Japanese convenience store chain, FamilyMart, has scrapped the launch of a pre-packaged meal containing cruel foie gras.
The retail giant – the third largest in Japan – unveiled the take-away product on January 10th but after receiving 22 customer complaints, decided to shelve it.
The ‘bento box’, priced at around five euro, was to include beef and a slice of foie gras – considered so cruel, its production is banned in several countries.
A FamilyMart spokesperson said that the lunchbox launch was cancelled after “carefully considering opinions from customers, different views abroad on foie gras and the production process of foie gras itself”.
“We don’t intend to make anyone feel uncomfortable,” he added.
Foie gras (fatty liver) is produced by force-feeding geese and ducks large quantities of grain twice or three times a day. This causes their diseased livers to swell up to ten times the normal size.
The feeding of the often confined birds is not only cruel but also damaging to their health. When the grain is funneled into the oesophagus, it often causes violent trauma which leads to death.
Industry figures reveal that in France (where most foie gras originates) around a million birds die during the force-feeding stage.
The number of French birds that survive that ordeal and eventually have their throats slit at slaughter stands at around 38 million.
With over 22,000 stores around the world, including 10,000 in Japan, FamilyMart’s rejection of foie gras is being celebrated by anti-cruelty campaigners as a major blow to the industry.
Originally published in Vegan Future newspaper. Read the newspaper for 18 pages of vegan news from around the world.