Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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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