I am glad this question was not closed. I will try to provide some justification (playing devil's advocate) for animal cruelty, outside of legal argumentation:
- hedonist intrinsic value - eating foie gras can provide great pleasure
- economical value - any country has some traditional things that it may use for promoting tourism. Foie gras is a one of these things.
- political/economical - forbidding something is a tough decision within a liberal democracy because it costs the votes of those affected. Also, it also incurs the cost of enforcing it (someone has to check that people actually obey the new law)
- traditional instrinsic value - according to this article, cultural/traditional heritage can be seen as having intrinsic value. Also, having intrinsic value implies high priority, so it is very hard to disregard "traditional values"
So, there are many factors that influence the decision of keeping/not keeping some practices that involve animal cruelty.
Fortunately, European Union tends to be against the practice of overfeeding the geese. EU Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Welfare concludes that "force feeding, as currently practised, is detrimental to the welfare of the birds.".
Also, several countries/regions already banned foie gras as indicated in here: India, Australia, Argentina, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Turkey and the UK.
Another interesting aspect is that foie gras can be obtained without overfeeding the birds (Eduardo Sousa).
Another relevant example is bullfighting:
In Spain, opposition to bullfighting is referred to as the antitaurino
movement. Supporters of a ban on bullfighting remain a minority in
Spain. About 30% of Spaniards actively follow bullfighting in Spain.
Despite its slow decrease in popularity among younger generations, it
remains a widespread cultural activity with millions of followers
throughout the country.
This article dives into the details when it comes to bullfighting pros and cons. The table within the conclusion provides some insight into many aspects of the bullfighting:
- Economy - The industry of bullfighting is worth $3.3 million and employs more than 10,000 people, BUT bullfighting is heavily
subsidized by the government
- Attendance - Only 10% of Spaniards support bullfighting.
- Tourism - With bullfighting being banned in certain cities, it has affected the economy, BUT many people attend bullfights because
they think if they do not, they are missing out on a piece of the
experience. These people never come back and are often horrified by
what happens during the fights.
- Artistic Merit - Bullfighting is not a sport, but an art, BUT killing of an animal cannot possibly be considered an art.
- Cultural - In 2010 bullfighting became a protected art form in Madrid. Bullfighting has been around for a very long time and is
almost synonymous with the Spanish culture, BUT while it is important
to preserve culture, there are certain traditions that need to be left
behind in this modern era.
- Environmental impact - The dehesas, which is where the bulls are raised for fighting, are protected areas of land that are home to
other endangered animals that live in the area. Getting rid of
bullfighting means these lands would end up being developed and these
animals would lose their homes.
However, for those concerned with animal rights there is good news, as politics seems to favor their view:
The Paris Court of Appeals handed a victory to animal rights
organizations in June by removing bullfighting from France's esteemed
cultural heritage list.
The Spanish city of Valencia is considering adopting a style of
bullfighting in which the bull is not killed by the matador in the
Another example which also affects my native land (Romania) is Christmas pig killing.