Reader Russ A. Dewey points to this discussion of Chicago's recent and pathbreaking ban on foie gras produced by force feeding ducks (and the occasional goose). Writes the Trib's Mark Caro:
I'm not defending the practice of force-feeding, but I did travel to Sonoma Foie Gras for an extensive tour last spring, and I couldn't say definitively that the ducks there were treated worse than your average supermarket chicken (which I've never observed at an industrial farm). The Sonona Foie Gras ducks live their first 12 weeks in spacious barns and outdoors before the [2.5]-week period known as gavage, during which they are fed corn formulas via copper tubes dropped all the way down their throats.
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