geese for foie gras was quoted as arguing that the practice is something the birds actually look forward to.
The article was about California's overwhelmingly passed law banning the force-feeding of fowl, and the opponent of the law assured readers concerned about animal cruelty, "I've seen the videos, and everyone says the same thing: they all seem to run up to be fed."Even many foie gras consumers acknowledge that the practice isn't pleasant.
Let's back up. Foie gras, French for fatty liver, is a so-called delicacy produced by force-feeding ducks or geese several times per day until their livers become diseased and enlarge up to ten times their normal size. Most people wouldn't want to eat any part of a diseased animal, but in the case of foie gras, it's the diseased organ itself on which consumers dine.
Now, back to the claim that the ducks "run up to be fed." Watching a short video taken by Compassion Over Killing during a public tour of Hudson Valley Foie Gras (the largest foie gras factory farm in the U.S.) shows that far from running to their abusers with mouths agape, ducks are actually huddled in the corner and must be grabbed and dragged in order to be force-fed. It's hard to understand how anyone could watch such a video and not applaud the landslide vote in the California legislature to provide a reasonable phase-out and eventually bring the practice to an end.