Document Type

Thesis or Capstone Project

Publication Date



The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings (Fukuoka 2009). In recent decades many countries have bettered themselves by altering farming practices to include animal welfare standards. By finding a common ground, animal agriculture and animal advocates can work together to improve animal welfare. This case study will review California Senate Bill 1520 Force-Fed Birds to examine how the stakeholders in an active legislative battle are working through the controversy to find a place where all parties can thrive. This legislation was brought to the California legislature by Senator Burton and was passed in 2004, making it illegal to force feed ducks and geese within California as well as to sell force fed foie gras in California. This was a giant leap forward for animal welfare, providing farmers with a standard to meet by outlawing all force-feeding products within its borders. Yet, many wonder if this legislation goes too far and are concerned that this might be the beginning of government overreach with the government regulating what we are allowed and not allowed to eat. Through the analysis of this foie gras case study, we can begin to understand the complex issues of animal welfare versus animal agriculture.