If you own a restaurant in London, you’d better think twice before serving foie gras. That is because London Vegan Actions, an animals rights group that “turns actions into victories,” could very well disrupt your diners – over and over – until you take it off the menu.
Disruptions inside of restaurants have triggered much debate within the animal rights community. Some activists say that loud disruptions alienate the target audiences; others argue that they prompt customers to consider what – or who – they are eating and that they trigger exasperated restaurants to stop serving the most controversial of foods.
After four weeks of disruptions, the restaurant Sketch, the group’s current target, continues to sell foie gras, and London Vegan Actions is showing no signs of backing down. After all, they argue, “you cannot even legally produce foie gras in the U.K. due to the cruelty, which is why 16 countries have banned its production.” Protests are planned on May 22nd and May 23rd.
In late April, Alexis Gauthier, the chef and owner of Gauthier restaurant, decided to take foie gras off of his menu after London Vegan Actions staged three disruptive protests.
Foie gras, which is often described by activists as a “delicacy of despair,” is produced by force feeding ducks and geese through metal pipes until their livers become diseased, swelling up to ten times their normal size. The pipes are inserted 12″ down their esophaguses three times daily in the weeks leading up to slaughter.
In 2013, the U.S.-based advocacy group Mercy For Animals used hidden cameras at the nation’s largest producer to document the abuse inherent in foie gras production:
London Vegan Actions isn’t the only group in the U.K. advocating on behalf of battered ducks and geese. Hertfordshire Animal Rights stopped the sale of foie gras at seven U.K. restaurants in 2014.