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Au Revoir, Foie Gras

Note: The following is somewhat of an extension of Monday’s argument. Click here to get a frame of reference.

Foie gras or faux pas?

As of July 1st, foie gras will be banned in my hometown of California. Why? Because the methods we use to fatten geese (which involve forceful overfeeding via tubes) have been deemed cruel. I adore foie gras, so my first reaction to this was “blue state bullshit!” But, Russell, my meticulous man of moderate musings, had to (once again) stop me from being myself. He tried to point out a web of contradictions I had not only spun for myself, but also managed to get caught inside—as I’m both the proverbial spider and the figurative fly? I really need to stop drinking before attempting metaphors.

Earlier this week, I took a firm stance against animal testing, and I stand by every word of it. Russell thought I was talking out both sides of my mouth, however, because I reserve no moral Kool-Aid for how livestock should be handled before the slaughter. After all, it makes no difference to me if these birds are mistreated to harvest fattier livers. I celebrate veal. (I mean, look how cute those calves are in their tiny boxes—they’re like little bonsai cows! How udderly adorable! See what I did there?) And I really couldn’t give less of a shit whether the range of my chickens is free or barb wiry oppressive.

Does this indifference make me a bad person? Absolutely. But, shockingly, it doesn’t make me a hypocrite. (So, yeah, continue sucking eggs, Russell!) My issue isn’t that testing on animals is torturous. Animal cruelty is nothing new, and isn’t even uniquely human—I’ve seen dogs proudly strutting around with live birds in their mouth, and cats batting around mice until they die of shock. Rather, my issue is more about wastefulness. Food is as noble of a cause as we’ve invented (given that it falls under the category of resources), but I see no nobility in killing for what is essentially collecting data. If you can’t understand the difference… get a haircut, you damn hippy! I’m joking. Mostly.

Now, I’m not entirely heartless—I make an honest effort to buy all natural meat products, and so should you. Thus, show me a bill demanding more ethical treatment of geese before we foie their gras, I’ll sign it. Show me a ballot, I’ll vote for it. But, to arbitrarily take it away? No. Sorry, but no. I’m hungry, I’m selfish and I don’t want to move to Arizona.

Loaded Mac ‘N Cheese

I can't afford foie gras, legal or not.

  • 1 bag (16 oz) pasta
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup minced shallots
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups cubed ham

Preheat oven to 350˚. Cook pasta as directed, drain and return to pot. While pasta is cooking, melt butter in a large sauce pan. Add shallots and saute for a minute or two. Add flour and stir continuously for 2–3 minutes. Slowly add milk and stir until mixture starts thicken. Stir in cheese until melted. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream, pepper and salt. Add sauce and ham to pasta, and mix well. Spray a 9″ x 13″ glass casserole dish with non-stick spray. Add pasta mixture to dish and bake for 20–25 minutes. Let casserole rest for 5 minutes before serving. If you want to be extra fancy, drizzle some truffle oil over the mac ‘n cheese before serving. We’ve been eating Easter ham for days, so I thought this would be a good way to get rid of some. I knew I was right when the kids asked for seconds. 

Credit for today’s rant (and title) goes to my bite-size friend, Autumn. I didn’t know about the foie gras issue until she brought it to my attention. She’s my partner in decadence, the one I play fancy dress-up with whenever I like to pretend to have money. Riddle me this, then, California: How am I supposed to do that when you are incrementally killing our friendship with these embargoes on our elitist snobbery? Blue state bullshit, indeed!

TWTG says, “Oh, there’s a huge twinge of guilt, but whatever.”


13 responses »

  1. They do “force feed” the fowl in the sense that they force food down their throats, but the birds line up for it. The birds naturally fatten their livers before migration. Blah, blah, blah, is great with pears and Sauternes.

  2. *giggles* Reminds me of my “beloved-ex” and his rampant carnivorism. (I know that’s not a word, but it should be, so there!) He liked and (over) used the usual we-like-meat aphorisms. Meat tastes like murder…and murder tastes pretty damn good! Vegetables are what food eats. And my favorite, although slightly off topic… “If vegetarians eat only vegetables, does that make cannibals Humanitarians?” (I prefer vampires to cannibals, but that was his joke, so…)


  3. You know. I really had no idea that is what they did to the geese.. Yikes… I am also agains bad treatment to people, animals, nature and many other things but there are times when things just “slips under the radar!!” Thank you for the education… I will think twice about it now… and I also looove to eat Foie gras.

  4. I’m with you, WTG – I love foie gras and hate to see it gone like this. Actually, I love pate more. Wonder what the difference is between foie gras and pate? I’m sure a lot and once again, I’m too lazy to Google it. But, I guess my point is, I totally agree with you. And, also like you, I’d love to have some served up on a saltine.

    • Isn’t it already banned in Chicago? Pate is often made from goose or duck liver but foie gras is the fattened duck or goose liver itself and it’s amazing. It literally translates as “liver fat” or since we talk backward in English “fat liver”. Dig that you caught the saltine! LOL White Trash indeed.

      • If I heard it right, it was banned in Chicago. When the kernel of the idea started, the campaign to ban the stuff within the city limits was well funded by restauranteurs from the surrounding suburbs who made out like bandits in prohibition. There were dodges in the city since it was illegal to sell, but not serve; i.e. buy this twenty dollar pear and get some free foie gras. I believe it is back in Chicago once more. All of this is industry news/gossip which I take as gospel on account of it being interesting.

  5. I think banning foie gras is the equivalent of banning animals farmed for slaughter in general. I am always amazed at the distinctions and hierarchy people place on certain animals. Those geese are treated no worse than commercially raised chickens and in fact I would argue the geese have it better. At the end of the day animal slaughter for human consumption is a touchy subject that I usually leave alone. I think I will shut up and go have a steak

    • I’m absolutely with you here. That was kinda the point that Russell and I were lobbing back and forth before this post was written. It’s picking on the finer things simply because it’s an easy target. I guaranfuckingtee you that no politician is going to start throwing a hissy fit about how inhumanely chickens are treated on the majority of chicken farms because people need their damn inexpensive meat. I get it. I spent my college years playing at being a bleeding heart so I’ve got the chops. Now excuse me while I go club some baby seals… (I want my coat.)

  6. Pingback: Think Of The Children « The White Trash Gourmet

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