Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Five US States Now Ban Shark Fins, How About Foie Gras?

Five US States Now Ban Shark Fins, How About This Other "Delicacy"?

by Martha Rosenberg
February 9, 2013


Click for big version.

In January, Illinois became the first inland US state to pass a comprehensive ban against the trade, sale or distribution of shark fins. After the "finning" process, a shark's body is generally discarded into the water where it dies of suffocation or is eaten by predators because it can't move normally without fins. Gov. Pat Quinn signed the law at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium where several species of sharks are found. Illinois is the fifth state in the US to ban the "delicacy," popular in Asia.

But another cruel delicacy banned in Chicago for a short time in 2006, remains legal. Foie gras is a delicacy that requires geese and ducks to be force fed to bloat their livers, often until they can barely walk, their throats are bloody or punctured and they struggle to breathe. Few who have viewed videos of foie gras production, widely posted on the Web, will eat it again.

A ban on restaurants serving foie gras provoked a vehement backlash from Chicago chefs who were making money off the dish. "Why should someone tell us what we can or can't serve, buy or produce that the FDA puts its stamp on daily?" asked chef Michael Tsonton of Copperblue restaurant in Chicago. "We live in a free-market society and if people are truly offended they won't buy it," agreed David Richards, owner of Sweets & Savories. Even Chicago Tribune restaurant critic Phil Vettel ridiculed the ban and wrote, "Has City Council nally quacked?" Will undercover "quack-easies" spring up to deect the cruelty issues?

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), expected to be a leading voice for animal welfare, also defends foie gras. One veterinarian AVMA delegate at 2005 hearings defended foie gras production by saying banning it could lead to resolutions against veal calves and other "production agriculture." Don't veterinarians take an oath to relieve animal suffering? "We cannot condemn an accepted agricultural practice on…emotion," he proclaimed. At least 14 countries have banned or partially banned foie gras…on emotion.

Chicago chefs so feared ethical issues invading their kitchens—as shark fins now have—they created a group called Chicago Chefs for Choice to ght the ban and they succeeded. Restaurateurs held Foie Gras Fest fundraisers with all-foie gras menus as in—hip to be cruel.

Sweets & Savories featured a Kobe beef burger topped with foie gras pâté and seared foie gras accompanied by pumpkin an. Graham Elliot Bowles, chef at Avenues in the Peninsula Hotel, offered a foie gras tasting menu with a foie gras custard, mousse, brioche, vinaigrette, lollipop, and milk shake for $238 per diner. A fourth course was a terrine of foie gras snow frozen and whirred into a powder and served with kangaroo, lime, eucalyptus, and melon. Similar derisive and reactionary menus were invented by California chefs before a recent foie gras ban went into effect.

Gov. Pat Quinn and officials in the other four states banning shark fins should be commended. If we wait for people to be "truly offended" by cruel practices, shark fin will remain on the menu. So will foie gras.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Don Franks: Thwarting National's Tea-Break Busting Bill

National's tea break busting bill will pass through parliament this week. What will this mean? The Government's Employment Relations Amendment Bill makes several changes, including removal of guaranteed tea breaks and meal breaks. More>>

Jim Miles: Canada’s Heart Of Darkness

Once upon a time, Canada was able to create the illusion that it was the “peaceable kingdom”, an illusion accepted domestically and arguably by most of the rest of the world. This history has been well discredited with newer historical research outlining how Canada’s position as a “peacekeeper,” generally under UN auspices, remained effectively within the realm of U.S. foreign policy... More>>

ALSO:

Michael Collins: Jet Fighter Shoot Down Of MH 17 Still On Table

A senior prosecutor investigating the MH17 shoot down for the Dutch Prosecutors office, Fred Westerbeke, offered up as many questions as he did answers in an interview with SpiegelOnline yesterday. More>>

Jonathan Cook: How Israel Is Turning Gaza Into A Super-Max Prison

It is astonishing that the reconstruction of Gaza, bombed into the Stone Age according to the explicit goals of an Israeli military doctrine known as Dahiya, has tentatively only just begun two months after the end of the fighting. More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Dysfunctional Hagiography: Australia & Gough Whitlam's Death

Hagiography is the curse of the Australian Labor movement. It is a movement that searches for, and craves, mythical figures and myths. Such a phenomenon might be termed mummification, and detracts from closer examination. More>>

David Swanson: On Killing Trayvons

This Wednesday is a day of action that some are calling a national day of action against police brutality, with others adding 'and mass incarceration,' and I'd like to add 'and war' and make it global rather than national. More>>

Uri Avnery: Israel Ignoring “Tectonic Change” In Public Opinion

If the British parliament had adopted a resolution in favour of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the reaction of our media would have been like this: More>>

ALSO:

| UK MPs blow a “raspberry” at Netanyahu and his serfs

Byron Clark: Fiji Election: Crooks In Suits

On September 17 Fiji held its first election since Voreqe “Frank” Bainimarama seized power in a 2006 coup. With his Fiji First party receiving 59.2% of the vote, Bainimarama will remain in power. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news