Foie Gras Protestors Find a New Target, Miss the Greater Issue

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Having presumably tired of Manhattan's fine-dining scene, foie gras opponents have taken their rhetoric over the East River to Bedford-Stuyvesant.

The target of their ire is Do or Dine, a newish restaurant that happens to have foie gras doughnuts on its menu. As Gothamist reports, a vegan blogger named Annie Hartnett started a petition titled, somewhat pointedly, "Do or Dine Restaurant: Stop Serving Foie Gras Donuts." It's so far attracted almost 600 signatures, as well as the attention of at least one xenophobic lunatic who wrote, "We KNOW this can't be an american [sic] restaurant. Stop this cruelty. Take it back overseas. See what immigrants will do in this country???? This is sickening!" (Could the Tea Party have a heretofore undiscovered anti-foie-gras contingent? Discuss.)

Justin Warner, the restaurant's chef, told Gothamist that he only serves about 30 doughnuts each week, and that despite the fact that people across the globe are signing the petition, "the one percent of people who are actually coming here and eating them are pretty jazzed." And they, of course, have gone and started a counterpetition asking the restaurant to "please keep serving foie gras donuts."

We'd also like to start a petition, one addressed to the opponents of fattened goose liver: Why not take your rhetoric and banners to establishments that use meat grown in misery and squalor on factory farms? Because unlike foie gras, a high-end commodity that is used at only a small percentage of the city's restaurants, factory-farmed animals are eaten at, oh, just about everywhere. Compared with the average factory farm, the average foie gras farm looks like Canyon Ranch.

Thirty doughnuts a week isn't so much a drop in the bucket when compared with the bottomless ocean of cruelty most restaurants implicitly support with their purchase of commodity meat. But then protesting in front of a Popeye's isn't quite as sexy as screaming at Thomas Keller or David Chang or even some guy in Brooklyn -and certainly not as likely to attract attention.

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This is a fair point, but still...forcibly shoving tubes down the throats of suffering ducks and geese, just to enjoy the taste of a fatty piece of organ meat made into a doughnut is disgusting and completely unnecessary.

There are plenty of people protesting against the cruelty of most forms of animal agriculture, but ignoring something this cruel and utterly unuseful is one step in promoting more humane animal products. 

Whether or not you think meat is ethically, environmentally or nutritionally justified, I think most people can agree that abusing animals to make doughnuts is repugnant.

Carrie LeBlanc
Carrie LeBlanc

Easy....low hanging fruit. We stop cruelties where we can. This is an easy one to rid ourselves of. It'll be banned in CA beginning in 2012, thanks to this sort of activism. A great win for compassion over cruelty. Think foie gras is yummy? Educate yourself and decide for yourself if tortured animal = tasty.

Personally, I don't think animal abuse is cool. But I guess that is an individual choice.

Joe DiStefano
Joe DiStefano

So glad these folks stay away from M. Wells...perhaps they can't find it??