Foie gras legal again

Yesterday morning Daley stooge and restaurant owner Alderman Tom Tunney suddenly announced that City Council would, within hours, hold a vote to repeal Chicago's ban on foie gras. Daley, lording over the Council, prevented any debate and the ban was overturned, 37-6.

Opponents claimed that the government should not be in the business of telling you what to eat. But we already have laws prohibiting cruelty to animals, and they're actually enforced pretty regularly. There's a strange ethical disconnect in this country, where outrage and legal action follow something like dog fights or puppy mills, but the industrialized torture of food animals is not only many thousands of times more widespread, its either completely legal or fully tolerated. I agree that the government should not tell you what to eat - but it should be in the business of preventing and punishing the infliction of pain on animals, regardless of the reason cited.

Since most Chicagoans have no idea what foie gras even is, much less how it's produced, the ban was probably premature, and it's not clear how effective it was. But it was symbolically powerful, and activist groups around the country could point to Chicago's example when arguing for new limits. The only aldermen who stood with Joe Moore (49th), the bill's sponsor who fought valiantly for it till the end, were Toni Preckwinckle (4th), Ricardo Munoz (22nd), Ed Smith (28th), Scott Waguespack (32nd), and Rey Colon (35th). If your aldermen is one of these fine people, please let them know you appreciate their vote against animal cruelty. Otherwise give your alderman an angry call or email and don't forget when elections come up.

No comments: