As has been previously reported in our internationally famous blog and in the lesser known Wall Street Journal (from which one of us lifted the story) some chefs have responded to public unease over the alleged mistreatment of force-fed ducks and geese by concocting foie-gras facsimiles.
On it's face, making fake foie gras from chicken livers with copious amounts of butter or duck livers from conventionally husbanded ducks seems like a reasonable -if gastronomically bogus- response to wobbly consumers who only want to eat animals that experts tell them are happy before they are slaughtered. But A Hunger Artist avers that while these chefs may appease the troubled consciences of some meat eating customers, the prime movers behind the anti-foie gras movement will never be satisfied with this kind of trickery. Nor should they be.
The anti-foie gras movement is spearheaded by vegans who believe that it is morally wrong to use animals for food, labor, entertainment, clothing -in short anything other than pets (maybe) and aesthetic enjoyment in their natural habitat. Why would anyone with such an ethos be satisfied to stop people from producing, cooking and eating foie-gras yet let them get away with cooking chicken liver? If A Hunger Artist (AHA) knows anything about animal rights activists and vegans, we know that many of the most vociferous are highly principled people who are motivated by a profound empathy for non-human animals. AHA cannot imagine why such people would or should be satisfied with anything short of a complete ban on their consumption by humans.
Of course, there are more moderate types in the anti-foie and animal rights movement who vegan or not, seem to suggest that they would be okay with eliminating gavage and the use of cages and but we doubt that these type have much credibility with the core leadership of any animal rights organization. So it seems to us that unless the vegans who act as the moral center of animal rights organizations like PETA suddenly decide that there's nothing wrong with the concept of non-human animal consumption, there is no reason to expect that they are going to settle for eliminating the foie-gras industry and then stand idly by while chefs make fake foie gras from chicken liver.
If fake foie gras is intended to be a prophylactic against the demands of animal rights groups and sympathetic consumers it's a leaky one at best.
On The Record
A Hunger Artist is not opposed to veganism. Rather AHA admires vegans as principled folks who are trying to lead a morally-centered and consistent lives and supports them in their efforts to do so as long as they do not attempt to impose their choice on other people.
Likewise AHA is not opposed to meat eating and admires meat eaters who do not attempt to impose their choice on other people. Moreover AHA admires meat eaters who understand that
that meat eating must result in some suffering by animals, and are mature enough to recognize their culpability in the series of events that occur from the farmyard to the human gullet.