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Article posted Jul 17 2012, 4:50 PM Category: Resistance Source: Bloomberg Print

Foie Gras Goes Underground at California 'Duckeasies'

By Alison Vekshin and James Nash

Viva la resistance! - ChrisOn July 15, about a dozen people walked into a cozy San Francisco restaurant with a window sign reading “private event” to savor foie gras, California’s newest forbidden fruit.

They paid $100 apiece for “a 10-course tasting of quasi- legal goodness,” according to the online notice for the “Duckeasy” event. Each received an e-mail with the address only hours before the first sandwich of Wonder bread, grape jelly and foie gras mousse was served.

"I want to support the people who believe in foie and who will defy the rules," Jolanda Nuestro, 48, a homemaker, said at the communal table before a toast broke out: "To foie!"

"To being force-fed foie!" another guest added.

Two weeks after California's ban on selling and producing the fatty duck liver, chefs are hosting clandestine events, offering it as a free side dish or selling it to regulars without listing it on the menu.

In an unscientific survey, four of eight restaurants visited in the two weeks since the ban offered foie gras. Four that had it on their menus before the ban refused to serve it when asked.

David Rieken, 49, a personal assistant from San Francisco who discovered the Duckeasy dinner through a friend, said he was drawn in part because of its secretive nature.

"I would be lying if I said there wasn't a certain exclusivity that is cool and a defiance against a law that we think is rooted in double standards," Rieken said while sipping a glass of French red wine before dinner.

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Comments 1 - 5 of 5 Add Comment Page 1 of 1

Posted: Jul 18 2012, 7:31 AM

20263 Viva la resistance? Supporting cruelty is hardly revolutionary. It's dime a dozen, wherever you turn. I thought resistance was about trying to create a better world. The freedom to be cruel is not worth fighting for. Certainly not worth supporting.

Posted: Jul 18 2012, 8:34 AM

Jailing people for non-crimes is what's cruel.

Posted: Jul 19 2012, 3:09 AM

70178 it is a crime, the people chose to make it a law. and there's no jail time involved.

Posted: Jul 19 2012, 9:44 AM

"The people" (the government) also chose to make slavery a law, that doesn't make right. Try not paying their "fines" (ransom) and see where you end up.

Posted: Jul 23 2012, 12:29 AM

20263 I agree people shouldn’t be jailed for non-crimes. Far too many people are in jail for misdemeanours or having the audacity of trying to survive. Meanwhile the real criminals amass power and fortune on the backs of the masses, create this living hell, and fund the creation of more oppressive laws.
Jailing people (if that is in the statute) for the ignorance of selling or eating foie gras could fall into that oppressive category. (The people in the article seem to be under the impression that the birds are well treated. Ignorant, but hardly a jailable crime.) But I have no issue with jailing producers of the product, for they full-well know the cruelty of their actions and should pay for it. Nor do I have issue with fining people for selling or consuming it. If for no other purpose than to make it clear we as a society will not tolerate gratuitous selfishness at the expense of another being’s suffering.
Given your personal reaction I’m assuming one of two things 1. You are not aware of the cruelty inherent in Foie Gras production. No shame there as most people aren’t. Ignorance is nothing 15 minutes on Google can’t remedy or 2. You are aware of the cruelty in Foie Gras production and you still support people’s right to produce sell and eat it. If that is case we are going to have to agree to disagree.
I don’t want to create a world where we selectively overlook atrocities under the guise of protecting personal freedom. That’s falling prey to the corporate brainwashing. “Just do it!” “Because you ‘re worth it!” Elevating selfishness to a virtue with no sense of responsibility or accountability. In an ethically mature society we would have no need for such laws. But we are light years away from that utopia. Meanwhile I can tolerate laws penalising morally repulsive actions such as murder, rape and cruelty. Even with these laws in place people are still free to make choices. Produce, sell or eat Foie gras but face the potential consequence of penalties.
There are hundreds of repressive laws, amassing at a terrifying rate. I just don’t think this is one of them. This law is simply forcing people to pay for their act of condoning cruelty. That gets my vote of support.

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