California Chefs Up In Arms Against Foie Gras Ban
It has not been long since PETA wrote a letter to Michelin CEO, asking his help in curbing consumption of Foie Gras, the epitome of cruelty against animals. However, a group of top chefs of California are already making efforts to protest the ban, which will be enforced in another two months. Read the hows and whys of this Foie Gras situation.
1) The California Decision
It was in 2004 that the Californian legislature gave Foie Gras producers seven years to look for a more humane way to create this delicacy. The reason why this duck liver dish is one of the top 10 banned foods in the world is the inhumane production method, which calls for fattening the bird’s liver by forcing food down its throat. If that makes you want to throw up, imagine what it must be doing to the geese and duck that have to undergo this ordeal and then die in order to satisfy somebody’s desire for Foie Gras. Keeping this in mind, the legislature passed this decision, hoping that the producers would find some way out to make this method more sensitive to the birds. Unfortunately, the events have taken a whole new turn.
2) The Chefs Up In Arms
A group of 100 chefs, some of them the most notable names in the Californian culinary industry, have signed a petition against the ban. These chefs want the Foie Gras sale to be kept legal. Although, the chefs also want that the legislature should bring in new regulations for the raising of the birds. This has put a question mark on the Foie Gras ban to be implemented from July 1, 2012. Nathan Ballard, spokesman of the group of chefs, explains the anti-ban step, “It’s been a rough couple of years for restaurants because of the economy. This (the ban) is one more blow to the restaurant industry in California. Chefs don’t want to see it go into effect.”
3) The Sponsor’s Dilemma
John Burton, who sponsored the ban in the legislature, is now chairman of the Democratic Party. Apart from the geese and ducks who are subjected to this atrocious production method, apparently, Burton is the only other person who is unhappy that the ban is being fought against by Chefs. He says painfully, “I gave them seven years – seven years, and I shouldn’t have -- And now they’re all going, ‘Oh my God, I just don’t know how we’re going to survive.’ Burton is furious over the “bad faith” going around over the Foie Gras ban, more so because he had already agreed the bill’s delay because the only producer of Foie Gras in California had asked for time. Now, his only regret is that he shouldn’t have given seven years of time.
4) The CHEFS
The Chefs, who are against the ban, mostly work in the San Francisco Bay Are and they are using the animal welfare argument, which is manifested in the name they call themselves with – the Coalition for Humane and Ethical Farming Standards (CHEFS). In terms of the new regulations, these CHEFS are asking for the State to set new standards for the production as well as regular audits by animal welfare authorities, keeping the birds cage-free, feeding them with hands and limiting the fattening process of the liver. But all this is nothing new since the animal welfare exponents have already been insisting that these regulations be a part of the Foie Gras production. However, the producers have done everything to ignore their pleas. It is as if these CHEFS believe that production of Foie Gras is nothing unethical.
While the Foie Gras ban is not in any immediate danger because in order to get the same repealed, the group of chefs will have to find a sponsor, which may seem like an uphill task, especially at this 11th hour. Would you like the ban to be enforced? Give your opinion.