California Says Au Revoir to Foie Gras

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On July 1, a California law banning the force-feeding of ducks and geese for foie gras—and the sale of products from force-fed birds—goes into effect, making the Golden State the first in the US to join the ranks of over a dozen nations that have banned this cruel practice, including Germany, Israel, Italy, Argentina, and the United Kingdom.

Foie gras is French for “fatty liver,” and in order to produce this so-called “delicacy,” ducks and geese are force fed abnormally large quantities of food, causing their livers to become diseased and swell up to ten times the normal size inducing a condition known as “hepatic lipidosis” or fatty liver disease.

Undercover videos inside foie gras factory farms (like COK’s investigation) reveal the sheer barbarity of this industry and have documented what can only be described as a torture chamber for birds. Compassionate people everywhere agree that there is nothing refined about eating the grossly fattened liver of a tortured bird, and experts from around the world have concluded that the practice of force-feeding ducks and geese for foie gras is inhumane.

Earlier this year, COK and fellow animal protection groups filed a lawsuit against the US Dept. of Agriculture arguing that since foie gras is, by definition, the product of a diseased animal, the federal agency should condemn its sale nationwide under the Poultry Products Inspection Act.

Dozens of California restaurants – and hundreds more nationwide – have already stopped serving foie gras. And while it’s hard to imagine how anyone could justify the act of torturing of birds simply to please our palates with a product of no nutritional value, there are indeed a handful of chefs and gourmands childishly whining and rising in defense of this table treat.

That’s why we’ve created this faux gras recipe so diners can indulge in the delights of foie gras without the
cruelty. Share this with friends and family – and you can even download this recipe (PDF) to take with you to restaurants still serving foie gras, encouraging them to offer this gourmet treat instead.

Faux Gras Paté  (serves 10)

  • gras10 oz Chai-Pow Yu Vegetarian Abalone or mild flavored seitan
    (approx. 1 can or pack)
  • 15 oz garbanzo beans, cooked (1 can)
  • 8 oz  raw walnuts
  • 4 oz  soymilk or other nondairy milk
  • 2 oz Earth Balance or vegan butter
  • 2 oz Vegenaise
  • 3 tbsp Marmite (yeast extract)
  • ¼ tsp white truffle oil
  • 1 package of Unflavored Vegan Jel by
    Natural Desserts*
  • Salt as desired
  1. Place abalone or seitan, beans, nuts, vegan butter, vegenaise, marmite, and truffle oil into a blender. Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. In a small sauce pan over medium high heat, bring the soymilk to a boil. Quickly whisk the vegan jel into the hot soymilk.
  3. Pour the jelling soymilk over blended mixture and mix completely.
  4. Fill a greased dish with the paté and chill for at least two hours. Remove from dish, slice and serve.

* Note: Agar agar can be substituted for Vegan Jel, but will not stand up to reheating. The jel can be omitted for a smooth spread consistency.

Photo credit:, rescued ducks from a foie gras farm.

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