As 007, Sir Roger Moore battled the bad guys, and today, as a real-life Knight of the British Empire, he's still going strong. Moore has spent the past several years going after those who make their living by force-feeding ducks and geese, often until their livers burst, to create foie gras (French for "fatty liver").
Sir Roger graciously agreed to narrate PETA's foie gras video, which contains graphic footage shot at farms in New York, California, and France. The birds are confined to iron-maiden-like cages that are barely large enough to contain them--ducks are virtually immobilized, with only their heads poking through a hole in the top of the cage. Birds are shown laboring to breathe; that's because foie gras is really a force-feeding-induced illness--hepatic lipidosis. Some birds are too sick to hold their heads up. They are filthy because they are too sick and the cages are too small to allow them to groom themselves. Many birds have a gooey discharge oozing from their eyes (ducks and geese are water birds and would normally bathe their eyes many times a day) and suffer from gaping, bloody wounds caused when the force-feeding pipes puncture their necks.
When Sir Roger heard about PETA U.K.'s campaign to stop the British department store Selfridges from selling foie gras, he sent a private letter to Selfridges' owner, Galen Weston, offering to buy up the company's entire remaining stock of the cruelly-produced food if Weston would agree never to restock it again. Westin did not respond, so Sir Roger went public, taking to the airwaves and appearing on the U.K.'s Channel 4 News and in U.K. newspapers.
In an opinion piece that was printed recently in the Daily Mail, Sir Roger wrote, "I have seen few things so revolting and shaming as the horrendous routine cruelty to ducks and geese that goes into the production of one of the world's so-called culinary delicacies, foie gras...I refuse to speak to old friends who, even when they know how it is produced, are prepared to overlook the suffering for self-gratification." Says Sir Roger, "My wife, Christina, feels just the same. No creature deserves to be treated as these birds are for our delectation."
Foie gras production is so cruel that force-feeding birds has been banned in many countries, including Israel, Switzerland, and the U.K. (although, ironically, it is still legal to sell foie gras there). In 2004, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill outlawing both the production and the sale of foie gras in California by 2010. Many restaurants, however, still serve it.
If Roger Moore has his way, they won't for very long.
As he says so eloquently in his commentary: "There are vile and inhumane practices all over the world, but I have always been a great believer in the power of education to change things. Where foie gras is concerned the facts speak for themselves. No one who is made aware of the truth of these ghastly practices will want to perpetuate them or respect anyone who does."
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