Home > Political Correctness, Stupidity > Foie gras and flag-burning

Foie gras and flag-burning

August 23, 2006

It’s big local news around these parts that the Chicago city council has banned foie gras, a fatty treat made from the diseased livers of force-fed geese.  The whole thing started from animal-rights activists, of course, so the council has jumped the goose, if not the shark, by deciding such an abhorrent practice cannot be permitted.

So what happened?  Restaurants meekly removed the offending item from their menus and Chicago sailed off into a brighter, cruelty-free future, right?

Not exactly…

Some city restaurants launched a lawsuit on Tuesday, and said they would meanwhile continue to serve foie gras, without charging customers for it. Managers at Cyrano’s bistro and wine bar in the River North district say foie gras sales have tripled since news of the ban hit the headlines. BBC News

In fact, restaurants that had never served the grey goop before have added it to their menus.  The animal rights activists’ original goal was to reduce the amount of swollen goose-liver eaten.  The law they got passed had the opposite effect.  Most people had never even heard of “fwaa-grass”, but you tell them they can’t have any, then…

OK, I’m not totally insensitive to cruelty, and the way foie gras is made, is horrible even by the low standards of the livestock industry.  But passing a law results in several layers of irony.  If you wanted to prevent cruelty to geese, maybe you should educate people about the pain a goose is likely to experience when force-fed through a long funnel for three to five weeks, until its liver has swollen to ten times normal size.  It’s a good bet a heck of a lot of people will turn their noses up at it once they know.  Some chefs may refuse to prepare it.  Eventually, a lot fewer restaurants will serve it.  And wasn’t that the original point?

  1. August 23, 2006 at 21:51 | #1

    I don’t know why this strikes me as funny, but in a sadistic way the way you described foie gras made me laugh; yes, I know that’s the case, but still…yum, foie gras, diseased geese!

    Or something…

  2. August 23, 2006 at 22:36 | #2

    Clearly, prohibition was too long ago.

    Though it seems like it would have worked if they had just told people how cruel it is for the grains to be ground up and … I mean … uhm.

  3. August 24, 2006 at 05:59 | #3

    Disgusting. Another attempt to legislate morality. I have never eaten foie gras, and probably never will.  I don’t eat veal either. It’s a personal choice. If you don’t have a problem with it, I won’t preach. There are animial cruelty laws that could be enforced against the creators of this goo, but that would just create a price increase and a black market. I think truth in advertising is the way to go; make people call it “diseased ultrafat goose liver” and see how well it sells.

  4. August 24, 2006 at 07:05 | #4

    Well I don’t imagine I will ever try the stuff. I think lobster is disgusting – I won’t even touch it and half of my paternal side of the family are lobster fishermen, so it is in plentiful supply around here, much to my chagrin.  That being said, I don’t think the government should be legislating what we choose or not to eat.  It’s all about making your own choices, the government has bigger things to worry about than geese for crying out loud.

    (still wondering why I clicked the “how it is made” link…*shudder*)

  5. August 24, 2006 at 17:38 | #5

    DOF said it best, it’s another stupid law based on morality.  Every time these types of laws are implemented they fail.  So why are we wasting time implementing them.  If I want to eat a plate full of s*** I should be able to as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone.  Speaking of s***, I don’t think I could stomach eating such a thing as described above.

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