Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

Home · Articles · News · Other Opinions · Foie Gras Controversy...
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Foie Gras Controversy Continues

Julie Janovsky - December 3rd, 2007
I have been following with interest the ongoing debate over foie gras production in the Northern Express. Many of your readers have done an excellent job in pointing out all the facets of foie gras production that make it so reprehensible: the suffocation of day-old female ducklings, the painful injuries caused by jamming an inflexible pipe down a bird’s throat, and the deliberate infliction of a deadly, horribly painful liver disease.
You don’t have to be an animal-rights activist or vegetarian to oppose this type of abuse. Force feeding an animal to the brink of death—so that his liver expands to ten times its normal size—is inherently cruel. The fact that this is done for the sake of an overpriced “delicacy” consumed by a tiny percentage of the population makes it all the more morally repugnant.
With so many people worldwide dying of malnutrition and starvation, it seems a travesty that a handful of misguided gourmands would choose the preservation of this barbaric practice as the cause for which they fight so stridently. Short-term profits and self-indulgence should not take precedence over basic decency.
Perhaps this is why a growing number of socially responsible businesses and restaurateurs have nixed foie gras from their inventory. They recognize that part of being human is recognizing our moral obligation to treat weaker creatures utterly at our mercy with some measure of human compassion.
Arguments that mock or dismiss concerns about foie gras cruelty defy all reason. Based on specious, self-serving claims that ducks enjoy an existence as assembly-line receptacles of forced, fatal gluttony, such arguments insult our intelligence. Should we also suppose that the countless female chicks, who are treated literally as trash, also enjoy their slow killing by suffocation in plastic bags?
In the course of the foie gras debate, columnist Rick Coates wonders, “Who do we believe? What do we believe?” He does not need to wonder and neither do you. We invite those who care about the truth to view undercover video and photos taken at foie gras facilities in France, the U.S. and Canada, which plainly depict the conditions under which foie gras ducks live—and die. No one possessed of any measure of human compassion can see the uncensored reality of foie gras production and still find it acceptable.
In the most recent undercover investigation, one former employee of a foie gras production facility in Canada recounts:
As soon as the ducks received their dose they would frantically shake their heads from side to side, trying to spit out the food and often vomiting…During the last few days of feeding it became easier and easier to force feed the ducks because they were so sick they could no longer struggle. . . As my supervisor stated, “The point of gavage is to make a duck as sick as possible, to bring them to the brink of death.”
No matter how the pro-foie gras propagandists try to spin their abusive industry, this cruelty is simply so extreme that it falls far outside the bounds of what is acceptable in any civilized society. Foie gras production is one form of culinary cruelty that’s simply too much to stomach.

For more information on foie gras, please visit www.nofoiegras.org and view the most recent investigation at http://youtube.com/watch?v=qxR4oCg35Jg.
 
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