Foie Gras Fatwa

The city of Chicago is one step closer to becoming foie gras-free. A city council committee on Tuesday approved a ban on the food, made ...
by | October 27, 2005

Duck_1 The city of Chicago is one step closer to becoming foie gras-free. A city council committee on Tuesday approved a ban on the food, made from the livers of ducks and geese, which translates from the French as "fatty liver."

Animal rights supporters say production of foie gras amounts to animal cruelty, because the ducks and geese are force-fed in order to fatten their livers.

The full city council will vote on the ban next week. Chicago is only the latest place to consider a ban. Legislators in Oregon, New York, Illinois and Massachusetts have all discussed outlawing the food. But so far, according to NoFoieGras.org, the only place in the U.S. to actually institute a ban is California. There, lawmakers passed a measure last year that prohibits the production and sale of foie gras, although the prohibition doesn't kick in until 2012.

It's pretty hard to argue that force-feeding an animal three times a day, engorging its liver to 10 times the normal size, isn't cruel. As more states and localities consider bans, foie gras may be a sitting duck.

Zach Patton | Executive Editor | zpatton@governing.com