Target: Chef Heston Blumenthal, Owner of Fat Duck Restaurant
Goal: Praise celebrity chef’s removal of foie gras from restaurant supply chain
Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal has severed ties with a foie gras supplier found to be treating animals poorly. A spokesman for Blumenthal’s Michelin-starred restaurant cited animal welfare concerns as the reason for the split, stating that conditions in the supplier’s farms have degraded significantly since the restaurant last inspected it.
In order to produce foie gras, a French delicacy, ducks and geese are fed massive amounts of grain-based slurry in order to enlarge their livers to 10 times a normal size. The force feeding process involves funneling four pounds of feed per day directly into a bird’s esophagus, and can cause esophageal tears, severe damage to throat tissue, and broken bones. The mortality rate of birds on foie gras farms is up to 20 times that of the regular mortality rate.
The cruelty was brought to Blumenthal’s attention when the media published a video of feeding procedures at Maison Miteault, the restaurant’s supplier. The ducks, which are kept in small, filthy cages, suffer from open wounds, and are clearly unhealthy, most suffering respiratory distress. Several of the ducks are seen dead or dying in a pile.
Unfortunately, producing foie gras is cruel even in the most humane farms, and has been outlawed in the United Kingdom as well as several other countries. It is important for restaurant owners to be mindful of the origins of the ingredients they use. Sign the petition below to thank Heston Blumenthal for halting shipments from Maison Miteault, and ask him to leave foie gras off the menu permanently.
Dear Mr. Blumenthal,
Michelin-starred restaurant Fat Duck will no longer be doing business with foie gras producer Maison Miteault after the media published evidence of cruel treatment and neglect at the farm. While the facility met restaurant standards during a previous inspection, new evidence shows a significant deterioration in conditions.
Foie gras is produced by force-feeding ducks up to four pounds of grain slurry a day until their livers enlarge to 10 times a normal size. This process causes extreme stress to the birds, as well as respiratory issues, throat damage, and esophageal tears. Force-feeding has been labeled as torture when preformed on humans. I commend your decision to stop doing business with these cruel foie gras producers, and ask you to consider removing foie gras from your menu entirely.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Jerome S. via Creative Commons