Sir Mark Rylance joins PETA campaign against foie gras


Sir Mark Rylance is taking a stand against the horrors of the foie gras industry.

The 59-year-old actor has joined forces with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) to create a new Christmas video which highlights the cruelty faced by ducks and geese as they are force-fed massive amounts of food, causing their livers to swell to up to 10 times their natural size.

In the video, Mark says: "We have so much fun at Christmas. We always eat well, and we eat a lot. Sometimes, even a little bit too much!" but his words take on a sinister double meaning when they're juxtaposed over video footage - provided by Belgian animal protection group GAIA - of workers ramming metal tubes down birds' throats.

As the pictures play, he continues: "Just one more bite. Oh, come on - it's Christmas. Afterwards, we can take a little nap to let our food digest, and then eat some more delicious food. Oh, those warm and cosy moments. It brings tears to our eyes."

According to PETA: "Foie gras is made from the grotesquely enlarged livers of ducks and geese who have been cruelly force-fed.

"Birds raised for foie gras spend the first four weeks of their lives eating and growing, sometimes in semi-darkness. For the next four weeks, they are confined to cages and fed a high-protein, high-starch diet that is designed to promote rapid growth. Force-feeding begins when the birds are between 8 and 10 weeks old. For 12 to 21 days, ducks and geese are subjected to gavage -every day, between two and four pounds of grain and fat are forced down the birds' throats by means of an auger in a feeding tube.

"The mortality rate of birds raised for foie gras has been found to be as much as 20 times higher than that of birds raised normally, and carcasses show wing fractures and severe tissue damage to the throat muscles."

Mark is the latest celebrity to join PETA's campaign against foie gras, following in the footsteps of Ralph Fiennes, Ricky Gervais, Dame Vera Lynn, Twiggy, Kate Winslet, and the late Sir Roger Moore.

For more information, visit PETA.org.uk.