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janeer

Farewell to Foie Gras

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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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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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But let's run with the idea a bit. How would you feel if some new group sprung up, claiming "rice is murder." And trying to ban the cultivation, sale and consumption of rice -- worldwide. Sure, the whole idea is silly in the extreme. But imagine "rice is murder" on billboards worldwide. People pouring buckets of rice milk on paddy workers.

EDIT -- And then they have to get on every internet forum on planet Earth, and remind us that "rice is murder" every time we post a recipe for pilaf.

But that's the point of the omnivore. Who do these people think they are? Telling us we can't eat fish, or game, or cheese? Why do they feel the need to impress their views upon us? On a shockingly regular basis?

I don't have to trot out the tired arguments FOR eating meat. We've all heard them. Probably hundreds of times. Frankly, I don't care what other people eat. It's not my business. Why do so many people seem to feel they have the moral and ethical authority to tell me what is or is not acceptable on my plate at mealtime?


Edited by ScoopKW (log)

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

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But let's run with the idea a bit. How would you feel if some new group sprung up, claiming "rice is murder." And trying to ban the cultivation, sale and consumption of rice -- worldwide. Sure, the whole idea is silly in the extreme. But imagine "rice is murder" on billboards worldwide. People pouring buckets of rice milk on paddy workers.

I think this is a bit of a silly example to bring up. Not sure what to think of this very unlikely hypothetical situation.

But that's the point of the omnivore. Who do these people think they are? Telling us we can't eat fish, or game, or cheese? Why do they feel the need to impress their views upon us? On a shockingly regular basis?

I guess I just haven't come across this particular problem in my personal life - though I'm not saying it doesn't happen. I have had people do the opposite to me, so they poke their nose in my business because it's strange or unhealthy or somehow rude (even when I'm not imposing) that I don't eat meat. People have told me how they feel I should eat and been very bossy and belittling about it, so I know exactly what you mean when you ask why people feel the need to force their views on you, and I'm sorry that you've experienced it. It happens outside of food subjects too of course - I've had people knock on my door to tell me rather forcibly about god and so on. And I've had to listen to various highly offensive views on race, gender, sexuality, lifestyle, etc. that come out the mouths of some people who just feel the need to "enlighten" the world. Such is life. I try not to let it colour my view of people unrelated to such groups.

I don't have to trot out the tired arguments FOR eating meat. We've all heard them. Probably hundreds of times. Frankly, I don't care what other people eat. It's not my business. Why do so many people seem to feel they have the moral and ethical authority to tell me what is or is not acceptable on my plate at mealtime?

Excellent stuff, we agree here completely. Let's have everyone make up their own personal mind and leave it at that. but on top of that, I just don't think it's helpful to keep trotting out tired old "he said she said" scrapping about what different groups have said and using that to paint an image of every single person who eats meat or who doesn't eat meat. Especially since it appears that in this case, and I suspect in other similar situations, we are basically agreeing - each to their own and no need for anyone to go around telling people what they "should" be doing.

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The quoting is becoming tiresome:

1) The reason for the silly hypothetical situation is this: What if a driven, single-issue group decided that something that constitutes more than 10% of your diet was immoral, unethical, and needed to be banned TODAY. What if they reminded you of that every chance they got?

2) The reason you don't come across this "particular problem" is that from their perspective, you're one of them. You're not part of the problem. My side isn't trying to ban your food. Your side is trying to ban mine. And yes, I eat foie. I eat it in California, when I go to Napa and San Francisco on vacation. So this directly affects me. Not to any great extent. But the "dark side" has just told me I can't have any pâté to go along with my wine. I don't tell them what they can eat. I don't ban the food they like.

But they do. And this is what it's all about for me.


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

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In answer to point 1, I guess I would think about it for a bit. Then if I disagreed I would simply ignore.

For point 2 actually I literally mean that I have not personally come across any "meat is murder", anti-fur, etc. rallys or adverts or whatever, though I have heard about them second hand. I don't watch TV, I don't read magazines, I visit quite specific places on the internet, etc. so maybe I am not exposing myself to the right sources. I also do not know anything about what America is like, so maybe things are different there.

And by the way "my side" is not trying to do anything. I am not on anyone's side. Notice that I have not grouped you with the people who have gone on and on about my eating habits.

It's funny because we agree on the basics of this issue. But you won't let it drop that somehow I am doing something to you by virtue of being vegetarian, and that vegetarians are oppressing the world, etc. I guess maybe they are in your part of the world. Who knows.

Anyhoo is basically 1 am here and I have class in the morning. Wish you the best and hope that you don't feel less of me simply for my eating habits. For the record, if you ever come to Allahabad I'll happily take you somewhere where you can eat delicious meats and I can eat delicious veggies. That's what I'll be doing with my brother when he comes to visit, and there's never any moral issue about it.


Edited by Jenni (log)

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In answer to point 1, I guess I would think about it for a bit. Then if I disagreed I would simply ignore.

For point 2 actually I literally mean that I have not personally come across any "meat is murder", anti-fur, etc. rallys or adverts or whatever, though I have heard about them second hand. I don't watch TV, I don't read magazines, I visit quite specific places on the internet, etc. so maybe I am not exposing myself to the right sources. I also do not know anything about what America is like, so maybe things are different there.

And by the way "my side" is not trying to do anything. I am not on anyone's side. Notice that I have not grouped you with the people who have gone on and on about my eating habits.

But you can't simply ignore it if they successfully ban and criminalize the food you eat, can you?

And yes, you're on a side. You're not trying to force your ideals on anyone else. But there are a lot of vegetarians who ARE. They are actively trying to ban my food. They want to make it a criminal act to have sausage and eggs for breakfast. Your gentle "mentioning" humane animal treatment is just more polite than the hard-core vegetarians who want to outright ban and criminalize my breakfast.


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

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