Monday, October 7, 2013

Amazon UK stops selling foie gras

In great news, Amazon UK has decided to stop selling foie gras through its web site. Now it’s time for the US Amazon to follow suit. I found it interesting that the Amazon campaign framed the issue in terms of national identity, with the cruelty involved characterized as “very un-British.” As things progress, I think we’ll see more such campaigns linking local, regional, or national identities to the rejection of exploitation and cruelty. This is a positive development insofar as it doesn’t shade into racism and xenophobia, which is always a danger. I’ll probably have more to say about it in the future.

When I was posting last year about California’s foie gras ban, I was astonished to learn that some chefs and restaurants were going out of their way to oppose and get around the law. Is this really the battle they want to take on, I wondered? Promoting the torture of ducks and geese so rich people can eat their livers? The extent of callousness toward the animals’ suffering was made plain in one recent quotation. Marcus Henley, operations manager of Hudson Valley farm in New York, responded to a federal appeals court’s ruling upholding the California ban last month: “This isn't like fireworks; nobody is being harmed by foie gras.”

I was also…I’ll call it amused at the time to read of a French politician calling for a boycott of Californian wines in response to the foie gras ban. It’s not generally a great idea to try to strike a blow by boycotting products for which the import-export balance weighs heavily in your favor. What are they going to boycott next – couture? arrogance? sexism? (I kid, I kid.)

Now the French government is objecting to Amazon UK’s decision. Guillaume Garot, the French agribusiness minister, remarked, “I defend this sector because of jobs but also because of a certain idea of gastronomic heritage.” Yes, well, some traditions need to die. How French is cruelty?

No comments:

Post a Comment