Earlier this week, the French deputy minister of ecology introduced a proposed law to ban the force-feeding of animals, and to help kick off the debate, he invited animal-rights activist Pamela Anderson to address ministers in Paris.

Anderson commenced her impassioned speech by recalling a time in her youth when Brigitte Bardot came to Canada to focus international attention on the slaughter of baby seals. She explained that it’s in honour of Bardot that she, as a Canadian, has come to France to voice her opposition to cruelty as severe as the massacre of baby seals: that of the foie-gras industry, which slaughters ducks and geese for another non-essential luxury product.

“Historically France has blazed a path on many fronts for human rights, for freedom, for conservation and the environment. Now is the time to champion the rights of animals to be free of suffering”, said Anderson. “I would like to respectfully request that France embrace the qualities of compassion, empathy and respect for the lives of animals.”

The proposed bill is backed by studies revealing the cruelty of force-feeding ducks and geese, and a poll conducted in December found that record numbers of French citizens support a ban on force-feeding.

Anderson joins Ralph Fiennes, Ricky Gervais, Sir Roger Moore, Twiggy and Kate Winslet in taking a stand against foie gras. Ducks and geese who are exploited for foie gras production have pipes shoved down their throats several times a day to force painfully large amounts of food into their stomachs, eventually causing their livers to swell to up to 10 times their normal size. Many die from ruptured organs during this process, and those who survive are hung upside down and slaughtered.

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