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Force-feeding is the practice of feeding someone against his or her will.


  • 1 Force-feeding of humans
    • 1.1 Countering (self-)starvation
    • 1.2 Other purposes
  • 2 Force-feeding of animals
  • 3 Sources

Force-feeding of humans

Countering (self-)starvation

Force-feeding of humans is oftenly done to prisoners, to prevent them dying as part of a hunger strike. This happened in the case of the suffragettesand "Special Category Status" (paramilitary) prisoners in Northern Ireland, and is frequently [1][2]used in U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay. Force-feeding is often categorised as torture, as it may be extremely painful and result in severe bleeding and spreading of various diseases via the exchanged blood and mucus, especially when conducted with dirty equipment on a prison population. [3]

Force-feeding of humans was a common practice in the USSR. A brief, first account experience of a force-feeding session given by Vladimir Bukovskydescribes the procedure in detail: "The feeding pipe was thick, thicker than my nostril, and would not go in. Blood came gushing out of my nose and tears down my cheeks, but they kept pushing until the cartilages cracked. I guess I would have screamed if I could, but I could not with the pipe in my throat. I could breathe neither in nor out at first; I wheezed like a drowning man -- my lungs felt ready to burst. The doctor also seemed ready to burst into tears, but she kept shoving the pipe farther and farther down. Only when it reached my stomach could I resume breathing, carefully. Then she poured some slop through a funnel into the pipe that would choke me if it came back up. They held me down for another half-hour so that the liquid was absorbed by my stomach and could not be vomited back, and then began to pull the pipe out bit by bit." [4]Large feeding pipes are traditionally used on hunger striking prisoners [5], whereas thin pipes are preferred in hospitals.

In hospitals, force-feeding is done to mentally ill people who refuse to eat either because of their delusionsor because they suffer from the loss of appetite, or because they want to commit suicide.

Force-feeding should not be confused with other forms of enteric feeding, where a patient is intubated through the nose or mouth and fed because he or she is incapable of swallowing due to some medical condition, rather than because he or she refuses to eat.

Other purposes

In BDSM, force-feeding is sometimes practised as a sexual fetish, where the participants are in fact only pretending that it happens against the will of the one being fed.

In the past, force-feeding has also been a practice in some Middle Easternand North Africancountries where fatness was considered a marriage asset in women, being a primitive indicator of wealth, as in feudal times the Islamicelite had its haremliterally lying around, pampered by black slaves. In this tradition, some girls are forced by their mothers or grandmothers to overeat, often accompanied by physical punishment(e.g. pressing a finger between two pieces of wood). The intended result is a rapid onset of obesity, and the practice may start at a young age and continue for years. This is still the paradoxal tradition in the rather undernourished Sahel country Mauritania, where it induces major health risks in the female population; some of the younger generation claim no longer to insist on oversized brides, but the time-honored beauty norm remains part of the culture.

Force-feeding of animals

Force-feeding is also known as gavage, from a French word meaning "to gorge". This term specifically refers to force-feeding of fowland cattlein order to fatten their livers in the production of foie grasand vealrespectively. Gavage can also refer to the practice of administering liquids (such as medicines) to laboratory animalsvia a tube or syringe.

Force-feeding of birds is done mostly to geese or male ducks. It lasts for 12?28 days and performed 2?5 times a day using a hard metal or plastic pipe which is inserted into a bird's stomach, without any anesthesia. As a result of force feeding, many birds die, most of them have difficulty to move or breathe, and all of them develop a terminal disease called hepatic lipidosis, which is the purpose of force-feeding. Due to severe hepatic lipidosis, the liver becomes up to 12 times larger than its normal size. Birds are killed shortly before they would die from their disease. Due to terrible suffering both from the force-feeding itself and from the liver disease, this practice is outlawed in United Kingdom, Germany, the Czech Republic, Finland, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, and Israel, as well as in some, but not all, USA states. [6][7][8].

Domestic cats sometimes lose their appetite. However, fasting is dangerous for cats because it can cause hepatic lipidosis. For this reason, in some instances cats may need to be force-fed. [9]


  • BBC 1 TV program "Force fed" november 2, 2005
  • BBC News report "U.N.concern at Guantanamofeeding" [10]
  • News reports of U.S. force-feeding of Guantanamoprisoners by U.N. special rapporteur on torture [11],[12]-->
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/Force-feeding"

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It uses material from the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Force-feeding Wikipedia article Force-feeding.

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