This is happening near my home town:
Restaurant had previously been targeted for serving foie gras
Steve Wecker, co-owner of the Iron Bridge Wine Company in Columbia, said Monday that no references were made this time to foie gras. But Wecker suspects that the vandals who broke a window and damaged one of the front doors of the Route 108 property were trying to convey the same message as those who spray-painted “Get rid of the foie gras” while breaking several windows and gluing the front door lock on March 23.
Since the first incident, which caused an estimated $3,300 in damage, Wecker has added “Foie Gras Friday” to the restaurant’s menu and has servers wearing T-shirts reading “Got Foie Gras?” — a takeoff on the popular milk slogan.
“I’m sure that they’re mad that we didn’t cave in,” Wecker said, referring to the vandals.
Wecker, who has owned Iron Bridge Wine Company with his brother Rob for the past six years, believes the vandalism is the work of those who are against how foie gras is prepared. The delicacy is made from the livers of ducks and geese that are force-fed grains in order to fatten them up before they are slaughtered. While Wecker and others contend that the centuries-old process, known as gavage, has become more humane, many animal-rights groups have continued to protest around the country. Several cities have banned the dish.
“You can be an activist. You don’t have to be an anarchist or an idiot,” Wecker said.
Read more at the Baltimore Sun
This is too bad. The restaurant is nice, great wine selection and the people are friendly. But what about the birds – the ducks and geese? Is the force feeding of these birds actually torture? (For a fair and balanced response to this question check out this article in the Village Voice.) Certainly there are examples of animal abuse occurring within the foie gras industry but, relatively speaking, there is too little foie gras eaten in America to make this an issue worth going to jail over. I think these animal rights zealots might want to redirect their energies towards other food producing players who are doing significant harm to both the animals and those people who consume them; Big US agribusinesses. There are widespread and serious health as well as ethical problems with the practices of large growers of beef, pork and chicken. Our agricultural system is destroying the environment, other competitve food sources (fisheries) and the health of our citizens. But then again, it is probably much easier to pick on the local businessman than Archer Daniels Midland or Pepsi Cola. (I highly recommend that anyone concerned about the excesses of corporate welfare, environmental protection and the public’s general health read “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Micahel Pollan.)
There is a magnitude of difference between the occasional uncomfortable goose or duck and that of the billions of corn fed, hormone injected and antibiotic laced shuffling dead that we call the chickens and cows that feed our nation.
I wonder if these animal loving activists are still buying chicken and eggs from their local grocer?