Friday, October 12, 2007


If you grew up near a town with an IGA grocery store, you probably have fond memories of it.

Usually smaller, always more personal than the big supermarkets, IGAs are in essence mom and pop outfits that have banned together as a group to get more competitive pricing from suppliers and distributors. Without the alliance many of them could not survive on their own, and would be replaced by whatever behemoth chain has taken over the neighboring towns.

Well, as if they didn't have enough trouble dealing with their major competitors, now the Concordia Animal Rights Association (CARA) - the same folks who take credit for ridding Canada of the scourge of evil teenage farmhands - has started targeting IGA stores in the Quebec province as part of their effort to ban Foie Gras.

The very unbiased McGill University Daily (note their pointed and painful description of gavage in paragraph 12) reports that CARA has begun protesting outside of IGA stores in an effort to get them to stop selling Foie Gras.

Call us at FoieBlog cynics (you won't be the first) but we wouldn't be surprised if most of the CARA crew, when not saving the Canadian goose population from extinction, have been to their fair share of anti-globalization protests as well. We've been berated for years about how small, locally-owned companies are the answers to all the world's ills. We've gotten the message. Too bad whenever it's "save the animals" week in activistland they conveniently forget this mantra and set up their soapboxes in front of stores like IGAs and independently-owned restaurants that employ many of their hard working, low-income neighbors while providing the community with the products and services that it demands, which in many places, includes Foie Gras.


Abdullah said...

Yes, because anti-globalization means that someone has to support animal cruelty.

Maybe YOU'D like to have metal pipes shoved down your throat and force-fed.

By the way, I'm a member of CARA, and I was at the protest!

Douglas said...

Fois gras is sick, cruel and un necessary!

where do you live? If I can reach A pipe to your door I'll shove it it down your throat until your eyeballs explode you piece of crap!

Liz said...

Abdullah and Douglas -

Sadly, you are proving what many of us have long suspected to be true: Animal extremists are misinformed and often violent with their words and tactics. You are proving: Kindness to animals does not equal kindness to humans.

You've also shown yourselves to be jerks. How about a civilized conversation about this? Not for you guys, I guess.

Here are some facts:

- Ducks lack a gag reflex. Their esophagi have an insentive lining, allowing them to swallow large fish and other prey. This allows for the painless hand-feeding which occurrs during the final days of the ducks' lives.

- In nature, ducks fatten their livers for energy prior to migration, and the effect is revesible.

- Indenpendent veterinatians and scientists have concluded that the hand-feeding of ducks for foie gras causes no harm to them.

For more information (because you obviously need some) check out the links at LegalFoieGras.

Gras Guy said...

Seems we touched a nerve with this one.

Our thanks to Liz for her reasoned response to Abdullah and Douglas, and our thanks to them as well. They have provided two perfect examples of the underlying anger and violent nature that many "caring" animal activists hide behind their "concerned" facades.

No, we would not like you to come to our homes and shove a pipe down our throats, put us in cages, or even trap us on a free range farm, feeding us wholesome foods whenever we like. Just the same, we have no interest in coming to your home and forcing you to eat Foie Gras,or even standing out front with pictures of underfed and malnourishd vegetarians who subside on brown rice and marijuana. We're not saying all vegetarians are underfed and malnourished and subside on brown rice and marijuana, but I'm sure we could find a photo or two of some who do, just like I can find disgusting photos of fowl being mistreated by the rare, uncaring person who finds themselves working on a duck or goose farm - many of which are taken by animal activist like yourselves that would rather let such things happen before your eyes in order to get a few pictures, rather than intervene on the spot. You can be sure that if we came across someone shoving a metal pipe down one of your throats we wouldn't secretly take photos and wait a few weeks to release them.

All we ask, is that you rethink the idea that the beginning of a dialogue has to be an ugly protest in front of a small business just trying to serve the community while making a living. Maybe if you actually tried to get to know these people, you'd find that they're pretty nice, reasonable people. And before you tell us that you tried to contact them about your concerns, think about how you did it. We're pretty sure it involved a letter that included an angry diatribe about Foie Gras production with a couple of those photos you guys love so much attatched. It's a rude way to say hello and hardly the best way to get someone to see your side of things.

Lucas said...

Racists violate the principle of equality by giving greater
weight to the interests of members of their own race when
their is a clash between their interests and the interests
of those of another race. Sexists violate the principle of
equality by favoring the interests of their own sex.
Similarly, speciesists allow the interests of their own
species to override the greater interests of members of
other species. In each case, the pattern is identical.

The people behind this blog want to take the spotlight off of their cruel, selfish and ignorant behavior. Often times industry people or people who indulge in such cruelty try and point the finger at activists...this is to distract people from the reality of the situation.

Any activists that I know, not only have great respect for animals...but also speak out against many oppressive behaviors. Members of CARA regularly take part in human rights campaigns. Just this month many of our members marched in solidarity with the people of Burma and Uganda. Our members often work with the elderly, volunteer at soup kitchens, adopt stray and abused animals. are involved in sustainability projects.

Our members should be very proud!

For the animals,

Lucas Solowey
Concordia Animal Rights Association

Gras Guy said...

I think it’s selfish and cruel to keep dogs - especially large dogs like Labradors and Great Danes - especially ones that were bred specifically to be bought and possessed by humans - as pets in apartments and other small dwellings. If there were a law proposed to ban it, I would be the first to vote for it. There is not. In fact, it is a practice that has been vetted and is approved by both the governments and veterinary societies of the United States and Canada, as is the farming and production of Foie Gras, beef, chicken, etc. This being the state of affairs, I don't spend my time trawling the streets berating pet owners and pet shops for doing something I disagree with. Nor do I go onto their websites and make threatening posts.

If the conversation comes up, I'm more than happy to have it, but I'm not going to make life miserable for people doing something they're allowed to do, and life uncomfortable for the innocent bystanders who would be subjected to my protests as well.

This is what you do when you stand in front of a grocery store or restaurant serving Foie Gras. When I see a group of loud, possibly violent people engaged in a protest on some subject, I usually choose to avoid them. Yes, this achieves your aim of taking business away from the target of your protest, but for the grandmother who just needed to pick up some bread and eggs and decides she has to go to another out of the way store because she doesn't want to be bothered, you've affected her life in a negative way and most likely haven't gotten your message to her.

If you have a problem with Foie Gras production, call your MP, or, better yet, reach out to the producers in a reasonable fashion and talk about it with them. As long as the only course of action you take is to blindly attack, you can expect people to bite back.

By the way, while I applaud your participation in solidarity marches, I work as a journalist and regularly travel to countries where human atrocities are taking place to bring light to their strife, perhaps you should too. If you think animals are treated poorly on Foie Gras farms, you should see how they are treated by many of the people you're so eager to come to the defense of.

Gras Guy said...

Oh, and Lucas, while I'm sure Peter Singer doesn't mind you using his quotes wholesale, the least you could do is give him a citation when you do, or is plagiarism not frowned upon in the Canadian educational system?

Don't worry, I'll take care of it for you:
"Racists violate the principle of equality by giving greater
weight to the interests of members of their own race when
their is a clash between their interests and the interests
of those of another race. Sexists violate the principle of
equality by favoring the interests of their own sex.
Similarly, speciesists allow the interests of their own
species to override the greater interests of members of
other species. In each case, the pattern is identical."
-Animal Liberation, by Peter Singer