Dec 17, 2010, 10:28AM

On the Ethics of Foie Gras

"So the real question is: is the production of foie gras torturous under even the best conditions?"

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  • So let me get this straight: The writer objects to people who protest the consumption of foie gras by arguing that they should REALLY be protesting factory farming on a larger and more repulsive scale; what reason do we have to think that these activists aren't also protesting other kinds of animal cruelty? There's something tortured and defensive about the logic in this piece - his argument is something like: ducks bred for foie gras in the United States don't suffer too terribly, so activists have no reason to indict the consumption of foie gras as unethical. Yet the activists have proof that certain kinds of foie gras production IS unethical and cruel; why is his evidence, drawn from a guided tour of a duck farm, so much more persuasive than, say, videos from PETA? If he simply argued "hey, ducks at this particular farm don't have it so bad," then his evidence wold fully support his claims; his pointless and unreasonable criticism of animal rights activists makes him look foolish and irrational. Maybe Mr. Lopez-Alt, who graduated from MIT and who writes quite clearly and cogently, would be able to think about the issue more clearly after reading some Peter Singer.

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