A Flap Over Foie Gras

by 5m Editor
25 April 2005, at 12:00am

US - It was a delicacy among the Romans, and later the Jews, a substitute for the pig that helped their Christian neighbors survive the Middle Ages. To French food writer Charles Gerard, foie gras - the swollen liver of a deliberately overfed goose or duck - was "the supreme fruit of gastronomy." Seared and doused with a port-wine reduction, or baked with truffles into a terrine, it is the key to the restaurant industry's holy grail: the $20 appetizer. But to animal-rights activists, it's fur on a plate, an outrageous flaunting of humanity's dominion over other species, and at the same time a wedge issue that can usefully be wielded against the entire meat industry. Which is why, within an hour of Cardinal Ratzinger's elevation last week, an exultant e-mail went out from Bruce Friedrich, director of vegan campaigns for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, calling media attention to the new pope's views on animal husbandry. In a 2002 interview, Ratzinger opined that "degrading living creatures to a commodity," specifically by force-feeding geese and confining chickens in crowded factory-farm cages, seems "to contradict the relationship of mutuality that comes across in the Bible." Source:

5m Editor