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

 

Valerie Morse: Key And NZ Police At G20: What A Contribution

While 200 New Zealand police officers are helping to repress protests outside of the G20 in Brisbane this week, John Key has been inside pushing the interests of giant multinational corporations to fast track the World Trade Organization (WTO) ... More>>

ALSO:

Gabriela Coutiño: Ayotzinapa Caravan Meets With EZLN In Oventic

In their visit to Zapatista Territory, parents of the 43 students disappeared from Ayotzinapa Guerrero, agreed with the Zapatista National Liberation Army (EZLN), to articulate a national grassroots movement that would question forced disappearances ... More>>

Ramzy Baroud: Talk Of A Third Intifada: Where To From Here, Palestine?

When a journalist tries to do a historian’s job, the outcome can be quite interesting. Using history as a side note in a brief news report or political analysis oftentimes does more harm than good. More>>

ALSO:

David Swanson: Who Says Ferguson Can't End Well

Just as a police officer in a heightened state of panic surrounded by the comfort of impunity will shoot an innocent person, the Governor of Missouri has declared a state of emergency preemptively, thus justifying violence in response to something ... More>>

Melanie Duval-Smith: Homeless Is Where The Heart Is

So, you are not allowed to feed the homeless on the streets of Florida. Last week, a 90 year old man and two Christian ministers were arrested for doing just that. I can hear the cries of the right wingers from here. “Not in our back yard”, ... More>>

John Chuckman: What We Truly Learned From the Great War and the Absurdity of Remembrance Day

No matter what high-blown claims the politicians make each year on Remembrance Day, The Great War was essentially a fight between two branches of a single royal family over the balance of power on the continent of Europe, British foreign policy holding ... More>>

Redress Information: A European Call To Suspend EU-Israel Association Agreement

More than 300 political parties, trade unions and campaign groups have called on the European Union to suspend its “association agreement” with Israel. The agreement, which came into force in 2000, facilitates largely unrestricted trade with Israel ... More>>

Ramzy Baroud: The Age Of TV Jokers: Arab Media On The Brink

As I was finalizing my research for this article, I found myself browsing through a heap of hilarious videos by mostly Egyptian TV show hosts Tawfiq Okasha and Amr Adeeb. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news