2007/05/15

Keep foie gras illegal

Daley is stepping up his campaign to have the ban on foie gras overturned. Defending this ban is important not only to reduce demand for a product that involves horrific cruelty. It is also a hugely significant symbolic struggle.

Chicago was the first city in the country to outlaw foie gras, and the fact that those fighting foie gras elsewhere can say that even Chicago has a ban is a big advantage. It normalizes this kind of anti-cruelty law, especially since Chicagoans cannot be dismissed as "hippies" or "crazy liberals" as people in a place like San Francisco are. Just as important, the ban on foie gras establishes the principle that how we treat animals is a legitimate subject for legislation. Once relatively easy victories like the foie gras ban are securely established, we can go on to raise questions about the cruelties of factory farming and, ultimately, whether even "humane" killing is acceptable.

Of course, ending the meat industry cannot be accomplished primarily thru legislation, but the legislative battleground is also extremely important in building the social movement against meat. The loss of the foie gras ban would be a big setback. Call or email your alderman now. (Find contact info at Civic Footprint.)

2 comments:

jenny said...

i don't know anyone who eats foie gras, although i do think it's important that chicago has this ban. it's one of those rare laws that surprises everyone when it gets passed. it's great for what it's worth, but i don't have my hopes up for its future. i'm not sure the public is ready for it.

as long as you're talking about cruelty, what most people don't realize is that of all the animals used for food, some of the cruellest treatment is inflicted on the laying hens. the things those poor chickens endure are so gruesome they're unbelievable -- if it wasn't for the photos you can find all over the internet. there was even one case where a farmer was disposing of his past-prime laying hens by throwing them live into a wood chipper. this country has a long way to go before it really comes to terms with the horrific state of food production encouraged by the government.

naureen said...

amazingly enough, I have known people who eat foie gras. backlash-style, they seem to derive pleasure from how 'politically incorrect' it is to order it, especially in the presence of a vegetarian. i cannot believe the foie gras remains on the menus of the fanciest of new york restaurants. so i guess to me, the ban is symbolic in more than one way - not everyone, or even most people, are gleefully complacent about cruelty. but i guess that's not enough.