Looking to draw attention to (cruel yet succulent) foie gras production and consumption, which will (technically) be banned in California come 2012, animal rights group Animal Legal Defense Fund stirred up a bit of media attention today after offering a rather patronizing gift to TV chef Anthony Bourdain. See, they would like to arrange to have Bourdain tested for hepatic lipidosis—which is, it seems, "the same dangerous liver disease that ducks and geese develop as a result of being force fed massive amounts of food prior to being slaughtered for foie gras."
In part of a letter written to Bourdain/media outlets, ALDF director of communications Lisa Franzetta writes: "As holiday tables are being set across the nation, we at ALDF are deeply concerned that your notorious appetite could lead you down a similar path to pathology by New Year’s—which is why we’d like to offer to have you tested for hepatic lipidosis, the same liver disease from which birds fattened for foie gras suffer."
How very tender.
We should also point out that hepatic lipidosis can affect those of us (ahem) who consume far too much alcohol. Yikes. (Good idea to whip out the milk thistle this holiday season, folks.)
The Animal Legal Defense Fund also filed a legal petition with the U.S. Department of Agriculture back in September asking that foie gras show a consumer warning label saying, “NOTICE: Foie gras products are derived from diseased birds." The petition is still being reviewed by the USDA.
California will ban the sale and production of foie gras in July of 2012. Offering the tasty treat on your menu could result in a $1,000 fine.