Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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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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