The foie gras battle is spreading

In today's New York Times, Organizing for an Indelicate Fight looks at a lawsuit filed by Sonoma Foie Gras against Whole Foods. Apparently Whole Foods (who does not sell foie gras for ethical reasons), "told Grimaud Farms last fall to stop processing and distributing Sonoma's ducks and foie gras or the grocer would no longer do business with the company." Sonoma Foie Gras has been unable to find another processor and is suing Whole Foods for, "intentional interference with contract."

If Sonoma loses the suit, it could hasten the disappearance of foie gras in California. In 2004 California passed a law banning the production and sale of foie gras by 2012.

"I hope I'm retired by 2012," said Thomas Keller, owner of the French Laundry in the Napa Valley and Per Se in Manhattan, who believes the government should not tell people what to eat. "If force-feeding a duck is cruel, then packing chickens in a cage is cruel, and then the veal and the beef. We are all going to be vegetarians soon if they have their way. We should probably start converting now."

Oh that TK! Seriously though, if PETA, et al have their way, will we ultimately end up eating humanely treated animals, or no animals at all? Accidental Hedonist raises a good point in her Chicago and Foie Gras post about how removed people are these days from meat production: "the mainstream public…are now so separated from the process of how our food is actually collected, harvested or made, videos showing gavage can be shocking and upsetting." When all your meat comes neatly packaged at the supermarket — free of blood and bones and veins — it's hard to remember you're eating an animal. Perhaps that's part of the problem.