Foie gras comes from ducks (or geese) who are force-fed a special diet for 3 weeks before they meet the butcher. PETA contends this force-feeding process, gavage in French, is torture, recognizing that most people will not get incensed at the idea of ducks being butchered for food in general. Mrs. Abe, a country girl from France, has actually fed ducks in this manner, so I have it straight from the frog's mouth that the process is not that upsetting to the ducks, let alone torture.
Meanwhile, Loretta Swit, "former actress" according to Sudouest, is a PETA spokesperson on this issue. She compares gavage to Abu Ghraib (what else?!), and draws the conclusion that permitting foie gras production to continue leads directly to prisoner abuse. Hotlips, Hawkeye and BJ: was there some moonbat virus loose on the set of MASH or something in the water? Why do these people think anyone cares about their opinions vs. anyone else's?
French-American restauranteur, Didier Durand, is fighting the ban in Chicago. Mr. Durand also has first hand experience with the process and confirms that the ducks do not suffer. It's not a big item for his restaurant, Cyrano's Bistrot, but it's the principle of the thing for Durand. Foie gras has been produced this way for 5000 years, dating back to ancient Egypt. Unfortunately the ban proposal was adopted by board of health of Chicago, and the issue will go to the city council at the end of the year.
After he testified against the ban, Durand's restaurant was vandalized by PETA thugs. Windows were broken, potted plants tipped over, and fake blood splashed on the door. The stunt backfired, as the publicity brought in more customers in defiance of PETA's fascist tactics. Durand went from selling four portions of foie gras per day to twenty.
Personally, I detest liver normally, but I love foie gras. So if you get a chance to try some, dive in before PETA restricts your freedom to do so. Remember, they really don't want anyone eating any meat at all.
Update: Fixed the spelling of "foie" in the title.