Should You Eat Foie Gras? An Overview
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!
Why CA made the right decision in lifting their foie gras ban: foie's not inherently inhumane http://t.co/kAulRAiA8h
— Serious Eats (@seriouseats) January 8, 2015
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.
Now that I can bring the one true Foie Gras Doughnut to Cali.. who wants to invest?
— Justin M. Warner (@EatFellowHumans) January 7, 2015
Or cotton candy foie gras.
@Eater Cotton The only cotton Candy Foie Gras!
— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) January 7, 2015
Or truckfulls of foie gras, we guess?
Would love to see Hudson Valley Foie Gras sending an Airbus A380's worth of foie gras from New York to California. Emergency Foie Relief!
— ryan sutton (@qualityrye) January 7, 2015
But there’s plenty of those who still won’t be buying into the foie gras repeal.
@LAMagFood the only chefs who serve foie gras are assholes.
— dotdot (@PantherControl) January 8, 2015
— Brent Robinson (@brentrob) January 8, 2015
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.
@christiancote7 unfortunately all consumption of meat involves torture….but foie gras is definitely on a level of its own.
— Elle Côté (@MsElleCote) January 8, 2015
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.
yes, please preach about how awful foie gras is and then eat your factory farmed meat. #samedifference
— cindy j (@cinnerj) January 8, 2015
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.
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