Will Former Foie Gras–Serving Eatery Become a Bird Empathy Museum?

PETA Proposes Using Site of Hot's Kitchen to Teach Visitors About Intelligence of—and Cruelty to—Geese and Ducks Force-Fed for Foie Gras

For Immediate Release:
January 23, 2018

Contact:
Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Los Angeles – Now that Hot’s Kitchen—the Hermosa Beach restaurant whose chef led the movement challenging California’s ban on foie gras—has closed, PETA has sent a letter to the real-estate agent handling the property expressing interest in converting it into an empathy museum for birds, complete with a vegan café offering Joie Gras—delicious vegan foie gras—Gardein “chicken” nuggets, and other bird-friendly snacks.

In the letter, PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat or abuse in any other way”—shares its plan for displays that would highlight that birds are intelligent and social animals yet they’re force-fed enormous amounts of food in order to sicken and enlarge their livers for foie gras. The feathers of some are ripped out and used in clothing items, such as Canada Goose’s jackets.

“Ding dong, Hot’s Kitchen is dead—and its closure represents a wonderful opportunity to show visitors how birds suffer for each bite of foie gras,” PETA President Ingrid Newkirk says. “A PETA museum at one of the last California restaurants to serve this vile dish will teach everyone that the best way to help living, feeling birds is to choose vegan meals.”

For more information, please visit PETA.org.

PETA’s letter to Highland Partners Corp. follows.

January 23, 2018

Maryl Binney

Real Estate Broker

Highland Partners Corp.

Dear Ms. Binney,

I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide, including thousands across California, to learn more about the property listed for lease at 844 Hermosa Ave. in Hermosa Beach. Given that this is or was the location of Hot’s Kitchen—a restaurant that sold foie gras—we’re interested in the possibility of converting it into an empathy museum for birds.

Just to clarify why we’d like to consider this for the property, here’s some information about this vile product: Every year, millions of geese and ducks are subjected to a life of cruelty, pain, and suffering in order to produce foie gras, which is now illegal to sell in California. The birds are force-fed such enormous amounts of food that their livers become diseased and painfully engorged, making it difficult for them to stand. Our investigations on foie gras farms found that ducks and geese were dead, dying, and diseased, with maggots in open wounds and water spilling out of their throats where the force-feeding tube had pierced through their necks. In the former Hot’s Kitchen location, we would like to display an exhibit and sell faux gras, a delicious vegan food that’s 100 percent humane.

Birds are also abused and killed for down, such as that used in Canada Goose jackets. In some cases, their feathers are yanked out while they’re still alive. The terrified birds are pinned down while hurried workers pull fistfuls of feathers from their sensitive bodies, often plucking them so violently that they actually rip open the birds’ skin. They then sew up the wounds using a needle and thread without any painkillers.

Birds are highly intelligent, good parents, and loyal partners, and they’re even capable of abstract thought. Newborn ducklings can differentiate between different shapes and colors, while adults live in pairs or groups and use more than 30 distinct calls to communicate with one another. Geese have excellent memories and mate for life, mourning for long periods when their partners die.

Our empathy museum would have a vegan café featuring delicious Joie Gras, Gardein “chicken” nuggets, and other bird-friendly snacks. It would also offer faux-feather boas and synthetic down–stuffed jackets for sale. We would erect informational displays that highlight interesting and often conveniently ignored facts about birds and would remind visitors that these animals are living, feeling beings just like humans.

We would be happy to discuss this prospect with you, as an empathy museum would be a terrific way to honor birds in a space formerly used to sell a product of their torment. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thank you.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid E. Newkirk

President

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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

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind