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Shortest Animal Rights Campaign In History?

September 23, 2014 by Leave a Comment

The News

Eight hours after an animal rights group asked its supporters to leave comments opposing foie gras on the Facebook wall of The Sopwell House, the well-known hotel and spa in England announced that it will remove foie gras from its restaurant’s menu. It was that easy.

“We have reconsidered our offerings, and this dish will now be removed by our Executive Head Chef. Kindly note that it will take a couple of weeks for our menus to be reprinted. However, please be reassured that we are no longer serving foie gras.”

Sopwell House ends sale of foie gras

Sopwell House to remove foie gras from menu

In response to the news, Hertfordshire Animal Rights spokesperson Tod Bradbury said, “We would like to publicly thank Sopwell House for listening to the concerns of the public. Foie gras does not belong in a civilised society – it is undeniably cruel. We hope Sopwell House can be an inspiration to other purveyors of foie gras in the area.”

Foie gras is produced by force feeding ducks and geese through metal pipes until their livers become diseased, swelling up to ten times their normal size.

foie gras force feeding

Hertfordshire Animal Rights has stopped the sale of foie gras at five restaurants in England since August and intends to continue its campaign until the region is foie gras free. In the United States, the production and sale of foie gras were banned in California in 2012. A similar ban was passed in Chicago in 2006, but it was overturned in 2008.

In his 2011 book The Foie Gras Wars, Chicago Tribune reporter Marc Caro profiled the Humane League of Philadelphia’s multi-year campaign to stop the sale of foie gras in local restaurants. According to activist Nick Cooney, who ran the campaign, between 80% – 85% of the targeted restaurants ultimately removed foie gras from the menu.

foie gras wars

Your Turn

As evidenced by the victories in England, California and Philadelphia, grassroots activism works. If you live near a restaurant that serves foie gras, then you can employ the same tactics used by Hertfordshire Animal Rights and the Humane League to campaign against the sale of foie gras. To learn more, please watch Farm Sanctuary’s undercover investigation of a foie gras farm.

Comments via Facebook Comments

  1. Mickey says:

    Am I to understand that this Org. simply writes letters to restaurants (on FB walls or otherwise), and does not employ any incoherent screaming, in the hope to evoke change? And it WORKS? That’s terrific. That actually seems like a much starter way to have people listen- with printed words and/or quiet conversation. I’ve said this before, but in my experiences, I truly believe the saying: The louder you speak, the weaker the argument. It may not make “sexy” videos, but, quiet wins out every time, in my book.

    1. Donny Moss says:

      Mickey: As part of my correspondence with this organization, their spokesman wrote, “I find that demos that are very visual – rather than loud – tend to be the most effective.” Foie gras in particular is very visual, so getting people to just look at the images of force-feeding would probably go a long way for some.

  2. Pam says:

    I love this story. It’s so great to hear that this organization is making a difference. What a shame the ban was overturned in Chicago.

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