Everything about migrating to France

Ruud on Facebook
volg RocheRouge op Twitter

Saturday, october 21, 2006

In France i may tell the following story to four year children and older, but i want to warn you, that i will describe some horrible details, wich i think are not suitable for children younger than sixteen, honostly said i think it's unsuitable for any age. Judge for yourselfes.

The Ugly Duckling

After weeks of silence i can tell merry tales about the refurbishing of our house, the coasy neighbourhood bar, or all the funny French we meet, but there are other things wich i find more important. Yesterday i saw something that has completely altered my vision of France, or at least this part of France. This is what happened; last week we got from the principal of both schools (St Michel for Deirdre and St Hilerian for Halldor) a letter that 'la semaine du goût' (the week of taste) would be there soon. Nice i thought they are going to taste things like courgettes, strawberries, bread and so on. Although.. the information brochure reported the children would be visiting farms. Duh? Taste? Farms ? What have these in common? Well, charcuterie (cows, sheeps and pigs) foie grass (duck and geese), you name it.

Oh my dear Lord, i thought, they are not gonna visit a slaughterhouse are they, with a kindergarten class to show how a delicious sandwich with confit the canard is made. I couldn't believe it, I didn't believe it, so i wrote myself on the board to accompany Deirdre's class to what later appeared to be the duckling hell. Now i have seen what my own eyes the grim and daily reality for these many poor animals.

With two mini-vans we drove into the hills behind Espalion. The view was beautifull, far away i could see our house. The sky was cloudy but at least it did not rain. The farm was the wellknown ochre colored newly build type villa with swing and pool. We were welcomed by the farmer (I will call him harry) a long thin guy in jeans and boots who held his hands in his sides when he spoke to us.

We followed him to the higher situated duckfarm, nice, in my mind i could see the happy ducklings running afront of me. And the children too i presumed, because they all know the tale of the Ugly Duckling.

We were repeatedly warned that ducks are very much afraid for people, so we had to be very silent. Strange, ducks afraid of people... I never noticed that, back home. About twohundred ducks sat in groups on the ground and looked at us petrified from behind the chicken wire. The males were black and the females white. They looked horrible, each one. The top of their beaks were cut off, their crop enormously bloated, the feathers looked like a longhaired rug drenched in mud and the could barely walk. Some were so thick their paws couldn't touch ground and had to crawl on the stumps of ther elbows. And weirdest of all these ducks didn't quack.

In the meanwhile harry gayly told how happy they were and the school teacher Carole smiled charming and stoicly, as she would remain the rest of the tour.

We went to the duck stable. There was an overwhelming sour stench of duck menure wich was piled centimeters on the floor. To the left there was a cage where a load of ducks was gathered for the big moment of feeding (gaffard); the duck is pushed into a small iron cage where only his head sticks out at the front, a funnel with muck is stuffed into the beak and the porridge is squirt inside under pressure. After that the little animal is silent and does no longer struggle.

And harry rattles on undisturbed about how nice the ducklings live and can eat as much of the maize and other stuff. I did not let go of Deirdres hand, because i did not want her to experience this alone.

To the right there was a cage with a litle group of eight deadly sick ducks gathered together in the mud. The seemed blind, barely had any feathers left, couldn't move and tried continuously to open their beaks, but couldn't. One of them crawled scared on the knuckles of the paws out of the cage. In the meanwhile happy harry told about this lot of sickies that they would peacefully and undisterbedly die a natural way, unless they would recover ofcourse, because according to him, that was possible too. It appeared to me that this Duckling Inferno never was visited by a vetinarian, unless to relish on a toast with confit de canard.

After twenty minutes of sickening sour stench and listening to merry harry's chitter chatter, we were finaly allowed to leave the stable. Ah finaly its ended i thought, but the most fun part was still to come; a guided tour through the duck slaughter house, o boy o boy how exiting.

The walls and floors were covered with white tiles, Harry put on a white suite and white boots. Thats how it's done in a slaughterhouse 'and why children do we do that ? Right johny because then one can better see the dirt'. Look this is a plug wich we will hold against the duck and it will be elektrocuted, it will not die, oh no , not yet, that's only to make the duck sleep, and o yes to prevent traces of blood on the liver. But well, then there comes a man which will stick his knife in the ducks throat, it only last a little while and then the duck is dead.

Thank god i thought, at last the poor creature may die.

But we were still not finished, because had to see all the other nice things and goodies which he had in his duckfarm: The big tub where the duckling would be cooked at 84 degrees celcius 'and why dow we do that johny ?? Right to easily remove the feathers' and than the fantastic machine that automatically plucks the feathers completely. 'Oops there's still some feathers in it, ha ha isn't that funny'.

And so we had to listen another fifteen minutes to merry harry about the bloodleaking machine, the microbe free space, the blue knife to chop off the paws, the fantastic freezer where the duck corpses were hanged, etcetera. Yummy, shall i continue for a while?

During the whole tour i questioned myself what the children would think of it. Worst of all i found the attitude of maitresse Carole, the teacher of Deirdre, who didn't flinch a bit and seemed to think this was the normal way of life. What am i to think of a coldhearted French bitch that coldbloodedly initiates my four year old daughter into the world of animal missery.

I was so stupified that i, like the other guiding mothers let this happen. One thing is very clear to me now, what i have experienced or will experience is nothing compared to the daily suffering and agony of these animals.

Ruud and I decided ta ask the scool to render account of dishing up a slaughterhouse to four year old children, what ever the hell they may thing of that spineless bunch from Holland.

Sign the manifest against forced feeding (This site contains shocking and devastating fotos)

like i said

posted by Ruud at 02:05  |  send a comment

next column ( nov 16) - previous column ( sep 15 )




October 2006
- Ugly Duckling
February 2009
January 2009
November 2008
October 2008
August 2008
June 2008
March 2008
February 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
July 2007
June 2007
April 2007
March 2007
January 2007
September 2006
Augustus 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006


Advertising on RocheRouge? Yes, that's a novelty. After having kept the site advertising free for five years, we decided to temporarily permit advertising as a test. Only under the dotted line. Thus you will know up to where the real information goes and where advertising starts. Did you like your visit to Roche Rouge, and have you found the information te be useful? Maybe you will find additional information when following the ad-links down here. Thank you !