Foie Gras

Foie gras ("fatty liver") is a very popular delicacy in France, where most of the production takes place. It is produced by enlarging the livers of geese and ducks through force feeding.

Even though France is the largest producer and consumer of foie gras, it is also produced in other countries, including Hungary, Bulgaria, the United States, Canada and China. Hungary is the second largest producer and the largest exporter of foie gras. Most of the Hungarian foie gras is imported into France.

Force-Feeding

The force-feeding is done by farm workers several times a day. They will grab the animals one by one and shove long metal pipes down their throats all the way to their stomachs. They will then squeeze a lever attached to the pipe, activating a mechanized pump, which will shoot a large amount of corn mixture directly into their stomachs.

The foie gras industry uses mainly male ducks and geese, because they produce larger livers. Female hatchlings are thrown in the trash.


A farm worker force feeds the birds by plunging a long, metal pipe down their throats several times a day.


Unable to withstand the brutal force-feeding treatment, this tortured bird puts his head down to die.

Damage From Force-Feeding

The force-feeding will cause the animals to become grossly overweight in just a few weeks. Their livers will expand to up to 10-12 times their normal size. The overweight animals have a lot of trouble walking, standing and even breathing.
The force-feeding also causes severe damage to their throats. A lot of ducks and geese will die before they are send to be slaughtered. The mortality rate of animals raised on foie gras farms is among the highest in the farming industry.


Rough handling during the force feeding process results in bloodied birds, many of them with broken bills.

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Foie gras: GNU FLD License. Other pictures by Farm Sanctuary.