Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Another Farm is Infiltrated

So another foie gras farm falls victim to another undercover sting by Canadian animal rights activists. A few weeks back we saw awful video footage taken at the farm of Elevages Perigord and this time it is Aux Champs d'Elisee

How do these people get in to these farms? Do they get jobs under false pretenses or bribe workers to let them in?

And when they show animals being abused, how do we know that what we are seeing is something that happens regularly or only when an animal rights activist is present? I find it odd that no charges were pressed in the case of Elevages Perigord, where video footage shot by animal rights activists showed ducks being stomped and suffocated. Is it possible that the some of the workers who were shown in that video were not employees at all but rather animal rights activists who could not be identified and prosecuted?

We know that animal rights activists are not above releasing immature minks which cannot survive in the wild, to prevent farmers from restocking their farms. So is it crazy to imagine that an animal rights activist might have thrown blood on the duck in this horrendous video? There is an especially gruesome scene where a worker is shown repeatedly slashing the throat of a duck as it flails. The owner of the farm has suggested that the worker had been goaded into this obscene act by the person holding the camera. That certainly sounds plausible to me.

There are enough people in the animal rights movement who have put bombs under cars, vandalized businesses, harassed restaurant patrons and workers, destroyed farms, that it seems entirely possible that these videos we keep seeing that show abuse at foie gras farms might be staged or, at the very least, instigated by the same people who claim to be trying to protect animals.

Warning! This is not a pleasant to watch.


Tags said...

Steve Martin was right. The French DO have a different word for everything. In this case canard means both duck and hoax.

Unfortunately, people assume that artisanal growers are just like factory farms, and PETA does nothing to discourage, and only encourage this canard.

Sean said...

While one should entertain the possibility that these events are staged or in some way provoked by those filming, I find that to be the least likely of explanations. First of all, why would an animal rights activist, someone committed enough to the cause to risk fines and imprisonment by filming these events undercover, betray his ideology by participating in the cruelty? For the vast majority of the individuals involved in similiar efforts, whether it be battery egg operations or kosher slaughterhouses, the person behind the camera cares more than most about the animals and abuses they are helplessly documenting.

Secondly, foie gras production is part of a larger system of modern animal husbandry which reduces animals to economic units. Even if it does not exist at the scale that the beef, pork, or chicken industry does, the same economic calculus informs how the animals are treated. What then is more likely: that foie gras production lacks the well documented abuses found in simliar industries, or that cruelty both in design and in practice creep into the raising and slaughtering of these animals? When you work to maximize profits, employing workers at little more than minimum wage, who are asked to kill and dismember animals repeatedly day after day, certain pathalogical behaviors tend to develop.

This content may seem so abhorent as to be fictional, but it is representative of what happens in factory farms all over America; representative of what happens when we lose a perspective on the sanctity of life.

tyronebcookin said...


Sean, more than likely all you just said has nothing to do (even if its true) with these videos...

Which leads me to this deduction:

Its a VERY good chance these videos are shot by people who 'REALLY DON'T CARE' and are willing to get what PETA wants on tape for the right price.

I don't think we have to get anymore technical than that...

Otherwise If I was PETA, I would throw/set down the camera (after obviously getting enough footage) and stop the carnage if I cared that deeply.

Hmmm, but it doesn't seem these 'Undercover People' do care that deeply...which leads me to believe they (PETA) pays for the footage...and pays well too I would imagine.

But thats just my opinion.

Tags said...


If you go to


you'll see the refutation of all PETA's arguments against foie gras.

As far as factory farms go, I think we're on the same page there.

Lizzie said...

Thank you Tags and Tyrone for your insightful comments!

And Sean, I've got some comments for you too:

"Helplessly documenting" animals they "care" about? It seems clear that the people responsible for the video took jobs in the farm. It also seems clear to me that they goaded other workers (or goaded other animal "rights" activists who'd also gotten jobs with them) to maliciously hurt these animals.

NO ONE wants to see animals suffer in this way - especially not the people who care for them on a daily basis. So why didn't these so-called "helpless" documentarians HELP? Anyone who truly cared about animals (and not some zealot-ridden cause) would have stepped in to stop the animal abuse. And anyone who cared about animals certainly would not have goaded someone into performing such clear abuse. Is it Farm Santuary's idea to sacrifice a few ducks along the way? This is disgusting and hypocritical.

Also, such abuse does not result in a good final product. This must be clear to anyone who knows anything about farming. (And Sean, if you know nothing about animals and farming, perhaps you should keep your fingers off your keyboard.) Some foie gras farmers pay their workers bonuses (not minimum wage, by the way - are you just making this stuff up?) for the highest quality livers. This encourages workers to treat the ducks they care for gently and with kindness.

This is propaganda many Americans and Canadians are going to fall for. And it is too bad they don't have the real facts about the animal welfare aspects of foie gras production. If you're interested in the facts you can check out these website articles:




Scotty Harris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scotty Harris said...

Lizzie is right. In looking at this, I wonder why any producer of foie gras would allow his/her product to be damaged in this way - both liver and the rest of the bird. It activate the "smell test" for these images, and I don't think it passes.

Since Bob was the first to post on my new blog, and in a shameless on-time act of self promotion, you can see more of my thoughts at http://cookingintheory.blogspot.com/

I like the term vegoterrorism . . .

Mark said...

Save the Animals from the Activists

I don't know how many ducks Aux Champs d'Elisee has on the farm. If they raise 1000 a week (artisan, not factory, farming) and go to market at 15 weeks, that would be about 15,000.

Take any population of 15,000. Look at 15,000 first graders, say. Would you guess that some of them are sick or get hurt on any given day? Maybe a bloody nose?

If you are against first graders or parents or school systems, a neat thing would be to take pictures of the sick and bleeding ones and represent the whole by the exception.

We know better when it comes to first graders. We should know better when it comes to farming.

It is not surprising the activists use this tactic. It is surprising that so many people fall for it.

The Fur Commission of the USA documents many occasions where the activists have been caught in the act, even paying to have animals mistreated for their video. See:


No animal farmer condones abuse, no school teacher condones child abuse.

If an employee takes your money to do a job, which involves taking care of animals, and observes abuses, it should be reported to management.

That Canadian activist certainly did not report what he saw to the company. If, as we have been led to understand, he also encouraged it(and this tactic has been previously documented, numerous times), he should be arrested and prosecuted on animal cruelty grounds himself.

I encourage investigation by law enforcement in Canada. But they need to be looking at both sides of this issue.