Tuesday, June 28, 2005 | Pamela J. Wischkaemper should stop stuffing herself with diseased duck liver long enough to do some research next time she decides to write an opinion column on foie gras. Her deficient column states that no one wants to look at images of how the item is produced, images that depict immense cruelty and suffering. After admitting that these images are indeed disturbing, she simultaneously tells readers to look away and continue supporting it because whether or not this practice is cruel, she “wants [her] foie gras.”

Foie gras is always produced by force-feeding ducks huge quantities of food, enlarging the animals’ livers to 10 times their healthy size. This results in organ rupture, anal hemorrhaging and death for ducks that cannot withstand the trauma. All ducks on foie gras farms that have been force-fed for any length of time have trouble walking and pant incessantly, struggling to inhale oxygen into their pressure-filled bodies. Video footage and photographs taken by myself and other animal cruelty investigators of the conditions inside both U.S. foie gras farms can be found at www.StopForceFeeding.com.

People are starving in the world, and foie gras peddlers attempt to justify force-feeding ducks to the point of organ rupture to produce an appetizer for the rich. It is just plain offensive. Fortunately the law is stepping in and putting a stop to this sadistic gluttony. Fifteen countries have already banned this atrocity, and many states, including California, are now doing the same.

Wischkaemper states that animal advocates are more interested in protesting than discussing this issue. Like everything else in her column, this is intentionally false and misleading. I challenge Wischkaemper to come out from behind her computer screen and publicly debate me on this issue any day of the week.

Kath Rogers is co-director of the Animal Protection and Rescue League, a nonprofit organization based in San Diego.

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