Meet the Vegan Version of One of the World’s Cruelest Foods: Foie Gras

Animal-free foie gras could be headed our way! Paul Shapiro, co-founder and CEO of The Better Meat Co., announced plans to introduce meatless foie gras this spring. Foie gras is considered one of the world’s cruelest food products, and a vegan alternative could help alleviate suffering for countless geese and ducks. Shapiro stated:

Because it is so controversial, and because it has been the subject of litigation and legislation throughout the world, it makes sense for us to create a version so that people who enjoy eating foie gras can experience that same joy without all the suffering.

The Better Meat Co. creates vegan products using its mycelium-derived Rhiza protein. Mycelium is the root-like structure of mushrooms. The Better Meat Co. uses the versatile protein to create a variety of delicious animal-free products, such as bacon, steak, and even caviar. According to Shapiro, the new mycelium foie gras—which will be available as a mousse and pâté—will reach restaurant menus first, so keep an eye out!

Foie Gras

Considered a “delicacy” by some, foie gras is made from the enlarged livers of ducks or geese. “Foie gras” is French for “fatty liver.” Sold for upwards of $50 per pound, the dish is produced by cruelly force-feeding ducks and geese so their livers become diseased and swell up to 10 times their normal size. Force-feeding involves ramming a metal or plastic foot-long pipe down birds’ throats and pumping their stomachs full of food. The birds undergo this abuse two to three times a day for several weeks until they are slaughtered.

Force-feeding birds for weeks on end can cause a range of serious health problems, including fungal infections, malnourishment, and lameness. It can also damage a bird’s esophagus, leading to hemorrhaging and inflammation of the neck. The process is so terrifying that some birds suffer chronic stress. In fact, mortality rates of force-fed ducks are 10 to 20 times higher than those of ducks who are not force-fed.

Take Action

Mercy For Animals is currently working with a coalition to ban the sale of foie gras in Portland, Oregon. Learn more here.

We can all make a huge difference for animals simply by choosing plant-based foods. Check out ChooseVeg for plant-based recipes, news, and so much more.