Saturday, May 20, 2023

Animal rights: Supreme Court weighs California foie gras ban appeal

WASHINGTON − Sometimes the same issue crops up again and again on the Supreme Court's docket − Obamacare, for instance, or immunity for police officers accused of excessive force.

And sometimes the issue is foie gras.

More than a decade after California banned the sale of the French delicacy because it is made by force-feeding birds, a group of farmers in New York and Canada are once again asking the Supreme Court to overturn the prohibition. The court ducked earlier iterations of the lawsuit, declining to hear the case in 2014 and 2019.

"This case happens to involve foie gras, perhaps the most maligned and misunderstood food in the world," the farmers argued in their brief to the high court.


I think eating foie gras is wrong, delectable though it might be. That's because you have to torture the geese in order to get them to produce the appropriate livers. And I've eaten some great foie gras. Truly memorable, in fact, both at fancy restaurants, one in NYC and one in Boston. I don't know where the geese came from.

It's a matter of rough utilitarianism. I got some brief moments of pleasure from the livers. The geese presumably suffered pretty horribly from having funnels shoved down their throats and grain poured down until their livers burst.

I have concluded that eating meat is ok as long as the critters are raised and slaughtered humanely, which should not be too hard. If we could extend the same courtesy toward all the little pre-born not-baby babies, that would be great, but I'm not holding my breath.

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