Changing foie gras production

Producers in the United States and Europe have been trying to find ways to make foie gras that will overcome the objections of those who see their work as an act of cruelty. The New York Times looks at alternatives to force-feeding geese and ducks to make foie gras, including an approach that simply allows the animals as much food as they want prior to their migratory season. Alas, the self-gorging technique doesn't seem to yield the same results as force-feeding the animals.

By changing their approach to product, aren't producers acknowledging that force-feeding is inhumane? And isn't that the crux of the issue, whether the animals suffer during the process? One side says they do, the other says they don't. If producers are changing how they make foie gras, it seems like they're saying the "animals suffer" argument is correct. And that doesn't bode well for the future of foie gras.