'Assault on French culture': Foie Gras maker cries foul after US Supreme Court ruling
While not exactly renowned for their desire to step up to a fight, the French have at least one line that should never be crossed: food. In defense of the meat delicacy, members of the food industry are lashing out against the supreme court’s refusal to hear an appeal against a California law prohibiting the sale of foie gras. The court offered no explanation for their decision to reject the appeal, which was filed by the association in Quebec of duck and goose farmers.
The ban was fought-for and supported by controversial animal rights group PETA, who consider the way the food is produced to be cruel. The foie gras process involves force-feeding grain to ducks and geese through a tube, in order to fatten their livers.
“This victory for animals follows tireless efforts from animal rights activists to oppose the archaic foie gras industry. PETA and our supporters have protested the sale of the vile product in California for years by exposing the industry’s cruel production process,” the group’s statement reads.
PETA assures the public there is no need to worry about the ban, because mouthwatering vegan “faux gras,” made from boiled lentils and mashed beets, is “readily available.”
Those who produce and prepare the iconic French food are unconvinced.
“It is unacceptable that such a decision, taken under the influence of the lobbying of some activists orchestrating regular misinformation on our products to advocate dogmatic vegetarianism, could endanger the image of an emblematic dish of the French art of living," said Michel Fruchet, the head of French foie gras producers’ group Cifog.
Article L654 of France's 2006 Rural Code calls the dish a “protected cultural and gastronomic heritage of France,” which producers say gives them a legal basis for claims that the ban is an assault on French culture. France makes about 70% of the foie gras sold throughout the world.
The law was first passed in 2004 on animal rights grounds, but was eventually suspended. It was upheld again in 2017.
The ban’s opponents, including an unflappable coalition of California chefs, vow to keep up the heat and prepare further legal action.
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