Foodies will be foodies:
Animal rights activists plan to disrupt Providence dinner, foie gras menu
article by Rene Lynch, LA Times
The Animal Protection & Rescue League may have convinced certain chefs to discontinue serving foie gras at their restaurants, but it certainly won't prevent foodies and foie gras lovers from searching for foie gras elsewhere. A foie gras lover is a foie gras lover, and the foie gras lover will find a way to consume foie gras... whether in America or France, whether through legal or illegal means. While I am all in favor of the protection of animals and against any kind of abuse that animals endure, the protest by the Animal Protection & Rescue League at Providence sends a message that hinders their ultimate goal to protect animals from abuse.
Disrupting someone's meal is simply irritating. Remember when telemarketers used to call the house phone in the middle of dinner time? Those telemarketing phone calls were more irritating than any kind of philanthropic solicitation at LAX or any kind of door-to-door religious coercion.
And remember what happened to those telemarketing calls? The national do-not-call list was created as a method to maintain privacy and to end those annoying interruptions. Almost everyone I know scrambles to register their name and number on the national do-not-call list when it's announced every year. There are barely any rings on the land line now.
Handing out pamphlets or brochures? Protesting at the source (e.g. farm) of the animal abuse? Sure, I can deal with that. But when a diner is hungry and prepared to feast on his food, whether organic or abused, he will eat his food. Any distractions, disruptions or interruptions are just irritating to the diner. He will more likely ignore and develop animosity toward the source of the dinner's buzz kill.
It's the wrong time and the wrong place for a protest with unsightly photos of animal abuse. Picket on Capitol Hill instead. Put a measure on the ballot. Protest against those who actually abusing the animals. Don't make more enemies by ruining a diner's evening. While it's commendable to understand the origins of the foods that arrive on the dinner plate, many foodies don't care. Not all foodies are turning their backs on the problem. They're just there to eat.
Since the protest already took place, I asked a source at the restaurant about what happened. This person tells me that the protest was quite loud, but guests understood and did not send any complaints to the staff. Props to both activists and restaurant guests for standing their ground. But perhaps a change of location may be better suited for a protest in the future.
Good luck to the geese. As a tribute to the beloved animals who endure the suffering in order to provide foie gras lovers with culinary happiness, I leave you with a picture of my heavenly foie gras dish from Michelin-starred restaurant Jean-Georges in New York. And a link to the the website of a popular alcoholic beverage. Support the geese, please.
ML - 20101122