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NYC’s Foie Gras Ban: Still Kicking, & How You Can Help

It’s not news anymore that the introduction of the bill banning the sale of foie gras in NYC was postponed due to pressure from the bill’s opponents. As the foodies continue to torture animals in the name of a delicacy, all the while bitching and moaning that the government has no right to tell people what they can or can’t eat, the Big Apple banned the use of trans fats in restaurants, and plenty of people would like to see more regulation and oversight when it comes to food thanks to the recent outbreaks of salmonella and E. coli.

I can’t help but think that all this activity surrounding food and fat and health and safety will lend credence to the foie gras ban, since foie gras is literally fatty, diseased organs, produced by force-feeding ducks and geese a third or fourth of their body weight every day, resulting in livers that are 10 times normal size, not to mention a host of diseases, paralysis, and premature deaths that predate even slaughter.

We need to make sure this legislation is introduced, and you, your friends, and family can help. Following is an exhaustive guide to getting involved.

1. Contacting Speaker Christine Quinn is top priority. Let her know that we expect her to support the ban on foie gras in NYC and that many New Yorkers feel very strongly about the issue. Write to her at: The Honorable Christine Quinn, Speaker of the City Council, City Hall, New York, NY 10007. (At the bottom of this post are talking points that you can refer to when drafting your letter.)

2. Thank Council Member Alan Gerson for considering introducing the legislation, and tell him you trust that he’ll make the right decision and introduce it, and that you support his efforts. He can be reached at: The Honorable Alan Gerson, Council Member, 1st District, 51 Chambers Street, Suite 429, New York, NY 10007. (Again, talking points at the bottom.)

3. If you can also make phone calls, Christine Quinn can be reached at 212-788-5615 (her staff checks this comments line; say you want to leave her a message) and Alan Gerson at 212-788-7722 (ask for Paul Nagle). If you can do only one thing, snail mail is always best, but if you have the time and gumption to follow up your letters with phone calls, it would help a lot. (More talking points at bottom.)

4. You can contact your own council member, too. Find out who he or she is by typing in your address and borough on the home page of the League of Humane Voters of New York City’s website, then shoot off another letter.

5. A new press conference date will be announced soon (it will likely be at 1pm so that people can go on their lunch hour). Please plan to attend and ask some friends to go with you—they don’t have to be activists, just warm bodies! The more people turn up at City Hall, the better.

6. If you’d like to respond to some of the coverage the issue is getting, start by setting up a Google alert for foie gras, which you can do here (set it to Comprehensive and you’ll be notified about news items as well as blog entries). If you’d like to receive alerts through the campaign and Farm Sanctuary, letting you know which articles and blogs to focus on, drop me a line with “Foie Gras Campaign” in the subject line. And of course, if you have a blog of your own, please let people know what’s happening and encourage them to get involved.

7. For general information and updates on the campaign, check out the New York City Say No to Foie Gras Campaign, About Foie Gras, and the campaign’s MySpace page. While you’re there, you can check out video footage, or go to YouTube and watch Discover French Foie Gras and Delicacy of Despair. And please friend us on MySpace!

8. Feel free to add an automatic signature at the bottom of your e-mails leading people to the campaign’s pages. You’d be surprised how many people have no idea what foie gras is and how it’s made. That said, let me know if you’d like to receive an e-mailer containing text, photos, and video and Internet links; it’s a comprehensive summary of foie gras facts and information on how people can get involved, and it’s proved pretty successful so far.

9. Finally, if you’d like to help out in a more hands-on way, say, by contacting area restaurants and persuading them to take foie gras off the menu, doing college outreach, or helping with PR, e-mail volunteer coordinator Wendy Berner or call 646-369-6212. If you’d like to help out via the Internet, you can e-mail me directly.

Thanks to everyone who read this all the way through! The more people who work on the campaign to ban foie gras in NYC, the better our chances for success.

Below are the talking points for your calls and letters. Thanks again.

Talking points for letters to Speaker Quinn:

1. I am part of a coalition of 110,000 New York City voters who are associated with the Humane Society of the United States, the League of Humane Voters of New York City, and Farm Sanctuary.

2. As a New York City voter, I am concerned and disappointed that you are not in support of legislation to have foie gras banned in NYC.

3. Scientific evidence supports that foie gras production is cruel and inhumane. (See Evidence of Suffering for details you can add.)

4. Over a dozen nations worldwide, including Israel, Germany, Italy, and the UK, either have banned foie gras or have legislation in place to prohibit the force-feeding of ducks and geese. The state of California and the city of Chicago also have legislation in place to ban foie gras. Connecticut, New Jersey, and Philadelphia are considering similar legislation.

5. The general public is aware of this issue. A March 2005 Zogby poll reported that four out of five New Yorkers are in favor of a ban of foie gras. A May 2006 Zogby poll reported that 77% of New York voters support a ban on force-feeding birds for foie gras.

6. Banning the sale of foie gras will not jeopardize the economy of New York City since it is consumed by only a small percentage of New Yorkers.

7. The compassion/moral/ethical issues.

8. Please support the legislation to have the sale of foie gras banned in New York City.

Talking points for letters to Council Member Gerson:

1. I am part of a coalition of 110,000 New York City voters who make up the Humane Society of the United States, the League of Humane Voters of New York City, and Farm Sanctuary.

2. I want to thank you for your support of animal welfare causes. As a New York City voter, I am very excited that you are considering legislation that would ban the sale of foie gras in NYC.

3. As you know, the force-feeding of ducks to produce foie gras is cruel and inhumane. Scientific evidence supports this. (See Evidence of Suffering for details you can add.)

4. Over a dozen nations worldwide, including Israel, Germany, Italy, and the UK, either have banned foie gras or have legislation in place to outlaw the force-feeding of ducks.

5. The general public is aware of this issue. A March 2005 Zogby poll reported that four out of five New Yorkers are in favor of having foie gras banned. A May 2006 Zogby poll reported that 77% of New York voters support a ban on the force-feeding of birds for foie gras.

6. Thank you for considering introducing legislation to have the sale of foie gras banned in New York City.

Calling tips for Speaker Quinn:

1. As a New York City voter, I am concerned and disappointed that you are not in support of legislation to have the sale of foie gras banned in NYC.

2. I am part of a coalition of 110,000 New York City voters who are associated with the Humane Society of the United States, the League of Humane Voters of New York City, and Farm Sanctuary.

3. Volumes of scientific evidence prove that foie gras production is a cruel and barbaric practice.

4. Over a dozen nations worldwide, including Israel, Germany, Italy, and the UK, either have banned foie gras or have legislation in place to prohibit the force-feeding of ducks and geese. The state of California and the city of Chicago also have legislation in place to ban foie gras. Connecticut, New Jersey, and Philadelphia are also considering enacting similar legislation.

5. Please support legislation to have the sale of foie gras banned in New York City.

Calling tips for Council Member Alan Gerson:

1. I want to thank you for your support of animal welfare causes. As a New York City voter, I am very excited that you are considering legislation that would ban the sale of foie gras in NYC.

2. I am part of a coalition of 110,000 New York City voters who make up the Humane Society of the United States, the League of Humane Voters of New York City, and Farm Sanctuary.

3. As you know, the force-feeding of ducks to produce foie gras is cruel and inhumane. Scientific evidence supports this.

4. Over a dozen nations worldwide, including Israel, Germany, Italy, and the UK, either have banned foie gras or have legislation in place to outlaw the force-feeding of ducks.

5. Thank you for your time, and thank you for considering introducing legislation to have the sale of foie gras banned in New York City.

3 Comments

  1. Comment by

    Olivia Lane

    on #

    OMG! This post is beyond impressive!

  2. Comment by

    Laura Leslie

    on #

    I was just going to say that. This is awesomely comprehensive.

  3. Comment by

    wberner

    on #

    Awesome!

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