On July 1, 2012 California will ban foie gras, created by the funnel-forced ingestion of large amounts of feed into a duck’s esophagus. Eventually the liver grows to more than 10 times its normal size. And as you might expect the uproar from self-declared “Foodies” has been loud (and obnoxious.) Many of these people are decrying the “big government” element of this issue. (Where have they been in the marriage equality debate or the growing invasion of my uterus and it’s freedom… I cannot tell you… which sort of answers the question, but I digress – shocker.)
I am not a fan of any sort of organ meat really, I find it pretty disgusting in just about every way. It is hard enough to avoid self-induced poisoning, why would I want to eat another animals toxins filter? Because of this, many people have suggested that it is inappropriate that I weigh in on the foie gras debate. Taste aside, I do not, and never will, support the kind of unethical methods that are required to satisfy the barbaric palette of the human ego.
The people who spend the most time going on and on about foie gras and their insatiable desire for it remind me of a certain individual from The Meaning of Life, but regardless of this, I find it interesting because it seems to much less about the actual food than it does the desired image that these “foodies” are trying cultivate by the funnel-forced ingestion of their nouveaux riche inspired tastes. I say nouveaux riche because the actually rich feel no need to publicize what they are eating at every step of the way, they just eat. (That is what we might call in my family a “known fact”: the actually rich don’t need to talk about being rich.) It is like people who have strange and unusual tastes in other areas, talking about it sort of indicates a desperate need for attention, or maybe validation?
Even the most cursory internet search will show that there is a very specific demographic that is putting a lot of effort into manufacturing their “sophisticated” tastes. And, hey… maybe they do like to enjoy the internal organs of various beasts, but it seems clear they like to talk about it a lot more as a way to show that they have the means, sophistication, and… I don’t know… klass? But these people are not the people in the industry who are looking at revamping their menus to include something equally elitist and attractive for the garrulous affected gourmets, they are just… garrulous.
These same folks talk a lot about how the foie gras (and they would say this: “Pro tip, we call it foie.”) industry is not actually cruel, but just that all these meddling hippies are all “butt hurt” (the expression I most recently heard) about the elitist nature of the foodstuff. I realize, what is cruel to some may not be to others, but if you take a look at some of these resources, it would be hard to say otherwise. Of course, there are a lot of people who think that Food, Inc. was a bunch of baloney too.
We will see how that pans out down the line for y’all, but I’m going to be using my boug-ie status to purchase organic meat and vegetables as long as I can.
I am against foie gras for the same reasons I do not endorse the commercial farming of most animals, but especially the human or genetically modified ones. I think that people should be more conscious about many things, not just what they eat, but for now I am happy to see that California is trying to put a stop to a truly harmful and unnecessary practice. I imagine the ruckus will eventually simmer down much like the fervor that surrounded the coincidental rise of the cigar bar and cigarette ban of the early 90s.
For those people out there who quietly enjoy a nice artificially inflated liver from a horribly mistreated waterfowl, I applaud you for keeping it on the down low, the true sign of class, or perhaps being a little shy about it. And while you await the looming and certain ban on foie gras here in California, I recommend you watch the finest animal rights film ever made, EVER.