Wednesday, June 27, 2007


A number of Philadelphia restaurants serving Foie Gras have found themselves under assault from a local activist group called "Hugs for Puppies." Several restaurants have already caved just to get these very vocal and physical protesters away from their premises, but a few are holding firm. Restraining orders have been issued to keep the protesters at a distance from the businesses, and a some pro-active restaurateurs are taking the issue to city hall before a proposed ban becomes law.
This is good.
If there's one thing politicians relate to its votes. Even better when those votes are backed by tax-paying businesses that provide jobs and more votes. Even better when those tax-paying business-backed job-creating votes are also the ones who stuff those politicians' faces on their expense accounts. This is what democracy is all about.
The folks over at the London Grill, led by Terry McNally and Jennifer Holcomb have penned a well-argued letter that's being sent around to the City Council and other civic leaders. FoieBlog readers should lend their support by joining in on the campaign:
"We are writing to you as owners and employees of the hospitality industry to express our concerns about the behavior of the activists who participate in protests by the animal rights group, Hugs for Puppies. They have been campaigning to ban the sale of foie gras in the city of Philadelphia. They have been picketing our restaurants, London Grill, Ansill, Amada, and many more. This group has threatened us and intimidated us at every turn. On Monday, June 11, 2007 the group was at London Grill, they arrived dressed in black with black hoods over their faces shouting with bull horns. They came unannounced, without a civil affairs officer and protested in the entryway of the restaurant which directly interfered with the normal course of business. We have been called terrorists, animal abusers and other things not worth printing. Hugs for Puppies has promised to find out where we live and come to our homes.
We are chefs, managers, waiters, bartenders, bussers and dishwashers. We are students, artists, parents, career professionals and voters. We believe that we have the right to come to work, earn a living and raise our families in peace, without fear of intimidation from unlawful protesters.
We are concerned with the lack of support that our industry is getting from the city. Most of us live within the city limits and pay taxes accordingly. While we are aware that this group has the right to express dissent, we believe that their intent is not to use peaceful methods or honest discourse to make their point. We the undersigned, who earn our livelihood from the restaurant industry whether we are owners, waiters, chefs or bartenders, urge you to enforce the law regarding legitimate protest. We the undersigned, urge you to create a forum where all the scientific evidence can be evaluated to resolve this issue with out detriment to our ability to earn a living.
We sincerely hope that our city government and its elected officials will become involved in this matter before it escalates any further."
FoieBlog would like to remind Hugs for Puppies" that one of the most endearing images in Americana is the trusty hunting dog with a duck in it's mouth. If we weren't feeding them Alpo, they'd be chasing us back into the trees. Don't bring them unwillingly into this debate, it's inhumane.

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