I'm gonna reference this article a lot, so read it first then come back to your regularly scheduled reading.
Ah, it seems the weather is perfect for a Humane Society/PETA throwdown. Well, I've got a few spare minutes to knock this puppy out of the park so here goes.(bonus points for those of you that picked up on the irony of the term 'puppy')
In the spirit of full disclosure, I own two cats that are very old and I love both of them very much, so there.
So, the Humane Society has decided to pick a fight with Hudson Valley Foie Gras over elevated pollutant levels. Hmmmm, have you ever been to north eastern North Carolina? Next time you're on your way to the Outer Banks, turn off the AC and roll down your windows. You'll enjoy one of the most rank pig shit smells, courtesy of factory pig farming, that will literally make you want to throw up.(Pass the factory farmed pork chops, please) THAT is elevated pollutant levels. Wonder why the Humane Society isn't doing anything about that? My guess is that Big AG has pockets too deep, so it's easier to piss in a little guys pool than take on the real problem.
Paul Shapiro has characterized Hudson Valley as a factory farm. I'm was deeply saddened to read this part of the article because I think Mr. Shapiro has done some great work with regards to exposing ACTUAL factory farms. Perhaps he should plan a trip to North Carolina or Colorado or Iowa and get back to the roots of factory farming. I think he has forgotten.
The real tragedy here is that once again in America we've trained our eye not on a situation worth fixing, but on a situation that is easy. Can you take issue with how foie gras is produced? Sure. BUT, hey, if you don't like it then just shut up and don't eat it. Hudson Valley Foie Gras and Sonoma Foie Gras before it are EASY targets. Why doesn't the Humane Society and PETA go after factory farmed beef and pork or....I've got it....that turkey you all just ate for Thanksgiving that was jammed in a crate and living in its own shit for months.(Please read this it'll make you think that the Humane Society and PETA should be going after factory farmed turkeys) Go after those guys. Oh, wait, you want an easy fight, so you're gonna take on an industry with low profit margins and no lobbyists in Washington. Right. Way to be a hero.
People want to argue that gavage(google it) is cruel. OK, seriously? Have any of you ever been to a Ryan's 'Steakhouse' or Old Country Buffet or the York Fair? That shit is cruel. Listen, humans force feed themselves on a daily basis. If some of the people I've seen at the KFC buffet could line up and have a tube inserted into their mouths that would get the instant potatoes and gravy into their system faster, I'm sure they would gladly pay extra for the experience.(Just as an aside...could we do away with ALL paper napkins if buffets would just offer tubes for us to slam our food down? I gotta call Greenpeace...this idea is HOT...Wait, if Greenpeace bit on the idea, then would they be at odds with the Humane Society? YES, it would be a full-scale activist WAR or lawsuit which is a close as these folks get to war, lest they get their smooth hands dirty.)
Listen...I love foie gras. I love cooking it, I love eating it. Yes, it's a fattened liver of a duck. Big deal. Again, if you don't like it, don't eat it. I think being an exclusive vegetarian is boring, but hey, it's your call. Don't tell me that I can't cook foie gras because some folks think it's inhumane. I'll make that decision. A decision that each of you consider every time you decide to buy Big AG's factory farmed beef, pork and chicken at the grocery story. That's inhumane.
I will continue to buy my foie gras from Hudson Valley because I think they are a fantastic ARTISAN foie gras producer..... AND, I will continue to cook it because it's just so damn delicious.