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janeer

Farewell to Foie Gras

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annabelle,

My family too are farmers, ranchers and fishermen.

What I cannot understand is how these groups, whose leaders have never milked a cow, handled a rooster, hatched an egg, or caught a fish on a hook, can say we are "the bad guys."

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In nature, left alone, all animals die in extremely painful and horrifying ways. After being chased relentlessly, then eaten alive a little bite at a time, in front of your friends and family.

Animals raised, slaughtered and consumed by humans are the very lucky ones.

dcarch

http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/myhrvold_lions07/images/lions%20bringing%20down%20buffalo.jpg


Edited by dcarch (log)

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I know this is off-topic, but just to be clear, I don't think we'll get to the point where meat is outlawed or anything of the sort, but I think a gradual process is already well underway.

For example, I see a huge swing towards the idea that meat shouldn't be consumed every day. I think there is a huge swing towards the idea that eating meat isn't that healthy. I think there is a growing sense that eating huge amounts of meat isn't good for the environment. In short, I think that in a few short years, certain parts of society are already moving away from meat for a variety of reasons. Now, this effect isn't really across all social classes yet, and maybe it never will be, but I personally know lots of people who are moving gradually towards vegetarianism.

Lest we need any further proof at how such ideas take hold, we only need to look to our very own Fat Guy.

Of course, this kind of thinking will probably never permeate the entire world, but I think it's growing. Of course, I have no problem with anyone choosing vegetarianism, but I certainly see the slippery slope for societal norms.


Edited by Simon_S (log)

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Obese-Wan, it is because they are know-it-alls and, frankly, bigots. It's easy to make proclaimations for on high. I'd like to see them up to their elbows in a cow trying to turn a calf at three in the morning in the middle of a snowy field before they start telling me my business.

Simon_S, I agree. I say, "more for us!" As to your point about smoking, I work in health care and nearly all of the ER doctors and nurses smoke. None of us is going to make it out of here alive, after all.


Edited by annabelle (log)

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^^

Well, as I said, many people outside of the West cannot afford to eat meat everyday. Others can only afford to eat very small portions every day. Considering the enormous number of people who live on this earth and our growing awareness of each other and of our effect on the planet, I suppose it makes sense that this low-meat diet may spread. Not necessarily for personal health reasons though.

Talking of, there are lots of ideas about food and health that are popular these days that I don't think will ever find whole-world acceptance. Some examples of this are raw foodism, low or no carb diets and also vegetarianism. It's very hard to get people to shift away from their traditional practices. Even if for some incredible reason it does happen, I predict that in years to come there will be a reverse where people re-discover the "old ways". That happens even now!

Think of the passionate meat and fish appreciating people on egullet. There will always be such people.

ETA: Must add that in the UK I know more people who smoke than who don't. Also, I think the health issues around smoking are very different than those around meat and fish consumption. Personally I think the healthiest diet for the human body is one that includes small amounts of animal products of some kind. But smoking I say is no good for anyone, in any amount.


Edited by Jenni (log)

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In nature, left alone, all animals die in extremely painful and horrifying ways. After being chased relentlessly, then eaten alive a little bite at a time, in front of your friends and family.

Animals raised, slaughtered and consumed by humans are the very lucky ones.

dcarch

Sorry, but apart from being an inaccurate generalization, it's an argument in the category of, 'Well, you lost only one finger in the sink disposal, it could've been two or more!'; yeah, but the existing situation isn't great, either.

I know this is off-topic, but just to be clear, I don't think we'll get to the point where meat is outlawed or anything of the sort, but I think a gradual process is already well underway.

For example, I see a huge swing towards the idea that meat shouldn't be consumed every day. I think there is a huge swing towards the idea that eating meat isn't that healthy. I think there is a growing sense that eating huge amounts of meat isn't good for the environment. In short, I think that in a few short years, certain parts of society are already moving away from meat for a variety of reasons. Now, this effect isn't really across all social classes yet, and maybe it never will be, but I personally know lots of people who are moving gradually towards vegetarianism.

Lest we need any further proof at how such ideas take hold, we only need to look to our very own Fat Guy.

Of course, this kind of thinking will probably never permeate the entire world, but I think it's growing. Of course, I have no problem with anyone choosing vegetarianism, but I certainly see the slippery slope for societal norms.

There isn't any good reason to consume meat every day. For most people, it's completely fine, but there's no point in suggesting that not eating meat on a daily basis is some sort of screwball idea. Eating the amount of meat (or any protein) we currently average isn't necessary, to say the least; we eat too much of everything, and meat is no exception (I can, and have, happily eaten a 0.75kg bistecca fiorentina on my own, but there is no way I would make that an everyday, or even every month occurrence, my body wouldn't stand it).

There isn't anything daft about eating less meat than most people do, and it's hardly a shift towards vegetarianism to cut back a bit!

Obese-Wan, it is because they are know-it-alls and, frankly, bigots. It's easy to make proclaimations for on high. I'd like to see them up to their elbows in a cow trying to turn a calf at three in the morning in the middle of a snowy field before they start telling me my business. . . .

Erm... right. So, you've never met a large animal vet who's vegetarian?!


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

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If the people of California want to ban foie, than so be it. Such is the way democracy works.

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there's no point in suggesting that not eating meat on a daily basis is some sort of screwball idea.

Which, for the record, I certainly wasn't suggesting. I'm merely making the point that attitudes to meat are changing, and changing rapidly. It's my opinion that when you put a few of these changing attitudes together, a wider push towards vegetarianism is a not unlikely outcome.

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Obese-Wan, it is because they are know-it-alls and, frankly, bigots. It's easy to make proclaimations for on high. I'd like to see them up to their elbows in a cow trying to turn a calf at three in the morning in the middle of a snowy field before they start telling me my business. . . .

Erm... right. So, you've never met a large animal vet who's vegetarian?!

Or you know, a vegetariain who grew up on a farm? I can name a few personal acquaintances who meet that requirement and would happily help you out. Plus a significant number of South Asians (not as many Indians as most westerners think are vegetarian, but there are plenty) who grew up/live in a rural environment.

Anyway, this discussion is moving way off foie and is going in the usual direction, though this time at least I suppose we are only referring to "certain extremist groups". Sadly this gets translated so often as "all vegetarians".

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I am not referring to all vegetarians, I am referring to those who wish to impose bans on others who do not share the same beliefs. In my case, that would be that my views and PETAs are diametrically opposed. To them I say, "When my mother dies, I'll give you the job." I'm sorry if I was not clear.

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

You said nothing??? Then WELCOME to my ignore list. :biggrin:

God I miss unpasteurized milk.

To those of you outside the United States. You're aware of what PETA is and what they believe? You know they want to ban housepets, right? No zoos, no aquariums, no meat of any kind on the menu, no dairy, no cheese.

I wonder if they'll let us resort to cannibalism when one third of the planet begins to starve without access to seafood.


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

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ooOOoooOohhh boy.

I read the name of the topic and knew it would turn into a back and forth about the treatment of animals.

I'll be buying a large deep-freezer and buying foie in bulk wholesale. Feeding it to the clients I like and making them feel special :biggrin:

ScoopKW - Plenty of raw milk here in California.


Sleep, bike, cook, feed, repeat...

Chef Facebook HQ Menlo Park, CA

My eGullet Foodblog

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For me this has descended into non-debate people keep mentioning PETA(Animal Rights) for those against the ban and HSUS(Animal Welfare) for those for the ban. They're are two different issues animal welfare doesn't equal animal rights.

The 2 wiki pages make it clearer PETA vs HSUS


Perfection cant be reached, but it can be strived for!

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Charge them double, Scotty. That way they'll feel extra special. :biggrin:

Scoop: :laugh: I said plenty and a fat lot of good it did.

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So are PETA completly responsible for the ban then? No meat eaters in the entire world think foie gras might not be such a great thing?

I just don't know why we have to go on and on about PETA. They don't represent all vegetarians/vegans. They also don't represent all people who don't feel comfortable with foie gras production.

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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.

In what planet can taking a moral / ethical stand be confused with political correctness?

Political Correctness is using diplomatic euphemisms in describing something that is deemed less than by the group doing the judging. For example,

Political Correctness: American tourists are very exuberant & insightful.

Translation: Geez these Americans are loud, obnoxious & opinionated.

If someone decides torturing a Goose to obtain an easily substituted cut of meat is not something they want to take part in (and yes I like Foie but have abstained for years... btw people blood sausage is a great substitute)... that is taking a morale or ethical stand.

Would you tell someone of Judeo Christian faith that their 10 Commandments are "Political Correctness"... oh those politically correct nuts in the middle east always wanting to ban things like people murder & stealing.

What I agree with other people is whether a legal ban is effective. Cultural Norms are far more effective than Laws & Punishment... you rarely see Americans going to Haiti and flaunting our riches and our big bellies to starving kids... no laws against it... just cultural norms.

Yes, in California we have a greater share of people who tend to see humans as part of the planet and not as its masters... and by extension we are more likely to be on the tree hugger side of things.

And no banning Foie is not a slippery slope towards enforced Veganism... the suggesting is ridiculous.

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Jenni, I don't know how pervasive PETA is in India or if they have a presence there at all. Here in the US, they are ubiquitous. Starlets pose in the nude on huge billboards claiming they'd go naked before they'd wear fur. Well, okay. You could say that with your clothes on, sweetheart. They have compared the slaughter of chickens to the Holocaust of the Jews and declared them morally equivelant. My point is, they are provocoteurs.

If they don't like foie, don't eat it or go to establishements that serve it. It's like anything else that makes one uncomfortable. I dislike sacriligious art galleries. I don't view them. On the topic of food, there are a number of ethnic delicacies that I won't eat. Balouts come to mind. Do I want them banned? Only if I am eating next to the person enjoying them.

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Jenni, I don't know how pervasive PETA is in India or if they have a presence there at all. Here in the US, they are ubiquitous. Starlets pose in the nude on huge billboards claiming they'd go naked before they'd wear fur. Well, okay. You could say that with your clothes on, sweetheart. They have compared the slaughter of chickens to the Holocaust of the Jews and declared them morally equivelant. My point is, they are provocoteurs.

So what? It really annoys me that you can't even mention vegetarianism or any kind of mention about humane treatment of animals without people bringing up PETA and never ever letting it drop. It just becomes an excuse to be rude and belittle other people's opinions on what are sometimes very complicated issues.

I am so sad that PETA exist because it means that a large percentage of people immediately lose all respect for me if I mention I am vegetarian.

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If there are people who do that, that is pretty silly on their part. It is bigoted.

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Jenni, I don't know how pervasive PETA is in India or if they have a presence there at all. Here in the US, they are ubiquitous. Starlets pose in the nude on huge billboards claiming they'd go naked before they'd wear fur. Well, okay. You could say that with your clothes on, sweetheart. They have compared the slaughter of chickens to the Holocaust of the Jews and declared them morally equivelant. My point is, they are provocoteurs.

So what? It really annoys me that you can't even mention vegetarianism or any kind of mention about humane treatment of animals without people bringing up PETA and never ever letting it drop. It just becomes an excuse to be rude and belittle other people's opinions on what are sometimes very complicated issues.

I am so sad that PETA exist because it means that a large percentage of people immediately lose all respect for me if I mention I am vegetarian.

That's because one group is trying to force their ideals on an unwilling society, and the other isn't. It's very much a "line in the sand" issue for people who love food. Foie is an easy target, despite the fact the Hudson Valley farms that produce much of our foie will show people their whole operation, top to bottom, and proudly (yes, proudly) show the world, "This is what we do."

The omnivores of the world are not trying to control what people can and cannot eat. A lot of vegetarians aren't, either. But a lot are. And it's been my experience that there is still another subset of vegetarians who don't try to control the world's diet, but they have to be sanctimonious about it to anyone around them.

"Mentioning" vegetarianism or "mentioning" humane treatment of animals isn't necessary. I've considered the angles, the ethics and the opportunity-cost of farming animals instead of, say, grain. Nobody need "mention" it to me, because it's not the first time I've heard the argument. It's not the 1,000th time I've heard the argument, either.


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

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Some day I would like to see on the internet a calm, rational discussion of the actual merits of various positions on animal welfare without a single mention of PETA.

Ha.

Jenni, thank you for holding down a sane position in this discussion. I'm afraid I get too annoyed to engage in it myself, but you're doing a fine job of speaking for me!

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The omnivores of the world are not trying to control what people can and cannot eat. A lot of vegetarians aren't, either. But a lot are. And it's been my experience that there is still another subset of vegetarians who don't try to control the world's diet, but they have to be sanctimonious about it to anyone around them.

I've had plenty of non-vegetarian people, some of whom I have barely known, inform me without any prompting that my diet is unhealthy. That vegetarians are sickly. That I should meat or I will become ill. That vegetarians don't like food. That vegetarians all have eating disorders. That vegetarians are sad hippy losers and meat eaters are awesome and cool Anthony-Bourdain-types. I've also had non-vegetarians attempt to make me eat meat - "It's only a little bit - you need it or you'll keel over through lack of protein!" or "I just thought it might be good for you." or "It's bacon - everyone loves bacon, even vegetarians!". So there are pushy, irritating bigots on both sides. I don't take it personally. There are plenty of lovely non-vegetarians and plenty of lovely vegetarians. There are also plenty of lovely people in between who eat a bit of meat here and there and are passionate about human treatment of the animals they eat, sustainability, etc.

Oh, and by the way, when I said "mention" vegetarianism or being humane to animals I don't mean proselytizing, as ScoopKW seems to have taken it. I mean just casually having it come out in conversation as in "I'll have the cheese and tomato pizza please. Oh no thanks, no pepperoni for me, I'm vegetarian." Funny (by funny I mean sad) how saying something as simple as that can make people jump on you.

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The omnivores of the world are not trying to control what people can and cannot eat. A lot of vegetarians aren't, either. But a lot are. And it's been my experience that there is still another subset of vegetarians who don't try to control the world's diet, but they have to be sanctimonious about it to anyone around them.

So there are pushy, irritating bigots on both sides.

The difference being, the pushy, irritating bigots on one side are only trying to get individuals to eat the way they feel is proper. Gordon Ramsay, for instance. They are not trying to ban the cultivation, sale and consumption of vegetables for everyone.

(Note, I happen to think that slipping chicken broth into food and giving it to unsuspecting vegetarians is vile.)


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

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The omnivores of the world are not trying to control what people can and cannot eat. A lot of vegetarians aren't, either. But a lot are. And it's been my experience that there is still another subset of vegetarians who don't try to control the world's diet, but they have to be sanctimonious about it to anyone around them.

So there are pushy, irritating bigots on both sides.

The difference being, the pushy, irritating bigots on one side are only trying to get individuals to eat the way they feel is proper. Gordon Ramsay, for instance. They are not trying to ban the cultivation, sale and consumption of vegetables for everyone.

(Note, I happen to think that slipping chicken broth into food and giving it to unsuspecting vegetarians is vile.)

Perhaps because it's not just vegetarians that eat vegetables.

My point is that there are non-vegetarians who are rude and pushy and sneaky towards vegetarians, even those who are very quiet and assuming with their personal diet. They want to force their opinion on others. And it's funny how many people I've spoken to who mention that the dietary information they were taught has made it clear to them that meat is a very essential and important part of the diet. All these helpful adverts or public information statements they've seen, some of which seem to have helpfully been sponsored by such "non-biased" companies as the American Beef Lobby or some dairy farmers union, etc. I find that to be quite shady personally, just as annoying as all the crap PETA comes out with. And then of course there's the countless times, especially amongst "foodies", I've seen people jump at a chance to "mock the vegetarian". It's all very tiresome.

The world is not black and white. Meat eaters are not all morally corrupt evil killers. Vegetarians are not all whiney, preachy little gits with pleather shoes. So let's all stop pretending otherwise.

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