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A few of many heated opinions about foie gras

May 12, 2004

It is troubling that after such a noticeable lack of coverage of the foie gras issue, the Los Angeles Times would choose to print such a load of drivel as David Shaw's article (Matters of Taste: "They're Quacking up the Wrong Tree," May 5). First he says that animal rights activists make "the anti-abortion movement look positively passive." Rubbish. No animal rights activist has ever shot and killed a doctor. Most animal rights activists are against harming any living being. Second, he argues that the suffering of ducks doesn't matter because the ducks were raised for that purpose. Many slaves were born in captivity also. That doesn't mean it was any less painful or more humane.

Cliff Kaminsky

Manhattan Beach

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I am one of these "broccoli-nibbling, kale-chomping vegans" David Shaw attacks. I come from France and was practically raised on foie gras. When I witnessed at a farm how cruel the practice of force-feeding was, that was it for me.

Claudine Erlandson

Shoreline, Wash.

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Terrific piece by David Shaw, who slipped behind the howls and placards of the animal rights activists to dig up the truth about ducks raised for foie gras. I hope the dimwitted California senators who passed legislation to ban the sale of foie gras by force-fed ducks will read what Shaw reported -- that the process of force-feeding sounds cruel, but it actually isn't.

As a frequent visitor to France and a fan of foie gras, I took the trouble to learn about the treatment of geese and ducks by foie gras producers. Jeanne Smith, the veterinarian, alluded to what I'd learned: The ducks aren't exactly scurrying away at force-feeding time. That kind of says it all -- at least to those of us who make decisions based on facts rather than emotions.

Amy Alkon

Santa Monica

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