Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2005 00:34:00 -0400
Diners with a craving for foie gras have been left searching for it on
menus in frustration this year. The delicacy has all but disappeared
from county restaurants after pressure from people who see its
production as cruel to animals.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last September signed a bill that will ban
the sale and production in California of the goose- or duck-liver pate
in 2012, and the food already is gone from area restaurants and
Pamplemousse Grille in Solana Beach last February was the first area
restaurant to voluntarily remove foie gras from its menu, and 13
others in the county have followed this year, according to Kath Rogers
of the Animal Protection and Rescue League in San Diego, which at
times has protested about restaurants' serving the item.
"I think there are about three or four restaurants in San Diego that
do still serve it," said Rogers, co-director of the three-year-old
Animal Protection and Rescue League. "We're definitely going to
educate them to stop serving it. A lot of people just don't know how
it's produced, and when we educate them, it can make a difference."
Rogers said her group has targeted foie gras production because,
unlike the farming of other animals, "it can never be made humanely."
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals first brought attention to
foie gras production in the 1990s. The Animal Protection and Rescue
League conducted its own investigation with the Los Angeles Times in
2003, which reported on foie gras production that September.
The league, which has a small staff but says it has 2,500 members and
volunteers nationwide, teamed with the larger group In Defense of
Animals in a lawsuit against Sonoma Fois Gras, the only farm in
California to make fois gras.
California State Sen. John Burton (D-San Francisco) introduced a bill
banning foie gras, and the lawsuit was dropped when the bill was
passed. Bills similar to the California ban are pending in New York,
Massachusetts, Illinois and Oregon.
Restaurants and stores must stop selling foie gras in 2012, but Rogers
said that was too long to wait.