A Trenton lawmaker is proposing a ban on foie gras, the cracker-meat that comes from, well, read for yourself, from the story in the Atlantic City Press:

“To produce the delicacy, poultry farmers force-feed ducks or geese through metal tubes pushed down the birds’ throats, so the birds’ livers expand to several times the normal size.

The result is a duck or goose liver with a rich, buttery taste.”

That’s just “cruel and barbaric,” says Assemblywoman Joan Voss, D-Bergen. “To intentionally induce pain and suffering on these birds just to create a gourmet appetizer is appalling.”

As is often the case, of course, there’s someone to claim a purported commercial interest that should trump any concerns about barbarity. Ariane Daguin, who owns D’Artagnan, a national foie gras distributor based in Newark, tells the Press that prohibiting Garden State farmers from producing foie gras will put them at a competitive disadvantage against other states.

But the Press notes that:

No foie gras farms currently exist in the state. In fact only three such farms operate in the U.S., one in California and two in upstate New York.

Well, that takes care of that non-issue.

Still, D’Artagnan defends the practice of force-feeding ducks and geese as something they tolerate well, and wants to deflect attention to the way other fowl are treated. “Go see how chickens are being raised,” Daguin said. “It’s terrifying. It’s bad. It’s cruel.”

Why, yes, we see your point, Ariane! Let’s start force-feeding chickens, too! It’s the only humane thing to do!

Chicago recently banned the sale of foie-gras, and a California ban will become effective in 2012. Worldwide, 16 countries prohibit the production and/or sale of foie gras, according to a spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

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