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Foie gras is a little scary.

By Troy Johnson

A lot of the restaurants serving foie gras won’t talk about it. Why? For multiple reasons, none of which are shame. At least one of the reasons is that, although animal rights activists are mostly peaceful and rational people, extreme animal rights activists have a higher than average number of violent, threatening members. Stories abound. Death threats. Chefs receiving photos of their family home in the mail. One person associated with the foie gras industry wears a gun to work after repeatedly aggressive, scary behavior from activists. The FBI has had to intervene multiple times in San Diego. In talking this over with a few people who study the industry (who, unsurprisingly, would like to stay off the record), the reason for this seems to go something like: Extreme animal rights activists believe animals deserve rights equal to human beings. Many of them talk about God’s will, suggesting there’s a religious aspect to animal rights activism. If you kill animals for food, imbalanced extremists seem to feel they are almost justified in threatening violence in return. That’s why some of the restaurants who in the past have supported foie gras aren’t speaking up this time around. It’s one thing to stand up for what you believe in; it’s another to put the people you love in danger. Sadly, there is a little danger with extreme animal rights activists.


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