Forces’ Sweetheart Dame Vera Becomes Geese’S Sweetheart To Help End Cruel Foie Gras Sales
For Immediate Release:
29 November 2011
Elisa Allen 020 7357 9229, ext 229; [email protected]
London – Beloved by British troops for her outdoor concerts during World War II, Dame Vera Lynn now has a whole new flock of fans after penning a letter to Beverley Aspinall, managing director of Fortnum & Mason, asking her to stop the sale of the vile food product foie gras in the store. In the letter, Dame Vera – who has long expressed her affinity for birds in lyrics such as those in the songs “(There’ll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover” and “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” – explains that foie gras production is so cruel that it’s banned in the UK.
“Britain has many things it can be proud of, and I consider our respect for the welfare of animals to be [one] of them”, writes Dame Vera in the letter. She goes on, “For a department store with such a proud British heritage, it made me sad that you would wish to tarnish it by associating yourself with the force-feeding of animals”.
To produce foie gras, ducks and geese are force-fed by having pipes rammed down their throats several times per day and large quantities of grain and fat pumped into their stomachs. This cruel practice causes the birds’ livers to become diseased and swell to many times their normal size. The pipes often puncture the birds’ throats, causing many animals to bleed to death. The birds live in a constant state of terror as they await the next assault. Despite the fact that PETA has provided F&M with a wealth of scientific and expert evidence to show how cruel foie gras production is, the company continues to sell the product.
Dame Vera Lynn joins a long list of prominent figures – including Sir Roger Moore, Ricky Gervais, the Duchess of Hamilton, Twiggy, Jenny Seagrove, Carley Stenson, Bill Oddie, Peter Egan and Owain Yeoman – who have appealed to F&M to pull foie gras from its shelves.
Dame Vera Lynn’s letter to Fortnum & Mason follows.
Fortnum & Mason Plc
London W1A 1ER
Dear Ms Aspinall,
Britain has many things it can be proud of, and I consider our respect for the welfare of animals to be of them.
I was therefore most upset to learn that Fortnum & Mason stocks foie gras – a product so cruel that its production is not allowed in the UK, and yet you continue to import it from France. There is no way to produce foie gras humanely, and the force feeding process is universally condemned by veterinarians, scientists and animal welfare groups. For a department store with such a proud British heritage, it made me sad that you would wish to tarnish it by associating yourself with the force-feeding of animals.
Please assure me that you will spare geese and ducks the trauma of force-feeding by pledging to end the sale of foie gras at Fortnum & Mason.
Dame Vera Lynn D.B.E, LLD, M.Mus