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Farewell to Foie Gras


janeer
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Well, Chicago isn't as truly madly deeply involved with food ethics as California is, but we passed the foie gras ban first. In two years it was history, because the chefs and diners here laughed at it, and lobbied against it. I suspect that California, which is soooo much more politically correct, will take much longer to overturn the law.

So, well, come eat in Chicago.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

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Mixed feelings about this: On the one hand, a ban does seem like an exercise in futility, but on the other hand, a process that causes extensive physical trauma to an animal during feeding is on the disturbing side (e.g. The Report of the Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare's Welfare Aspects of the Production of Foie Gras in Ducks and Geese), so I can understand people regarding this as inhumane. I'll be honest, though: My views might be different, if I didn't have an 'I can take it or leave it' reaction to foie gras, simply as a food.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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I wonder how many Californians who have never tried foie are now going to seek it out now that it's illegal? This may actually increase consumption, as most prohibitions end up doing.

And to quote Tony, "We see worse things committed against human beings on late night pay-per-view."

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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These Animal Rights Activists/Extremists need to be stopped. They have a dangerous agenda akin to terrorist tendencies. Their end goal is "no meat."

They are now attacking farmers and producers of food. Then they will use these victories in court as precedents to attacking consumers.

If they are allowed to continue under their pretense of "being kind to animals" (which is false because they kill most of the animals they "save"), pretty soon it will be a felony to eat chicken and any meat.

The majority of us omnivores and non-militant vegetarians must stop these extremists before they get too far into the fabric of society and impose their will on us.

Thank you.

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Jenni,

Yes, of course, I'm all for compassionate care and slaughter as well. As I am sure, many farmers are too. But, compassionate care and slaughter is not enough for these ARA. They want absolute Zero animal use. They don't want us to have a choice. They want to make the choice for us. And to them, it's No Meat.

They are hitting foie gras because it's an easy target. It's easy to paint the foie gras producers as "the bad guys" because of their methods. But that's the only way to make foie gras. They will use that in the future and say "If foie gras is banned, why not cattle, chicken, lamb?, it's all the same"

It's the idealogy of these guys that is dangerous.

Thanks!

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These Animal Rights Activists/Extremists need to be stopped. They have a dangerous agenda akin to terrorist tendencies. Their end goal is "no meat."

They are now attacking farmers and producers of food. Then they will use these victories in court as precedents to attacking consumers.

If they are allowed to continue under their pretense of "being kind to animals" (which is false because they kill most of the animals they "save"), pretty soon it will be a felony to eat chicken and any meat.

The majority of us omnivores and non-militant vegetarians must stop these extremists before they get too far into the fabric of society and impose their will on us.

Thank you.

I don't get the impression that extremist animal rights activists are numerous enough in California to have been able to get this bill passed, without plenty of others agreeing with them; a lot of people are simply disturbed by the process involved in the production of foie gras.

The difference between the production of foie gras and slaughtering animals is that there is no humane way to do the former. So, it comes down to 'Is my right to eat foie gras more important than the right of another species to have a reasonably comfortable existence until I eat it/portions of it?' Evidently, a lot of Californians think not, but I doubt that most had extremist views on this. Just consciences.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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^^^

I think there is a difference between the kind of "animal friendly" beef, chicken, lamb, etc. production that is possible versus foie gras. I don't know much (or anything) about what these animal rights activists you are speaking of are saying on the subject, but I think it's incorrect of you to imply that they are the only ones who are anti-foie.

It's not a black and white issue of meat against no-meat. It's a difficult subject about how animals raised for slaughter are treated.

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Well, yes and no. First they came for unpasturized milk and I said nothing, because I don't drink milk...

It's a slippery slope to start messing with people's food. Granted, most or us (me included) don't have foie gras on our shopping list as a staple, but I don't like the idea of someone telling me what to eat. I have a tendency to say "What business is it of yours?" The film I've seen of the ducks and geese (geese are nasty bite-y buggers, btw) raised for foie show them running to be fed. They are being raised for slaughter no matter how "kind" the conditions. Birds throats are quite different than ours and it doesn't hurt them to be force fed. It looks creepy, of course, but they eat gravel, for pete's sake.

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I have to say I sort of agree with Obese-Wan Kenobi foie gras production is easy picking and there is far worse going on in the meat factories, teeth clipping, beak de-beaking, tail clipping just an example few and these things can't even be undone.

These practises are done because of bad farming practises and to increase their welfare work that one out! Seriously how many tons are we talking. Whilst I don't believe in the animal welfare rights people are the driving force it is political. Why don't they tackle the other bits of animal welfare how much production of foie gras are we talking vs say pork production.

Personally as a meat eater who has been bought up a vegetarian and is still surrounded by a few I think the real problem is educating the consumer that generally cheap meat means bad practises but in the financial climate of today, it is unlikely to happen.

Here is quite a good paper on the pain of animals and to be fair when I looked in comparison to some other practises and as something that can be undone, foie gras production doesn't even register in comparison. Good welfare makes good meat, bad welfare brings cheap meat and educating the consumer not to think with their wallet isn't going to happen.

Pain in animals(France)

Edit:Meant to be teeth clipping..

Edited by PassionateChefsDie (log)
Perfection cant be reached, but it can be strived for!
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They are hitting foie gras because it's an easy target. It's easy to paint the foie gras producers as "the bad guys" because of their methods. But that's the only way to make foie gras. They will use that in the future and say "If foie gras is banned, why not cattle, chicken, lamb?, it's all the same"

This is an important quote in my argument. Think of the big picture. This is just a precedent because it's easy to get sympathy for this from what I mentioned above.

The un-pastuerized milk for example. They hit on the small things first for justification. Soon, it will be beef tenderloin, chicken tenders, fish eyes, pork trotters... then it will be impossible to stop until there is No Meat. They win.

Thanks.

PS. If you think they are not powerful politically, think again. That's where all their donations go to. To pay lobbyists to pass these laws. All these animal laws have and are being funded by them from tax-free donations by the general public.

Edited by Obese-Wan Kenobi (log)
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. . . . Soon, it will be beef tenderloin, chicken tenders, fish eyes, pork trotters... then it will be impossible to stop until there is No Meat. They win.

Hang on, care to elaborate on the reason you think those particular things ('beef tenderloin, chicken tenders, fish eyes, pork trotters') are particularly likely to be next in line? I'm not seeing this at all.

I have serious doubts that the animal rights lobbies exceed the magnitude of the beef and poultry industries' lobbies.

(Just to be clear, I'm not particularly extreme in my views, but have thought about this subject a lot, I've had to: I was raised a vegetarian, by parents who made this choice for ethical reasons.

I eat meat: I have no cogent argument to support my decision, and if you ask me whether I believe this to be justifiable on rational grounds, I have to say that I don't.

I've also assisted in the slaughter of chickens, which left me shaking for quite a while, and not just because I was a little concerned that my friend might hack off part of my hand, along with the chicken's head, with the not-exactly-super-sharp hatchet. Doing the job humanely would have been less dangerous, as well as kinder. And yes, I think they deserved a baseline of humane slaughter, even though they're gross cannibals, and generally ill-tempered)

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Mjx,

They will be next in-line because the HSUS, PETA, et al, want it Meat Free. Ask any one of them. They won't lie to you. That is their ultimate goal. A beef tenderloin is the same to them as a monkey's brain. It does not matter, they are both meat, and they want it all Meat Free. They want all the meat companies to go down and want America and the world to be meat free. And they will do whatever it takes to make this happen. That is their mission statement. You can ask a member and they won't be shy to tell you this fact. And their means justify their end.

Thanks.

Edited by Obese-Wan Kenobi (log)
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The un-pastuerized milk for example.

Slightly off topic perhaps but can you explain what you mean by this? Who has said or done what about pasteurized milk? Because I thought this was a safety issue and whilst I personally have drunk and enjoyed raw milk I understand why there is some hesitation in this area.

I don't want to get into an argument about all this btw. I'm vegetarian but I am not interested in telling other people what to eat. Not all of my family are vegetarian, and I also ate meat when I was younger. I have no problem with other people eating meat but I personally feel pleased when non-veggies talk about how they care where there meat comes from and how the animals are treated. I think it's good for people to be in touch with what meat is and be respectful by not wasting and wherever possible giving the animals dignity during their lives.

What really concerns me is the bad feeling, much of which feels over-hyped, that gets generated between vegetarians and non-vegetarians over topics like this. *Certain* vegetarians get all nasty about it, *certain* meat eaters get all nasty about it and everyone ends up looking like bigoted idiots. We don't need to get like this over every single discussion about meat.

Now if it was only vegetarians who objected to foie then perhaps it would make sense to be talking like this (though I hope that people would be polite and reasonable abut it), but it's not. There are omnivores who have issues with foie gras production. I'm not going to make any big statements on whether it's morally bad or morally ok (for a start I don't know enough about the subject) but I will point out that it's not just a case of "blame the vegetarians".

Edited by Jenni (log)
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Mjx,

They will be next in-line because the HSUS, PETA, et al, want it Meat Free. Ask any one of them. They won't lie to you. That it their ultimate goal. A beef tenderloin is the same to them as a monkey's brain. It does not matter, they are both meat, and they want it all Meat Free. They want all the meat companies to go down and want America and the world to be meat free. And they will do whatever it takes to make this happen. That is their mission statement. You can ask a member and they won't be shy to tell you this fact.

Thanks.

I'm familiar with the various groups' agendas, and frankly, they can wish for the moon and a gold hat, too: They're as likely to get one as the other. They are both outnumbered and out-funded by the the various meat industry lobbies. Foie gras was easy because the number of US producers is relatively small, the number of Americans who consume it is also relatively small, the mode of production is not what anyone accurate would describe as humane, and there is no way to make it so. The bill is unlikely to stick for very long either; it certainly didn't last long in Chicago.

I don't see any rational reason to believe that this bill represents anything like the thin end of a wedge.

ETA: Frankly, I find extremism of any stripe tedious, and whenever people start with the equivalent of shrieking 'The sky is falling, the sky I falling!!!' I'm bored. Possibly disturbed, too, but mostly bored. The whole discussion about 'rights', regardless of whether it is in reference to one's appetites or another species is valid and worthy of serious discussion, but degenerates so quickly into squealing and foot-stamping, that it becomes impossible to take anyone seriously.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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Jenni,

No prob. I was referring to annabelle's post above mine as an example. Not blaming the vegetarians at all :) It's the extremist groups that fund lobbyists and so happen to be militant vegetarians, like PETA, HSUS. It could be extremist beef eaters too. It's the extreme ideology I'm worried about. I'm all for freedom of choice :)

Thank you.

Mjx,

That's good to to know that they are a few and far between. But they got that bill in Chigago an CA passed. That says a lot about their resources though...

Anyway, my point in all of this is to just watch out for these groups. They won't stop, and will find every nook and cranny they can get to; and we just have to be aware of their existence and make sure they don't impose their will on us.

Best regards!

Edited by Obese-Wan Kenobi (log)
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Jenni,

No prob. I was referring to annabelle's post above mine as an example. Not blaming the vegetarians at all :) It's the extremist groups that fund lobbyists and so happen to be militant vegetarians, like PETA, HSUS. It could be extremist beef eaters too. It's the extreme ideology I'm worried about. I'm all for freedom of choice :)

I agree, extremism of any kind is good for no-one. I would like to say freedom of choice to all, but sadly some people's appetites (not just for food, but for other things too) mean that guidelines and laws are sometimes useful. I'm not necessarily saying it applies in this particular case, but there are cases where this applies, such as with endangered animals which are considered a delicacy or of special medicinal worth by some people. If we left it to "freedom of choice" then these species may totally disappear.

Also, as MJX says, it would be wonderful to be able to discuss these interesting issues without it all descending into name calling and shrieking!

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Obese-Wan, I completely agree with you. I've said in the past that I think eating meat will be widely socially unacceptable within my lifetime, much like smoking is now. That may sound ridiculous, but I can see it happening. So many people seem to have developed a vague acceptance that meat is somehow morally wrong, even if they continue to eat it and love it, that I think we're only a couple of generations away from vegetarianism being "the norm" in the first world.

Very few people actually think critically about this, very few really examine their own views, and PETA and their ilk know that constantly hammering away with the "meat is murder" mantra gets in on people after a while.

Anyway, I have yet to be even convinced that foie gras production is actually cruel, so you can imagine where I fall on this. Oh, and I truly believe that animals should be treated properly and humanely, I'm not an unthinking carnivore.

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I think it was Charlie Trotter (Maggie? Is that right?) who was the driver behind the Chicago ban. It was a celeb chef, anyway.

I'm with Jenni and Mjx about not making these topics into, well, a food fight everytime they come up. I'm a meat-eater, but I also enjoy vegetarian food. What I really don't like is being lectured to by either side. Animals are dumb animals in that they cannot speak and it is our responsibility to treat them humanely. Humanely does not mean putting them on an equal footing with human beings. PETA is a PITA. They are entitled to their views, of course, just as I am entitled to mine. If I want to take my children to the circus, for instnce, I don't want some 20-something in a tiger costume giving my 6 YO a pamphlet telling them lies about how badly the animals are treated.

My family is mainly comprised of farmers and ranchers, so perhaps my views are jaded.

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I've said in the past that I think eating meat will be widely socially unacceptable within my lifetime, much like smoking is now. That may sound ridiculous, but I can see it happening. So many people seem to have developed a vague acceptance that meat is somehow morally wrong, even if they continue to eat it and love it, that I think we're only a couple of generations away from vegetarianism being "the norm" in the first world.

Really?! My we must be running in different circles!

I feel pretty confident in saying that meat/fish eating is a part of every original traditional culture in the whole world. As far as I know there are no areas where humans were vegetarian in the very beginning. And the whole world over even today, meat and fish eating are deeply ingrained into the culture. I don't think most people will give this up. It's true that outside of the West many people eat less meat, but that's mostly for economical reasons as well perhaps as traditional beliefs about how much meat is easily digested by the body.

I know too many people for whom meat eating, whether occasional or often, is an important part of their life to seriously consider that the world might turn vegetarian one day!

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