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Poll: Should Restaurants Battle the Foie Gras Ban?

Several local establishments – including Sante and LaSalette – serve the controversial liver

It's a battle of the hippies: Animal rights activists and chefs have been sparring over a piece of legislation that would ban foie gras from restaurant menus in California.

A fatty delicacy, foie gras is created by force feeding ducks and geese to create a plump and tender organ. Animal lovers argue that the force feeding, which ultimately results in an almost 10 times larger liver, is cruel and causes animals unusual emotional distress.

But the ingredient is common in area food establishments. Many local restaurants, including LaSalette and Santé have signature dishes which include foie gras. Moreover, California's only foie gras producer is in Sonoma County: Sonoma-Artisan Foie Gras, whose owner Guillermo Gonzalez, told the New York Times that he'd be forced to shut down if the ban went through.

The ban, passed in 2004, is scheduled to take effect July 1. A group of more than 100 chefs signed a petition asking the legislature to reconsider before the ban takes effect.

But politicians are hesitant to back off of the controversial issue.

"I'm not going to allow an issue like that to preoccupy the legislature," Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, D-Sacramento, told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

Angela White May 04, 2012 at 02:43 PM
I think meat eaters are just upset because vegetarians, vegans and animal rights activists finally got one in their favor. I think people have plenty of other choices on the menu, god knows between beef, pork, chicken, veal, quail, duck, rabbit, salmon, tuna, halibut, scallops, shrimp, skate, mussels and clams, there are certainly other food choices and other revenue sources. We eat everything, so I just can't understand why this one thing is such a big deal?
Alexis Fitts May 04, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Wayne, I'm interested – how is French foie gras production different than American production? I was under the impression that foie gras could only be produced in a single way – through the excessive force feeding that's inherently cruel. Is there a big difference between factory farmed force feeding and small farmed force feeding?
Alexis Fitts May 04, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Thanks for the comment, Angela.
Dorothy May 05, 2012 at 03:17 AM
There is nothing about foie gras that is necessary for living. And we as humans must consider the effect of force feeding on these animals.----they must be confined and force fed. I think it is not a picture that I wish to see. Humane treatment of farm animals is essential. While I admit that I ate foie gras in my youth, now that I know how it is produced, I can gave this food up.
Catherine June 11, 2012 at 01:26 AM
IIRC, the duck is held in the feeder's arm (same feeder every day) and it takes seconds. I respect your views and am sure you must not eat any factory raised cows, pigs, chickens, etc. Have you seen a gestation crate that sows are held in? Now THAT will put you off bacon forever!

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