comScore California Overturns Foie Gras Ban - Should You Eat It?

Should You Eat Foie Gras? An Overview

All of California’s freaking the eff out that the former foie gras ban, instated in 2012, has been overturned. No really, people are like crying over this news (from the New York Times):

Many chefs across the state, who had lamented the loss of a favored ingredient and led protests against the ban, exploded in celebration after the ruling was announced. “We are freaking out,” said Jon Shook, one of the chef-owners of Animal in Los Angeles. “The person who buys our foie gras called us from the courthouse crying with happiness.”

Well, alrighty then. But does that mean you should eat it though? Let’s pause and check our foie gras humane-o-meter.

Go for it, says Serious Eats!

From author J. Kenji López-Alt:

I’ve no doubt that farms like this exist in the world, and it is a terrible, atrocious tragedy. If this is how all foie—or even all meat—is produced, I’d become a vegetarian today. But video or photographic footage of one badly managed farm or even a thousand badly managed farms does not prove that the production of foie gras, as a practice, is necessarily harmful to the health or mental well-being of a duck. Foie gras production should be judged not by the worst farms, but by the best, because those are the ones that I’m going to choose to buy my foie from if at all.

If you like tasty things, or if you like foie gras doughnuts, than sure.

Or cotton candy foie gras.

Or truckfulls of foie gras, we guess?

But there’s plenty of those who still won’t be buying into the foie gras repeal.

PETA is predictably not having it. From the Mercury News:

People for Ethical Treatment of Animals President Ingrid Newkirk said in a statement, “Foie gras is French for ‘fatty liver,’ and ‘fathead’ is the American word for the shameless chefs who actually need a law to make them stop serving the swollen, near-bursting organ of a cruelly force-fed bird.

“PETA believes that this decision will be reversed on appeal,” Newkirk said.

Even meat eaters still think foie gras is icky.

Some say eating foie gras makes you an asshole. From Hamilton Nolan at Gawker:

Foie gras is made by force feeding birds until their livers swell up. It is the Abu Ghraib of poultry dishes. Many people believe that eating any sort of meat is immoral, because you have to kill an animal to do it. I am not even arguing that position in this blog post. I am arguing the much more modest position that you should not torture your food before you eat it. …

There is lots of food in the world for you to eat that does not involve torture. If you deliberately seek out food to eat that does involve torture, you are an asshole. I don’t think I’m being extravagant in my judgment here. This is hardly a radical position. There is no amount of tastiness that outweighs the act of torture.

So really, if you don’t want to eat foie gras and think it’s inhumane, you shouldn’t eat really any meat ever.

So decide amongst yourselves: are you a foodie, or an asshole? A meat eater, or ethical meat eater? Wanter of delicious fatty meats, or … well, whatever the opposite of that would be? Do you let your tastebuds or your conscience be your guide? Up to you, eaters.

[TIME, New York Times, Serious Eats, Mercury News, Gawker

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