There's an interesting article over on Salon between Michael Ruhlman and Tony Bourdain about a proposed law in New Jersey to ban foie gras. This follows the controversial ban in Chicago and a similar one in my home state of California which I didn't even know about (which theoretically takes effect in 2012.)
I'm not a real fan of foie gras, both because it's way too rich for me and also because I do have a problem with the way it's prepared. Don't get me wrong - I am a carnivore, and I don't really quibble that much between how animals are treated as long as it's done relatively humanely. I care more, in essence, about animal treatment in terms of how it impacts what I put in my mouth than whether a duck or cow experiences some pain. In a perfect world, it wouldn't have to happen that way, but this is why there's a food chain and I'm glad we are at the top of it.
All that being said, I don't like foie gras and given that, I don't order it to try and be convinced that I'm missing something because of the controversy around it. I do like veal, though, so I'm no saint.
But the article is quite interesting and while it's behind a firewall that you need to watch a free ad to view (like everything at Salon), it's well worth reading. This quote should be a good teaser and a reminder about why Bourdain is, for all intents and purposes, my hero:
Ruhlman: On a Fox News show last spring, in a debate pitting Assemblyman Panter against Ann Coulter (following her disparaging remarks about New Jersey 9/11 widows), Panter defended his colleagues' calls to have retailers pull her books. Do you see a correlation between the two substances he wants off our shelves?
Bourdain: I may find Ann Coulter utterly loathsome and reprehensible on every level, and I would greatly enjoy throwing a shit pie into her face, but the idea of yanking any books off shelves scares the hell out of me. This reeks on so many levels. Along with other wrong-headed, easy-fix, knee-jerk reactions to perceived food scares, Panter's attitude paints a gloomy picture of how we might be forced to eat in this country if the frightened, righteous people who want to ban everything because it might be unsafe get together with all the people who want to ban everything because it might be cruel, and the people who want to ban everything because it might be unhealthy. It's the perfect storm.
I too would greatly enjoy throwing a shit pie at Ann Coulter. Perhaps I can get a show on the Travel Channel.