Blog written by Cory Sealey
Grab your forks; the asinine foie gras ban the police state of Chicago enacted in April of 2006 has been officially repealed. Although the ban is still in effect until June 11th, common sense has at last trumped the massive amount of spin and mis-information many anti-foie advocates had put out for public consumption. (get it? consumption)
Foie gras is the fattened (and yummy) liver of ducks or geese. A culturally protected item in France, it is usually associated with the upper classes and beyond the reach of the hoi polloi. It is viewed as a special treat as opposed to something you munch on while watching CSI in your sweatpants. Here in Chicago, the issue surrounding banning the sale of foie gras centers around the perceived cruelty the animals are subjected too as they are fattened up for us humans. The standard method is called gravage, which is when a tube is stuck down the animal’s throat and corn is then force-fed down the tube and into the bird’s gullet. According to producers, because ducks and geese do not have a gag reflex and are used to swallowing their food whole, gavage does not cause trauma. Who to believe??
My problem centers around anti-foie advocates hiding behind the mask of animal cruelty and health issues to tell me what I can and cannot eat. The issue has been raised, “Why foie gras?” Why are people fixated on this one item of food instead of say, outlawing eggs from battery chickens or non free-range steak? Is it because foie gras is already perceived as an elitist item, which many people could care less about, hence less objection? I know, foie gras is less of a standard item than say eggs or hamburgers, but if their uniting flag is anti-animal cruelty, shouldn’t it be universal? The public’s apathy towards your cause does not mean the fight was a success.
If the anti-animal argument fails, then they harp about how unhealthy it is for you. Honestly, it is a fatty diseased liver of a fatty bird. But I can count three pizzerias (deep, thin, and gourmet), a burger joint, and the world famous Rock n’ Roll McDonald’s within a three block radius. I can also smell the Blommers Chocolate factory everyday through my office window. Why aren’t these tasty temples of calorie consumption being outlawed? Oh right, it’s because there would be riots on the street if you took away people’s Portillo dogs…seriously. Health is relative, and when you take away someone’s right to top their slice of deep dish with french fries and sport peppers, you might as well take away their freedom of speech. Spinning personal agendas for animal equality as a health issue is deceitful.
Chicago is one of the world’s greatest food destinations. There are Chicago food tours http://www.chicagofoodplanet.com/, two hour waits for hotdogs at certain dive restaurants, and fights over which place serves the best pizza. To outlaw a gastronomic experience in this city should have been the real crime.