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Foie Gras & the Food Police

Apparently, the torture and killing of animals for a delicacy is okay while acting as the “food police” is not.

In more of the ridiculous uproar against the foie gras ban, chef Anthony Bourdain says that to “ask chefs to cook without that is to ask a painter to not use the color blue.” This in response to the proposed ban on the distribution and sale of foie gras in New Jersey by legislator and vegetarian Michael J. Panter.

Bourdain claims that properly farmed foie gras ducks “live a good, natural life—even a pampered one—compared with the horrifying and vastly more widespread practice of raising battery chickens.” Who knew that the cruelty involved in keeping hens in battery cages was common knowledge? I guess that’s only when it can be used to detract attention from whatever other issue is at hand. In any case, Gene Bauston responds to the ridiculous claims that these animals are living in the lap of luxury.

In a dose of sanity, the Columbus, Ohio, restaurant Bexley Monk has willingly taken foie gras off its menu. Kudos to them! Let’s hope more restaurants follow BM’s example.

The problem is that people like Bourdain can’t see that this is about outlawing cruelty, not cuisine. The whole “food police” issue was aptly summed up, in my opinion, by one West Village restaurant owner in response to the proposed ban on trans fats in New York: “They’re taking away our right to be stupid, which is our primary American right.”

Unfortunately, that sounds about right.

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