An Open Letter to Foie Gras Protesters

Hey there, guys. It’s been a busy few months for you, hasn’t it? You’ve barely packed up your Eddie Bauer tents from Occupy, and there you were, right back on the scene, with your protests on foie gras, especially here in the Bay Area. First of all, I want to say I think foie gras [...]

foie gras protest san francisco california

A barf-worthy buffet

Hey there, guys. It’s been a busy few months for you, hasn’t it? You’ve barely packed up your Eddie Bauer tents from Occupy, and there you were, right back on the scene, with your protests on foie gras, especially here in the Bay Area.

First of all, I want to say I think foie gras disgusting, too. I’ve tried it a few times (believe me, I feel pretty elitist even admitting that) and for me it takes like a mix of moldy lunch meat, mothballs and Elmer’s Paste. And how it’s made – force-feeding poor geese and ducks to fatten up their livers – is just as vile.

So I’ve never understood all the hype from foodies and Frenchies. But what I’m really having trouble comprehending is why you focused such energy and vitriol on something that takes up waaaaayyyy less than 1% (I know you’re familiar with that number!) of the collective consciousness, and an even smaller impact on the purchasing decisions of the everyday person.

Let’s break it down: Just a guess here (I couldn’t find any official numbers), but foie gras is served in probably less than 10 percent of the restaurants in California. Of those, it represents one, maybe two, menu items. Beyond that, the 98 percent or so of people who have never even tried the so-called delicacy are stuffing their faces with food from factories where the atrocities committed on animals make foie gras production look like The Beverly Hills Chihuahua. What’s more, foie gras fanatics can get their fix at any of the other 49 states that haven’t banned it.

So, in terms of making your effort really count and changing behavior, you’ve done about as much good as rehab has for Lindsay Lohan. Why in the name of hemp didn’t you bring your bullhorns and bullying to any of the thousands of Wendy’s locations, for example, which has been targeted for animal cruelty in the past and is now serving a foie gras burger in Japan?

But hey, hats off to you for the victory – the foie gras ban went into effect this Sunday. I can’t wait to see what you’ll cry fowl, er, foul on next.

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