Please don't buy Foie Gras This Christmas

Lots of people have already made a serious dent in their Christmas shopping - and why not - go on with your organised selves. In this camp, I've bought one present for son, and one present for boyfriend. The End. It's a work in progress.

The other day I saw someone tweet to say that they'd reserved their supermarket delivery slot for Christmas, so as to get the much coveted premium time slot on Christmas Eve, and it got me thinking, in general, about Christmas food. 

For a start, this will be the first year that I'll spend Christmas as a single parent. That's kind of daunting, and there's no way I could fit a turkey in my little compact-kitchen oven, even if I would entertain the idea of cooking one to feed me and a four year old! Quite frankly - I have no idea what I'm going to do about Christmas food, and my recent ponderings as to whether or not I'm going to take the plunge and go vegan might sway my final decision anyway.

There's one thing I wanted to get out there for all of my readers though, regardless of how traditional you're going with your Christmas dining.

Please, please, please, step away from the Foie Gras. In past years foie gras has been a regular (French) purchase in the run up to Christmas for my family. As a meat eater, and an uneducated one at that, I'd previously been relatively ignorant to foie gras production methods, it is, for all intent and purpose, pate, after all, and I like pate. 

Foie Gras is a duck liver pate. A pate made from the liver of ducks (or sometimes geese). Now, I've always been partial to eating duck. However, the production of foie gras is actually illegal in the UK (though it's sale is not), for one very simple reason. It's disgusting.

The only way to make Foie Gras is to ensure that the bird's liver has the highest possible fat content. Ideally, foie gras producers look to increase the liver size by a minimum of ten times, if this is not obtained - no foie gras, simple as that. It is impossible to make humane foie gras, because there is only one known method to increase the size of a duck's liver by ten times; and that is to insert a tube (a metal tube at that, not even a rubber one) in to the duck's beak, feed it down it's throat and into it's stomach, and pump it full of grains. This needs to be done approximately every four hours. If you are successful in carrying out this painful exercise with enough regularity, you'll succeed in diseasing the duck's liver, causing it the same agony and despair as a human with liver disease, and it will die. Then, you can remove the diseased, fatty, bloated, unnaturally and hideously over sized liver, and make it in to a delicious pate.

Or you could not. 

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