Written by PETA
Tony Kushner, in his astonishing two-part play, Angels in America, describes San Francisco as "unspeakably beautiful." Foie gras, on the other hand, is unspeakably horrible. So something seemed amiss when we heard that foie gras was still being sold at a Bay Area café chain called PlumpJack (named after another theatrical figure, Shakespeare's Falstaff), founded and co-owned by San Fran Mayor Gavin Newsom.
As you might expect, we got in touch with Newsom's office to say that we'd been hearing from concerned folks. We let Hizzoner know that we were sure that once the issue was brought to his attention, he would want to make sure that PlumpJack pulls the foie gras—especially in light of the impending statewide ban and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors' resolution supporting restaurants that shun foie gras.
Long story short, we got a quick call back from Newsom's sister—herself a vegetarian—assuring us that they've pulled foie gras from all their restaurants. Apparently, it was supposed to have been phased out years ago, but somehow it crept back in, so she thanked us for bringing it back to their attention.
No problem, Newsom clan. Thank you for being so ducky to ducks.
Written by Jeff Mackey
Yes, you heard right. We're on the prowl for chefs who can make a mean foie gras … but not "mean" as in prepared with the diseased, fatty livers of ducks and geese. No, no, we want to find someone clever to create a delicious cruelty-free delicacy. And we know that there's a chef out there with the capability to create a perfect, humane alternative to foie gras.
So, we're hosting a contest to find one!
For PETA's Fine Faux Foie Gras challenge, the winning chef must create a purely vegetarian foie gras that must be almost indistinguishable in taste and texture from the real thing. The grand prize winner will win a $10,000 prize and two runners-up will each receive $1,000 worth of professional kitchen equipment.
Click here to check out the full rules and to find out how to enter.
Good luck, and bon appétit.
Written by Christine Doré
Question: Does Grammy-winning recording artist Phil Collins support the sale of foie gras? Answer: Heck no! The singer/songwriter began his career as a vocalist for the rock band Genesis and went on to receive international acclaim as a solo artist—selling more than 250 million records throughout his career. Now, he's fired off a letter to U.K. department store chain Selfridges condemning the company for its sale of one of the most cruelly produced foods on the market.
We're for real here, folks. Foie gras, which is French for 'fatty liver,' is produced by shoving pipes down the throats of ducks and geese and force-feeding them until their livers become fatty and often diseased. Foie gras is considered so cruel that its production is banned in 15 countries, including the U.K., where Selfridges is based. Prince Charles has banned foie gras from all Royal menus this year, and House of Fraser, Makro, Harvey Nichols, Waitrose, Sainsbury's, and every major U.K. supermarket have already banned foie gras from their shelves. Clearly, Selfridges is the one in need of an enlarged internal organ (specifically, a heart).
Collins joins Sir Roger Moore and the Duchess of Hamilton in urging Selfridges to drop foie gras from their shelves. Are you outraged by the cruelty that is shoved down the throats of these birds? Speak up!
Written by Jennifer Cierlitsky
Forget Miley Cyrus' terrible 'tween "Sweet 16" bash at Disneyland; there's something much, much sweeter to celebrate at Disney World: No more foie gras! Just this month, Disney World dumped this disgusting Donald Duck–derived "delicacy of despair" (produced by force-feeding ducks until their livers become diseased and engorged) from its menus.
Disney World's compassionate decision is part of a growing trend among businesses to distance themselves from this cruel product. Just ask Target, Giant Eagle, and Harvey Nichols—three huge chains that recently caved in to pressure from PETA and its affiliates and pulled foie gras off their shelves. The production of foie gras has also already been banned in 15 nations—including the U.K., Germany, Israel, and Switzerland—as well as in the state of California.
While this is all a giant waddle in the right direction, we're not going to stop campaigning against foie gras until everyone stops forcing ducks to be organ donors. Today Disney World, tomorrow the rest of the world! For more info about this nasty stuff and to take a pledge to say "nah" to foie gras, click here.
Written by Amy Elizabeth
The progressive Chicago foie gras ban, sponsored by Alderman Joe Moore and originally passed in 2006 by a vote of 48-1, has been repealed today due to shameless manipulation by restaurant industry lobbyists to bring the diseased, rotting organs of abused ducks and geese back to Chicago’s restaurants.
In the course of our work to keep this ban intact, we’ve talked to thousands of people on the streets of Chicago, the overwhelming majority of whom were horrified when they learned about the cruelty behind foie gras. Many of these people joined us in vocal support for Chicago’s progressive ban of the barbaric product. Unfortunately, in large part thanks to a handful of powerful people, battling wealthy industries can be a long, hard battle, regardless of where the public stands on the issue.
This decision is a big step backwards for the city, and it goes against the tide of civilized communities who are making the compassionate decision to ban foie gras.
It’s pretty clear from the desperate angling we’ve seen from the foie gras industry as they’ve fought against this ban that they know their days are numbered, but it’s a hell of a shame to see that, even in their death throes, they can still find a way to poison a beautiful thing. PETA will keep fighting to pass more foie gras bans and to educate the public about this delicacy of despair. You can count on that.
Here's what Jeff says about this week's masterpiece: "The strip is based on the sad measures that officials have to take in order to protect rhinos from poachers. And a little depravity thrown in for good measure."
He also let me know that, in honor of Earth Week, he sprayed this strip with 50 percent less pesticides. Which was very noble of him, I thought. Anyway, this one's a zinger—enjoy!
To check out the archives of past strips, click here.
"The Prince of Wales has asked me to write and thank you for your letter about animal welfare issues surrounding the production of foie gras and your experience in Tetbury. I just wanted to reassure you that The Prince of Wales has a policy that his chefs should not buy foie gras. His Royal Highness was not aware that the House of Cheese sells foie gras and this will be addressed when their warrant is reviewed."
That’s about as big a boost to Britain’s growing movement to permanently ban the sale of foie gras as you could hope for: If the few remaining establishments that are still selling the stuff won’t take it from outraged consumers, they might want to think twice about ignoring a frickin’ royal mandate. PETA’s president sent a letter to the Prince today, thanking him for taking this compassionate stand, and we’re hoping that this positive example from overseas will influence cities like Chicago to stand by their decisions to ban this cruel delicacy forever. Thank you, Prince Charles.
One unaltered female cat and her offspring can produce an estimated 420,000 cats in only seven years, and a female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in six years.
With that in mind, here are my personal favorites among the many videos we’ve produced over the past couple of years to raise awareness about this issue. Let me know which one you think is the most effective. And have a glorious Spay Day.
And just in case you need even more Spay Day inspiration, check out this great story about a Michigan group who are doing their part to end animal overpopulation.
A little while back, longtime PETA member and superstar intern Mark Wiesenfeld discovered that Target was selling foie gras online, along with a book about the barbaric product written by one of the owners of Hudson Valley Foie Gras—the folks responsible for many of the nightmarish scenes caught on tape in this investigation.
As soon as we contacted the company to let them know about the cruelty behind this product (produced by force feeding ducks until their livers become diseased and engorged) they immediately pulled both items from their site. As you may be aware, there are quite a few corporations that kick up a great big fuss when it comes to making ethical changes in their business (I’m looking at you, KFC), so Target’s prompt action in this case is commendable, and we’re extremely grateful for it.
People tend to hear a whole lot about some of the edgier stuff PETA does (the naked demonstrations, the provocative ads, the quirky videos), but—although it may not make the news—we spend a lot of our time working behind the scenes with big companies to encourage them to make changes that will help animals, so it’s great to have this opportunity to talk about that important aspect of our work. Target’s decision is part of a growing trend among institutions that are taking steps to distance themselves from hideously cruel products like foie gras, and with more and more companies adopting this progressive attitude, we’re getting very close to a time when it will be banned outright in this country.
For more information about the cruelty involved in making foie gras, and to take a pledge never to eat the stuff, please click here.
"This is very much a first in the UK. We are the first council to take such a stand and we will be sending out the message loud and clear that York is a foie gras-free zone."
Unfortunately, this doesn't amount to an outright ban on foie gras sales in the city, but it's a hell of a good start. Most of the foie gras in England is imported from France, which has declared the product "part of the cultural and gastronomic patrimony" — a very sophisticated French way of saying "we don't give a crap about anything". The good folks in PETA Europe are working hard to push other cities to follow York's example, so I'll keep you posted on how that goes, and we'll see what the French foie gras producers have to say about their ludicrous "gastronomic patrimony" once compassionate people throughout Europe send their sales plummeting.
Congratulations to York and to everyone who helped to work on this campaign!
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.