Written by PETA
Top contender for Most Disturbing Food of the Month: foie gras doughnuts from Do or Dine restaurant in Brooklyn. That's right—fried dough coupled with diseased, fatty duck liver. Want a stomach pump with that?
To produce foie gras, workers ram metal pipes down the throats of ducks and geese and force-feed them until their livers swell to up to 10 times their normal size. The animals commonly suffer ruptured organs, bruised and broken bills, and severe neck wounds. The cruel process is banned in many countries as well as in California. While it is legal in New York, an online petition against Do or Dine's disgusting doughnuts has already garnered hundreds of signatures.
New Yorkers aren't the only ones in a flap over duck abuse. A major food festival in Germany that has banned foie gras is catching flack from France, where most foie gras is produced. But festival organizers, backed by animal advocates, are holding firm.
Unfortunately, ducks and geese aren't faring so well on Royal Caribbean cruises, which continue to serve, and Gelson's Markets, which continues to sell, foie gras. Please take a moment to urge the cruise line to toss this epicurean atrocity overboard, and ask Gelson's Market to take foie gras off the shelves for good.
Written by Michelle Sherrow
Dozens of animals were rescued from a ramshackle farm in Arnsberg-Hüsten, Germany, after a whistleblower alerted PETA Germany that the animals were being kept in filthy, dilapidated sheds or were enclosed in broken wire fences—exposed to the elements, predators, and the beer-bottle-littered ground.
Upon investigation, staffers found 59 chickens, 34 rabbits, 25 ducks, and six geese, as well as the skins and heads of two dead rabbits and the carcasses of three dead and decaying animals, which were being eaten by rats. The whistleblower stated that the owner of the farm slaughtered animals and sold them to his neighbors.
PETA Germany staffers shot video footage, which they used to file a complaint with authorities, who ordered the farmer to surrender most of the animals. The church that owned the property also ordered the man out, and the city bulldozed the shacks. The man subsequently surrendered the rest of the animals, who were taken by PETA Germany and two other rescue groups and placed in sanctuaries. Not a bad weekend's work, PETA Germany!
Chef Martin Picard abruptly quit Ottawa's upcoming Winterlude festival after concerned citizens prompted organizers to ban foie gras from the menu of the festival's opening dinner. Activists won another victory over cruelty, and organizers of the Taste of Winterlude dinner, which will be held at the aptly named Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Québec, don't seem concerned about having to say "sayonara" to Picard over the gastronomical atrocity.
"We all agreed that we could present this menu without foie gras," said festival spokesperson Lucie Caron.
Leaping into the breach is celebrated Prince Edward Island chef Michael Smith, who is big enough to think outside the gaveuse and prepare any of the millions of dishes that don't include diseased duck livers.
Award-winning chef Amanda Cohen can add another notch to her (cruelty-free) lipstick case: Her not-so-sinfully delicious Mushroom Mousse has won the top prize of $10,000 in PETA's Fine Faux Foie Gras Challenge. Cohen, who is a veteran of New York City vegan hot spots TeaNY, Angelica Kitchen, Pure Food and Wine, and Blossom Café, wowed the judges with her deceptively simple combination of puréed vegan margarine, onions, soy milk, portobello mushrooms, and truffle oil. "I really wanted to make something decadent," says Amanda. "I thought it would be fun to recreate that [foie gras] in a vegan version that didn't lose any flavor and could stand on its own."
Yes, I think you could say that it stands on its own. And so do the second- and third-place vegan delicacies created by Eric Lechasseur from Seed in Venice, California, and Vincent Moellman from 50 Forks at the Art Institute of California in Santa Ana. I only wish I could say the same for the ducks and geese who are force-fed to make real (bad) foie gras, many of whom become so sick and debilitated that they can't even walk or stand.
If you can't get to Amanda's New York restaurant, Dirt Candy, to taste-test her mind-blowing Mushroom Mousse for yourself, you can find the recipe at PETA Living.
New Yorkers, if you've already tried Amanda's prize-winning concoction, please feel free to post your reviews below.
Written by Alisa Mullins
Bravo to the good folks at CBS 5 in San Francisco for running with a chilling Swedish investigative report on the down industry.
In case you think that the down filling in coats and pillows is gathered by a kindly farmer who just follows molting birds around all day and fills a sack with their lost feathers, here's an eye-opener: An investigative team from the Swedish TV show Cold Facts went undercover on goose farms in Poland, Hungary, and China and videotaped workers yanking fistfuls of feathers out of live birds, a process that a veterinarian contacted by CBS 5 described as "torture." At one farm, a worker is shown using a needle and thread to sew a goose's skin back together after the skin had been ripped apart during plucking.
Makes that down comforter seem less comforting, doesn't it? Luckily for geese and the people who don't wish to hurt them, down-alternative comforters are just as cozy and cuddly as those made from down. I speak from personal experience—I happen to have one on my bed … along with three toasty kitties and a dog.
Tamara Ecclestone, daughter of Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, has the ideal formula for success: compassion, intelligence, and beauty. Tamara—who bared it all to reveal the naked truth behind foie gras for PETA U.K. last year—recently bought one of her father's favorite pubs. Her first order of business as restaurateur? Banning foie gras from the menu.
And the kindness doesn't stop there. Ecclestone has fired off letters to all Formula 1 team sponsors, urging them to ditch foie gras. Virgin Racing, Toro Rosso, Red Bull Racing, Allianz SE, and Michael Schumacher's team, Mercedes GP, all gave her assurance in record time that they wouldn't serve the cruel dish at their events. "I'm absolutely thrilled to be an ambassador for [PETA U.K.'s] campaign to stop the sale of foie gras – something I call 'torture in a tin' because of how ducks and geese are force-fed to produce it," says Tamara.
Written by Logan Scherer
Smell that? It's the savory scent of our Fine Faux Foie Gras Challenge permeating the blogosphere. Check out our fabulous future L.A. neighbors' attempt to win top honors:
With the stakes insanely high—$10,000 to be exact—compassionate chefs everywhere are making their ingredient lists and checking them twice. (Hey, soon-to-be-fellow Angelinos: You still have time to tweak your recipe so that it contains no animal products!) The only force-feeding in this contest will be when our judges stuff their own faces with international chefs' sure-to-be-succulent recipes.
Written by Logan Scherer
Two years ago, PETA UK began urging Selfridges to drop foie gras from its shelves so that it would stop contributing to the fatal force-feeding of ducks and geese. PETA UK and its supporters dauntlessly demonstrated, sent more than 5,000 e-mails to Selfridges, and placed thousands of phone calls to the retailer. We are thrilled to announce that all this hard work has paid off: Selfridges has pledged to stop selling foie gras forever.
The splendid news comes from Sir Roger Moore, PETA UK's committed celebrity spokesperson, who received the call directly from Selfridges. Moore's unwavering dedication, along with the inspiring passion of PETA UK's campaigners, attracted endless attention on television, in newspapers, and around the Internet—wherever you turned, PETA UK was there, spreading the message to give up foie gras.
This towering triumph is proof that every e-mail, phone call, and letter matters. Please help spread the success by writing to managers of local restaurants that still sell the vile food. Alert them to the gross cruelty behind foie gras, and ask them to remove it from their menus.
Have you been sitting around the house, wondering why your old chum, Sir Roger Moore, hasn't given you a ring lately?
Truthfully, me neither, but if you are ever given the chance to get on his good side, you should know that opting for foie gras over truffles will get you pulled from his next party's guest list.
In a recent article for the Daily Mail, Sir Roger writes about the horrors of the foie gras industry, in which birds are force-fed, often until their livers burst. "I refuse to speak to old friends who, even when they know how it is produced, are prepared to overlook the suffering for self-gratification," states Sir Roger. "My wife, Christina, feels just the same. No creature deserves to be treated as these birds are for our delectation."
Talk about commitment to a cause.
Want to know what else Sir Roger Moore is doing in support of PETA's campaign to get foie gras eliminated from menus across the globe? Check out the rest of the article here.
Written by Shawna Flavell
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)—the same group that refuses to denounce the cruel force-feeding of ducks and geese for foie gras or the confinement of mother pigs to metal crates barely larger than their own bodies—have yet again proven that their hearts are as cold as their stethoscopes.
The AVMA plans to team up veterinarians and employees of Pike Place Fish Market for a dead fish sea kitten toss at its upcoming convention in Seattle. The event organizers promise that the event will be "outrageously fun."
My gut tells me that the AVMA wouldn't dare try to organize a dead cat toss—so why not show the same consideration for sea kittens? The AVMA is turning a blind eye to the deaths of billions of sea kittens who suffocate on boat decks or are cut open while they are still conscious—all thanks to the cruel fishing industry. And those sea kittens feel pain, just like land kittens do.
Conventiongoers could get a uniquely Seattle experience by spending a few hours at the Experience Music Project and then visiting the Space Needle—a fun and cruelty-free afternoon.
Written by Karin Bennett
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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.