No Foie for You: Master Chef Drops Supplier After Animal Cruelty Allegations

Last month, animal activists L214 released a disturbing video that they say was secretly shot from inside the farms of Ernest Soulard, a high-end foie gras supplier. 

The graphic footage shows birds that are rendered immobile in filthy cages, some with gaping wounds, and others of them lying dead along the production line.

Since the video's release, animal advocacy groups have called for Soulard's best-recognized clients to stop patronizing the foie producer. Heeding the call, last week chef Gordon Ramsay announced he was putting a halt to all incoming shipments from Soulard. On Friday, Michelin-star chef Joël Robuchon also joined in the ban.

Eater reports that Robuchon announced through a spokesperson that he was terminating his business with Soulard at all of his restaurants worldwide, "pending a demonstration that the animals are not mistreated as they are in the video."

Amazon U.K. was reportedly also moved by the video footage, and as a result, the company issued a ban on the sale of all foie gras products sitewide. 

While Robuchon and Ramsay may have dropped Soulard, they haven't yet made further comments about patronizing other foie suppliers.

A Soulard rep has publicly defended the company's behavior, explaining that gavage—the practice of fattening the birds' livers by force-feeding them through a tube put down their throats—takes place just 10 days out of their 12-week life span, and the rest of the time the birds are free-range.

But that may not serve as much of a defense. Well before the video's release, the debate over the ethicality of foie gras was raging for years, and at its heart lies the practice of gavage. Some contend that the birds aren't physically hurt by the feeding pipe. Others disagree, saying that superb foie can be achieved without any force-feeding at all, rendering the practice cruel and unnecessary.

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Original article from TakePart