The Radio Equalizer: Brian Maloney

04 April 2005

Animal Activists Push States For Foie Gras Ban

Food Police Strike Again
How Did Arnold Get Suckered Into This Fringe Cause?

In their step-by-step quest for an eventual total ban on meat products in America, vegetarian activists are pushing to outlaw a staple of high end restaurants: foie gras, better known as duck liver.

On the contention that farmers use cruel means to enlarge duck livers they've convinced state legislatures, from Illinois to Massachusetts, to consider banning the product entirely.

Even California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger got suckered into the cause, signing legislation that takes it off menus in 2012, unless animal rights activists can be satisfied that production methods are humane.

Now, pressure is on Seattle restaurant owners, especially high-profile ones, to remove the delicacy from their facilities, leading to today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer story.

One farmer in the story pegs exactly what the movement is truly about:

(Seattle Post-Intelligencer- Kathy George- 4 April 2005)

The activists' attention is misplaced, he said, arguing that the pre-slaughter mortality rate in his industry is 3 percent to 4 percent, lower than in turkey or other poultry industries.

As for accounts of unnaturally fat ducks barely able to walk fleeing from those who force-feed them, Ginor said there is no evidence of pain in the foie gras process.

"If you've ever been to a slaughter room of any facility, it can look very bloody," he said. "There's a real disconnect between going to a steakhouse and really understanding where the beef came from."

Of course, the next step is to demand a beef ban, citing the same "inhumane" circumstances! Will Arnold get fooled a second time?

One French restaurant owner has a moderate view:

Holly Smith, chef and owner of Cafe Juanita in Kirkland, said foie gras is one of the most popular items on her menu.

Years ago, she said, she toured the Sonoma Foie Gras farm and "saw that these were a very voracious breed of duck, and that they were not force-feeding them."

Since then, she said, she has switched to a small New York foie gras producer called Labelle that she believes also avoids force-feeding.

"I certainly don't want to be hurting a duck," she said.

"They're just fat, hopefully fat and happy. Who's to say, though?"

Her point is well taken, there's simply no proof that cruelty is even occurring. She's not ruling it out, but it hasn't been demonstrated by anyone without a political agenda.

In Boston and Seattle, vegetarian food police are just a few years behind what they've accomplished in Santa Cruz, California, where they successfully blocked an Outback Steakhouse on "moral" grounds. With the head office of one of the most obnoxious anti-meat groups in town, Santa Cruz proved to be an easy, early victory for this movement.

Don't underestimate for a moment the determination of these groups to block from your store, establishment and barbecue, all of your favorite foods.

Sometimes they'll work to change laws, other times resort to vandalism and trespassing. It's only a matter of time before they see complete victory if they aren't stopped.

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  • Sometimes they'll work to change laws, other times resort to vandalism and trespassing. It's only a matter of time before they see complete victory if they aren't stopped.

    Just like the fetus fascists who attack and bomb abortion clinics, right?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 April, 2005 14:45  

  • You're lame... you've probably never ate foie gras in your life. No wonder you're not on the radio anymore "Rush Wanabee".

    The only thing you see here is another chance to bash environmental groups. Are they extreme at times? Sure. Are they right/concerned wrt to the topics they bring up? Sure.

    I'm sure you find the currect methods being used in Canada to hunt seals just dandy. I'm sure you'd enjoy being hit in the head w/ a club that has a ice pick at the end of it. Oops! Put one too many holes in that sucker... OK just dump it over.

    Your logic that if they aren't stopped now that all meat will be banned one day is a real stretch.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 04 April, 2005 18:38  

  • Hmmm I wander if these animal rights folks were to head down to my old stomping grounds
    and start protesting Possum and sweet taders. The we would see who wanted to be in a Rush.

    By Blogger Roy Wa, at 04 April, 2005 20:58  

  • Once again the smarmy dagger throwers post thier little quips anonymously. You little pricks can do better I think.

    As far as this post is concerned, you are correct. It's only a matter of time, especially in the Peoples Republik of Washington. Where Ruth's Chris Steakhouse will become Ruth's Speakeasy and Bar.

    Prohibition failed the first time you morons, or did you NOT get the memo on recycled TP?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 05 April, 2005 17:30  

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