Animal Defenders of Westchester

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We advocate on all animal protection and exploitation issues, including experimentation, factory farming, rodeos, breeders and traveling animal acts.

Animal Defenders of Westchester
P.O. Box 205
Yonkers, NY 10704

Campaigns
Stop Foie Gras Production

One Man's Liver...

4/4/05
NY TIMES
By LAWRENCE DOWNES
EDITORIAL NOTEBOOK  

The Chef Recommends That You Enjoy the Sauternes All by Itself  Tonight

The list of things we do to animals before we eat them is constrained only   by the limits of human hunger and ingenuity, which means it is not constrained   by much. Trapping, hooking, netting, plucking, bleeding, butter-flying, beheading, gutting - the search for delicious knows few bounds or qualms.

That's why it is surprising that a prominent chef, of all people - Charlie  Trotter, the TV celebrity and author from Chicago - would decide to draw the   line at a practice as old and esteemed as the force-feeding of ducks and geese to give them fatty, luscious livers.

That's right: Chef Trotter has renounced foie gras, on ethical grounds.

He says he stopped serving it about three years ago, after becoming  unnerved at the sight of farm ducks being tube-fed into obesity. He kept quiet  about it, but the conspicuous absence of foie gras from his menus led to rumors  in the restaurant world, and he was outed last Tuesday in The Chicago Tribune.

Don't be frightened, foodies, but this may be a trend - another example of  how far the animal-rights cause has come in from the fringe. Gov. Arnold  Schwarzenegger last year banned the production or sale of foie gras in  California.

(The law takes effect in 2012, to give the state's tiny foie gras  industry - basically, a guy in Sonoma named Guillermo - time to adjust.)

A  similar bill has been introduced in New York, the country's only other foie gras   producer. Other chefs, perhaps fearing the unthinkable, have jumped all over Mr.   Trotter, calling his gesture hypocritical grandstanding by a media hound (and   author, so you know, of "Charlie Trotter's Meat and Game," with recipes like  Foie Gras Five Ways and Sweet-and-Sour Braised Lettuce Soup With Foie Gras and  Radishes).

They should knock it off. Fine cooking is fine art, and Mr. Trotter should   feel free to use whatever materials he likes. He says foie gras is cruel, but he  could have also called it boring - a cliché slurped by too many diners who, we  suspect, would swoon just as easily over the velvety succulence of Spam or  schmaltz on rye, if they were prohibitively priced and listed on the menu in  French. By spurning an easy fix of fancy fat, Mr. Trotter is simply making his  job a bit harder, and this man-eat-duck world a slightly kinder place.

There is  much to admire in that.

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Article Title : One Man's Liver...

Source:

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/04/opinion/04mon4.html  


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