When California’s groundbreaking ban on the sale of foie gras went into effect in 2012, a little-known restaurant in Hermosa Beach, California, tried to skirt the law by renaming its foie gras burger “THE Burger” and falsely advertising that it came with “a complimentary side of foie gras.” We (and caring consumers everywhere) weren’t buying that, so PETA brought a lawsuit against Hot’s Kitchen seeking to prevent the restaurant from continuing to sell the offensive burger for the almost two years that the law was in effect. In light of the recent federal court ruling, which struck down California’s progressive law on a technicality, PETA is now moving to dismiss the lawsuit, as it no longer prevents cruelty to animals at this despicable restaurant, where profits from the sale of diseased duck livers are prized and ethics do not have a seat at the table.
California enacted the ban on foie gras sales in response to the cruelty inherent in foie gras production. Investigations at every foie gras farm in the U.S. and many of the farms in Europe have revealed sick, dead, and dying birds—some with holes in their necks from having force-feeding pipes rammed down their throats. The birds often suffer from internal hemorrhaging, infections, ruptured organs, respiratory distress, and more and can become so debilitated that they can only move by pushing themselves along the ground with their wings. PETA’s investigation of the duck factory farm that supplies Hot’s Kitchen found that the ducks there spend the final weeks before slaughter in barren metal cages so small that they can’t spread a single wing and that they’re denied water to bathe and swim in.
PETA supports the California attorney general’s anticipated appeal in this case. But in the meantime, consumers can vote for kindness with their wallets by refusing to patronize restaurants that sell foie gras.