I have not eaten foie gras for years. Not that I am claiming any great virtue in that – I never really liked the taste and once I seen a few pictures of force fed geese any appeal that it ever had vanished. And I had sort of thought, in my ignorance, that most other poeple had gone the same way. But I was reminded of how blinkered I was being by a press release from PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) congratulating the Malmaison and Hotel du Vin chains for being the latest to ban foie gras from their menus.
The hotel chains join Brakes and the Compass Group group who have recently also removed foie gras from their menus – although not Fortnum and Masons who are the focus of a long running PETA campaign to get them to stop selling the stuff. (If you want to read more put ‘foie gras’ into the search box on the PETA website.) Supporters of their campaign include, among many others, Ralph Fiennes, Giorgio Locatelli, Kate Winslet, Ricky Gervais, MP Zac Goldsmith, Dame Vera Lynn, Sir Roger Moore, who narrated PETA’s video exposé of foie gras production and Morrissey who donated £10,000 of the money he received in damages from Gordon Ramsay for using one of the Smith’s songs without permission! (Gordon Ramsay does use foie gras…. See a campaign by VIVA! focused on Gordon Ramsay…)
Anyhow, for those of you who have never really thought about foie gras or what is done to geese to produce it, you might feel inclined to take a look at the PETA or VIVA sites or at the images, not only of force-fed geese, but of other animals who suffer for our conspicuous consumption, on the All Creatures site from where I got the picture above. Just make sure you are not feeling queasy when you do so – as you certainly will be once you have looked.