California Chefs Sell Foie Gras Again, Claim Activists Are Sending Death Threats



Back in 2012, it became illegal to serve foie gras in the state of California. A law passed eight years earlier went into full effect. Last week, a federal judge overturned the statewide ban, and restaurants can serve foie gras again. A few animal rights activists who find the spread immoral are taking their objections to chefs serving it by making threats against them. Violent threats.

Foie gras means “fatty liver,” and it specifically means the fatty liver of a duck that has been gorging itself far beyond how a goose would normally eat. (There is theoretically a way to make captive geese eat to excess on their own, but the method has flaws and still ends with slaughtering the geese.) The methods used to cram food down the animals’ throats are very controversial, and the Huffington Post reports that chefs who are delighted to be serving the end product again are now the targets of scary phone calls.

“I’m gonna find you; I’m gonna murder you; I’m gonna find where you sleep and shove a pipe down your throat,” one chef paraphrases threats that he has received. Another chef reports receiving similar threats, and one particularly disturbing message threatening to hang him from his ankles and slit his throat without knocking him out first. You know, like slaughtering birds.

Activists have been engaging in normal activism by holding protests outside of restaurants that are serving foie gras, and a demonstration in San Francisco. For their part, PETA doesn’t believe that anyone, let along their own members, is really making any threats against the chefs. “PETA is skeptical of the claim that threats are being made,” the group’s president, Ingrid Newkirk, told the Huffington Post in a statement. “Anyone who’s desperate enough to want to serve up the diseased, fatty livers of tortured birds is certainly not above making up a fat lie.”

The statewide law was overturned because a federal judge ruled that only the U.S. Department of Agriculture can regulate poultry production. People and groups against the creation of more foie gras hope that the state appeals the decision to the next level, the federal circuit court.

California Chefs Face Death Threats For Serving Foie Gras [Huffington Post]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.