The photo above is of a Moulard duck rescued from the foie gras industry (photo credit Farm Sanctuary)
Foie gras, French for “fatty liver,” is the unnaturally fattened liver of a duck (or, less commonly, a goose). It is produced by force feeding ducks so that their livers grow from six to ten times the normal size. Images of these birds hanging featherless after slaughter show bulging livers that take up the majority of their lower half.
Ducks used for foie gras are generally all males. The female duck’s liver doesn’t grow as well as the male’s, so it is most profitable to raise only males. Female ducklings are destroyed or sold to duck meat farms overseas. This use of males is a break from what generally happens in animal agriculture, where more often than not male animals have little or no value.
While the practice of force feeding birds has been with us for thousands of years, our modern view of foie gras as a delicacy likely comes from its connection to French cuisine. Because dishes such as foie gras appear on the menus of fancy, expensive restaurants, we collectively come to regard them as desirable.
Growing Public Awareness
The “Humane Foie Gras” Myth
New Hampshire Restaurants Serving Foie Gras
Various New Hampshire restaurants have served foie gras at one time or another. As of June 2022, New Hampshire Animal Rights League is aware of three restaurants that serve foie gras:
Note: At The Foundry in Manchester, foie gras is no longer on the menu. When asked about the decision, the General Manager wrote, “We decided not to have it on the menu anymore due to non sale and too much waste on product.”
What You Can Do
- Avoid restaurants that serve foie gras. Consider contacting the restaurant and expressing your concern.
- Educate friends and family about the cruelty behind foie gras.