The news this week that the Chicago City Council voted to repeal a ban on the sale of foie gras is yet another indication that the campaign by animal rights activists to abolish the industry will not succeed because, I believe, the socio-political and emotional foundation of the argument against the industry is fundamentally flawed. The animal rights organizations behind the campaign to destroy the tiny American foie gras industry assume that the public will become senseless with class envy, and take their side once they understand that foie gras is a "luxury liver product targeted at the rich." They also wrongly assume that some critical number of celebrities will side with them and influence ordinary Americans to take on their cause.*
But what the people in charge of policy at organizations like PETA (People for the the Ethical Treatment of Animals) and HUSUS (The Humane Society of the United States) don't seem to understand, is that those who will be most affected by the destruction of the industry are blue-collar farmers and chefs who, unlike many who can afford to work for non-profits, do not have enviable work schedules and incomes. Neither are the customers who dine on foie gras the objects of class hatred that the animal rights people would like to believe. Most Americans are aspirational by nature, and rather than despise those who can afford to put down 2o dollars for a 4 ounce serving of terrine de foie gras, fully expect that they will do the same thing at some point.
Another problem that the anti-foie gras people have is that their opponent is the smaller dog in the fight -and the public almost always sides with the underdog. To wit
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