Beckta Chooses to Drops Foie Gras After Pressure from Activists [General]

2009 May 7

First Domus ... then Beckta .... Who's next ? Absinthe ?

2009 May 7
Ouch...a sad way to effect change in my view. I hope that these same bullies don't get to Saslove's and the other butchers in town...

2009 May 7
Cap'n - you beat me to it! To be fair though, I haven't seen foie gras on the menu at Absinthe in quite some time.

2009 May 7
Wasn't ME!!!

2009 May 7

While I am far from a vegetarian, I have never had a problem with activists campaigning for more humaine conditions for animals. Having said that, these actions are deplorable. Its sad that both Domus and Bekta caved in but I can't say that I blame them one bit.

2009 May 7
That's a shame.

2009 May 7
Wow. I don't know how I'd react if one of those protesters confronted me like that. I hope the mischief charge sticks.

Never tried foie gras. Think I will now.

2009 May 7
I am a vegetarian.

I don't care what you eat, or how you eat it and the last thing I'd do is force anyone to read anything. But that's because I think the willfully ignorant get what they deserve in the end.

Do you hope the mischief charge sticks because you know it to be true, or because you have a problem with people campaigning for animal rights?

There's a real gray area here, of who did what vs how much of this was the parallel actions of a few hard core people only loosely associated with the campaign, or who were acting of their own free will when they became aware of it. In the end what do we have here? Some people who exercised their Charter rights and MAY have overextended themselves into areas of disturbing the peace, and the sending of rude emails/phone calls towards the restaurateurs.

To say that exercising the right to free speech in a public place is deplorable, or to describe them plainly as 'bullies' calls for some deft internal denial both of what happened but as well of what they are campaigning against. Namely, of the gavage feeding technique required to produce foie gras. If the goose & duck producers want to campaign against the animal rights people fine let them have at it wherever they want and let the charges fly as they become appropriate.

A real bully would have been lobbing fire bombs and attacking employees so let's keep things in perspective.

2009 May 7
"Do you hope the mischief charge sticks because you know it to be true, or because you have a problem with people campaigning for animal rights? "

Neither. It's the tactics, as described in the article, that I disagree with.

2009 May 7
I can't believe this! Totally ridicules. Seems protesters can get away with a little too much. Aren't threatening letters and phone calls illegal here? What's next, no beef in restaurants? Wouldn't it be fun to protest the protesters at their place of business or home. Anyone? anyone? This really pisses me off! In these times I don't blame the owners for caving but dam I hate that they won in the end. I wondering who will be next?

2009 May 7
You know what? We have the Canadian Constitution Act 1867 to 1982 and its Charter of Rights & Freedoms to deal with people like you that are ready to rush to condemn people based on a newspaper article Ollie.

Re: Foodie Mom

Uttering threats is a crime, but there's that little niggling detail of tying a person to it that is clearly involved here (callers from Europe are pretty well insulated this isn't exactly mailing semtex involved here) when someone commits a crime that's totally tangential to what was going on here which was the specific engagement of Canadians in exercising their rights to free speech and expression.

Someone who was really committed to what they were doing wouldn't blanche at what I agree was apparently gauche behaviour if all the reporting is accurate.

If Beckta cared that much he'd go inviting some idiot like this to come be his staff bodyguard

If you're all suddenly big lovers of pate foie gras and want to support its consumption go visit someone rearing geese and ducks for this. Hell, go one further help slaughter them and post the videos on youtube and then dig in to a big helping!

2009 May 7
Yes, "willfully ignorant" is a very good term, Turtle. Ostriches with heads in sand.

I've already said my bit over here :

We've become so slovenly-fattened, and out of touch with reality that we get incensed at the most minor of inconvenience to our orgy of self-indulgence. 100 years from now, if there are still any sentient beings on this planet, they'll have a story similar to "let them eat cake" to tell about our generation. The incense expressed here is really no different than what we hear from the fat-cats on wall street who even after the economic disaster still somehow feel they have a right to their huge incomes.

As for the "tactics [...] described in the article", I follow Mr Eades and like a lot of what he writes, but I've also seen him on this site express views that show him to be woefully ignorant of how animals get treated in most food production. Get the movie 'Earthlings' from the Ottawa Public Library and see for yourself. I'd take this article with a pretty big grain of salt, personally.

I hope and pray that 5 to 10 more years of economic turmoil might help set things straight in this world. So many of us have lost touch with reality.

2009 May 7
I would rather have seen Beckta and Domus take foie gras off their menus because they disagree with the activities behind it, not because they felt they were bullied into it.

I don't think anyone doesn't know where foie gras comes from. In fact I think people are more likely to know that foie gras involves force-feeding ducks than that their fried eggs at Cora's are from some horrible factory farm.

2009 May 7
Pam, it's easy to make a claim of being harassed but we have laws that concern that sort of behaviour. Beckta, Domus et. al. are commercial operations first and foremost and they operate at least in part with the profit imperative in mind. (I should hope if they want to stay open) They made a decision based on publicity after a cost/benefit analysis of what it would mean to keep it on the menu. If enough people here want to keep them doing it then go vote with your dollars and GORGE GORGE GORGE, you will be remarkably surprised how quickly it's re-added to the menu I should think.

2009 May 7
"You know what? We have the Canadian Constitution Act 1867 to 1982 and its Charter of Rights & Freedoms to deal with people like you that are ready to rush to condemn people based on a newspaper article Ollie."

Deal with me how exactly?

Let me clarify if it makes you feel better... I hope the mischief charge sticks if the alleged perpetrator is indeed guilty of the crime.

2009 May 7
"We've become so slovenly-fattened, and out of touch with reality that we get incensed at the most minor of inconvenience to our orgy of self-indulgence."

You're jumping to conclusions. I'm incensed because these people were allegedly acting like assholes.

I was being a brat with my comment about eating foie gras. No skin off my back if it's off the menu.

2009 May 7
I think it's funny that I have to 'clarify' but I'll play ball.

Deal with you by enforcing the rule of law and proper procedure over the moral indignation of the majority or minority on any one issue.

They don't give enough specifics for me to say anything, not that I'd probably want to based on a Citizen article in even the best of times; but for mischief to stick in this case and the requisite elements being proven I will actually be surprised.

2009 May 7
I love this site!


"If enough people here want to keep them doing it then go vote with your dollars"

Well said. If people were voting with their dollars it would still be on the menu.

2009 May 7
"I think it's funny that I have to 'clarify'..."

My thoughts exactly! :)

2009 May 7
And speaking of moral indignation, I don't think Beckta was breaking any laws by serving foie gras. Why not go the legislative route? Why not carry out these same type of protests outside a local MP's office?

2009 May 7
Alas, foie gras is far too rich for me to GORGE GORGE GORGE! goodness. I've only had it twice in my lifetime and both times it was like eating an entire box of truffles.

2009 May 7
Oh Ollie you've "zinged" me! *snip SNAP*

I'm so very very sorry for presuming you'd understand the reference to Charter rights or due process with me drawing a big yellow highlighter line to it and circling and underlining it as it were.

Beckta wasn't breaking any laws, do you see me suggesting he was? As long as people want to eat it he should serve it on up and deal with the chips as they fall (unless of course he had pangs of conscience in the gestation phase already and doesn't want to admit it).

Neither however were the people exercising the right to free speech and expression breaking any laws by being there and conversing with citizens through direct dialogue or signage. As far as phoning and emailing, again that's fair play so long as it stops short of harassment or threats, that's how this society works. If was going to force my world view on you or anyone else I'd probably go at it a different way, I'm just standing up and calling out the hyperbole on here for what it is.

Again, if it's all so bad, go chow down while there's some left; if you want to go one better, tell them how eager you are to pay twice as much and bring all your friends if they'll only stand by their ground and keep on serving it up.

Bonne Appetite!

2009 May 7
I witnessed some of these protesters outside of domus on night as I was making my way to Navarra for dinner. We actually thought we were hearing another protest (that big one everyone was talking about) and were very surprised to see only 4 people making all the noise. The use of the bullhorn was not restricted at all, the guy used it over and over, right in front of domus's window.
I felt very bad for domus that night.

I am not in favor of foie gras. But I think this kind of harassment is disgusting. Aside from their use of FG domus is a very ethical small business. This is not mcdonalds we are talking about here!
Its sad they let these ppl beat them. As with all "terrorists" ( and i do think of this as opinion terrorism), if you give in to them, where will they draw the line? Will they start protesting beef or eggs or chickens next??

I think it is a sad day when we cant just let people make decisions for themselves.

Though one may argue the ducks had no say in this at all.

2009 May 7
I am all for people making their own decisions as long as they are INFORMED decisions. Sadly, most people like to keep this image in their head of "Old MacDonald", and that's where their meat comes from. When someone is asleep, do you want them driving the car?

In fact, the reality is Jane-Buck, that any restaurant or supermarket who just gets their meat from the regular commercial food-chain, is getting meat that was produced in PRECISELY the same manner as McDonald's. So in fact yes, it is McDonald's we are talking about. Just like any other restaurant unless they advertise otherwise. Just like all the meat we buy at Lobaw's and Sobye's. It is PRECISELY the same thing.

EDIT: hopefully it will be beef, chicken and pork next. Maybe then people will finally awaken from their slumber.

2009 May 7
Re: Jane-Buck comment

If he was loud as you say with the bullhorn, then the correct response is to call the police and bylaw departments. Equating this with terrorism is again hyperbole which is maybe appropriate in the story telling of children but not from the lips of an adult.

If these people start to actively campaign against all meat, if it draws the general public's attention to factory farming practices .. . [note the year on this story]

Then, I applaud them, people need to be more aware of the how's and why's about livestock and why they pay what they do for food. We're not so far from Upton Sinclair's Jungle as Maple Leaf marketers want people to think

2009 May 7
All this talk is making me hungry - Popcorn, Monty? With foie butter?

2009 May 7
thank you Zymurgist for schooling me on the "facts of reality". Why do you even bother to go out and eat at a nice restaurant if they are all the same as mcdonalds?? The meat supplied to many ottawa restaurant is not the crap you get at mcds or at loblaws. For one, grocery store meat is often AA or American choice. Of course that is not the same as AAA or Angus and Kobe, I dont think I need to explain that to you.
So first off, the quality: most restaurants buy a higher quality of meat than mcdonalds. Duh.
Second, where does it come from? well as I already said, a lot of your grocery store crap is from the US. Where does mcds come from? Who knows??
Third, how was the animal treated. I imagine this is the one you were really referring to. There are several ottawa restaurants that use local farm sourced meat. They are NOT the montanas, or kelseys. The are fine dining restaurants. The charge more money for their food. Some people would have you believe they do this because they like to "gouge" people. Hate to break it to you, but if you want good, local, quality meat, you gots to pay for it.
While I dont personally know where beckta gets their meat, the fact that you would assume it is the same as a fast-food chain is so offensive. most of what goes into a mcd burger isnt even meat!

As for decision making. Do you really think anyone ever ordered an $18 app of foie gras without asking what it was? Do you really think the best way to educate ppl is through harassment??

Time to get off your high horse Zym. PETA just deemed that "abuse".

2009 May 7
Jane-Buck you made points, but you avoided the larger and way more important discussion of grain feeding to cattle.

Angus or Wagyu mean very little and neither do how many A's are attached to it; if they are grain fed, feedstock cattle they were raised under current 'conventional' practices which emphasize accelerated growth and show total disrespect to the quality of these animal's lives and manner of slaughter.

2009 May 7
Golden turtle, as Zym didnt specify exactly what made becktas and mcdonald meat the same, I tried to address it from many angles. You are right that I didnt mention grain feeding. The "terms" such as AA's and Wagyu do count for the otherall quality of the meat. The dead meat though, not as you are pointing out, the living meat.
There are at least 6 beef farmers in the ottawa area. I do not know all their practices, but surely at least one takes humane care of their livestock. If ottawa restaurants are not using their cows, we should ask them why not?

2009 May 7
Golden turtle, once I was inside navarra I could not hear them anymore. And I do not believe it is against the law to protest. I do think there may be a difference between a peaceful protest and harassment though.
Since they were such a small group, I actually assumed it was a one time thing.

Look, I am very much so in favor of fair treatment of animals. I am against the production of foie gras. But I am also against the tactics (like other have said) that they used.

2009 May 7
If you can find a local cattle farmer who has 100% free range, grass fed stock similar to something like this I'm sure you'll be a hero to many, the closest I am aware of is in Guelph but I could be way off since I don't eat meat.

2009 May 7

I have personally been to this farm. They only have about 20 cows and they are treated extremely well.

They say they do use some grains as needed. Can you explain to me why grains are a bad thing?

2009 May 7
I'm just giving you a random google because it's a topic that could take up the remainder of the evening

Short answer, grain almost always means a corn/soy combo 'grain' that they wouldn't eat it on their own and it leads to huge health problems (but also massively accelerated growth rates), the majority of feedlot cattle would drop dead within a few weeks if they weren't slaughtered. Also, grass fed cattle produce a meat that's healthier for the consumer.

2009 May 7
Most finish the cattle on corn, or use grain during the winter if their grass/hay supplies run out. The idea here is that grain feed is less environmentally friendly and packs on the pounds more prematurely than standard grass grazing.

2009 May 7 this one says grass fed only...

2009 May 7
Another one...

and I a hero yet? ;)

2009 May 7
How come I don't see any vegans with a bullhorn outside 7-11, shaming the owners for selling Lay's products & other GMO laden consumables? It's really easy to pick away at the ethics of foie gras, but I'd say it's a remarkably small problem in the relative grand scheme of things, no? Foie gras - expensive, relatively inaccesible to the masses compared to a sack of chips. I think the smug alert has hit a high for me in this thread - do you enjoy sniffing your farts GT-RIP?

2009 May 7

2009 May 7
Foie Gras production is a pretty easy target, as people like to point out. The thing about FG though, is it is luxury, as in, we dont need it.

As you said chimchimi, "relatively inaccessible to the masses". The current treatment of many chicken is terrible, BUT chicken feeds to masses. And the reason chicken can feed the masses is because it is cheap. And the reason it is cheap, all comes back to the terrible practices.

For chicken to be completely ethical, it is very expensive. Now, everyone has a choice. They can source out the expensive, but well cared for chicken and buy it, and feel good about it. Or they can eat the grocery store chicken for 1.99 a pound. Maybe that is all they can afford. Maybe someone will tell me that poor people should be vegetarians if they cant afford good meat. Well you can say it all you like, people will eat it, full well knowing that the chicken had a bad life.
Foie gras on the other hand, we don't need. And for me personally, that is where I draw the line. And so I don't eat it. Simple enough. I dont go about trying to damage the hard work of one of the few restaurants in the city that serves real quality food. A lot of which is local.

When I said this isn't mcds we were talking about here, I didn't just mean their beef. Beckta is not a big corporation. Beckta is not a chain restaurant. Beckta does not target children with unhealthy foods. Come on.

2009 May 8
I think someone should mention the recent decision by the European Union to ban Canadian seal products... mostly cause I'm guessing Turtle has an opinion, and Monty has the popcorn. I have to admit though, I'm having trouble placing Golden Turtles political positionings...

2009 May 8
GT-RIP said:

"Neither however were the people exercising the right to free speech and expression breaking any laws by being there and conversing with citizens through direct dialogue or signage. As far as phoning and emailing, again that's fair play so long as it stops short of harassment or threats, that's how this society works."

Did you even read the article? It says here:

"Beckta said he and his staff were bombarded by calls that sometimes featured screamed expletives and e-mails that have originated from all over the world. He was called, among other things, a "Nazi" and a "douche bag." One message even hinted at commercial sabotage, saying "it's amazing how fast rumours about food poisoning and bad service can spread.""

What's not harassing or threatening about that? I know, I know, it's probably all a pack of lies from the Ottawa Citizen to you.

2009 May 8
I read the article, like I said I don't base a call to arms on one article which relays someone's claims but offers nothing in the way of even a reference to having heard the voice mails or read the emails.

Again, engaging in uttering threats or harassing behaviour has consequences to perpetrators, the surest way to trigger them is to document the behaviour and CALL THE POLICE.

People that bay like dogs are worthy of about as much respect 9 times out of 10 (although I love dogs I think you get what I'm saying) I'm far from applauding their campaign, but the one time I did drive by them all I saw was a few people holding what looked like a sad attempt at a candlelight vigil. As I know that personal anecdotes are useless I didn't volunteer that till now, I believe as surely as the sun rises that other people may have seen those people and experienced them differently.

Pete I'll rise to your bait. I'm not a fan of commercial sealing and would far prefer that it cease. I base this decision on my personal opinion that there is no scientific evidence to base the claims that they are depleting Northern fish stocks and that I don't think it's 'cool' to base an industry on slaughtering 'baby' animals. Sure they aren't white coats but the fur starts to mottle in between 12 and 14 days of life so these animals are far from fully grown. Was the EU decision a good one for Northern sealers? Nope, I feel bad for them, not just because I read Death on the Ice

I hope that they can learn to recognize that decades of hard core commercial overfishing is their real problem; few of them ever relied on sealing exclusively in the past few decades.

I think that the EU decision has created a golden opportunity to strengthen the Arctic and Greenland native peoples to engage in larger sealing operations given that there was an exemption made for native seal products and I hope that the Canadian government recognizes this as an opportunity to enfranchise and engage with an Arctic people they usually ignore.

2009 May 8
Against my better judgment ;)

I take umbrage with the characterization of unapologetic meat eaters, fur wearers etc. as "willfully ignorant". I surely will take heat for my views, but frankly, many people, myself included, don't see animals as humans and therefore don't use the word "inhumane" when discussing the treatment of animals. It strikes me as ridiculous. Animals are raised (or biologists study them and determine their numbers need to be controlled) for their resultant products, it isn't always pretty (and it never was in history either, don't fool yourself) and I am quite comfortable with that.

I hope for some agricultural reform and make my consumer choices accordingly, but I am realistic, not everybody has the disposable income to have the luxury of worrying about the quality of life of the chicken they consume. Some people can, and choose to pay more. Good for them, they are creating change through their choices.

It is great to worry about the well-being of animals, and try to elicit agricultural reform by choosing not to consume products that conflict with your morality, which is completely relative by the way. But..forcing your views on others by disrupting their lives in a completely juvenile fashion (I am particularly thinking of the protesters at the resto mentioned above, or the fur protesters with the paint) is quite simply fascism. Either you are open-minded enough to accept alternative views or you are not.

And to suggest that the world is going to eat without at least some elements of industrialized food production (CAFO's, fertilizer, monoculture, etc.) is incredibly naive. We can't all go out back and pull chickens out of the barnyard like my grandparents did. I wish we could, but there is just no way we can provide for everyone (6 billion and counting) on that model.

I can't help but notice that all this concern for animals is a result of living in an extremely wealthy country like Canada where life is quite simply pretty easy for the vast majority of the population...go ask a guy on the street corner in Santo Domingo or Bogota or San Juan if his pollo con arroz is free-range and organic. I guarantee you he has more pressing issues on his mind.

2009 May 8
I didn't define people who eat meat as 'willfully ignorant' I defined most modern society as that.

If you think that modern feedlot and batterycage 'farming' practices which often involve animals packed so closely together that they can appear alive from afar because there is no room for them to fall down (you know on account of being dead) as ethical practice then that's your prerogative, I'll have no respect for you, or your position -- but at the time being it's legal.

It goes further though, if you followed the rolling stone link and read it then you can see how this method of animal rearing is having an incredibly negative impact both on people's quality of life nearby and far afield, and as well is resulting in environmental pollution. This has a cost that is not being borne directly by either the producers, or the consumers of their product.

Did you see me suggesting that all animal practice was something we should do without and we all hurry back to a hunter/gatherer set up?

No you did not, so to suggest I did is simply engaging in a straw man argument to bolster your position. Yay for you, it proves nothing and shows you aren't very good at engaging in positive discourse on a first try.

With respect to your suggestion that the "3rd world" supports you, I can provide personal anecdotes from former colleagues who have lived and worked in Tanzania, Kenya, Cuba, Venezuela and Argentina; to a person, the feedback I was given is that people there are far more versed in livestock practices and care an incredible amount about the 'type' of food they are eating both for things like halal/kosher purposes, but as well for the quality of resulting product-- this is a direct result of the method of feed and rearing the animals experienced along with the method of slaughter.

2009 May 8
Golden Turtle: We are obviously on opposite sides of a wide ideological chasm, so I am not looking to convince you of my views or gain your "respect". No doubt you are quite open-minded when people think the same way as you. But please don't "read in" things to my above statement that I didn't explicitly put there.

I see many problems with modern agricultural practices (including your examples of standing dead animals and whatnot) and take a great interest in the topic of agricultural reform, but I stand by my belief that the efficiencies of modern agriculture are inextricably linked with the realities of the human demand for food. Do we have a long way to go? Absolutely. And privileged people who can afford to pay a premium are going to have to lead the way.

Since you brought up the topic of straw men arguments, personal anecdotes about agrarian farmers in rural Africa aren't likely to speak to the issue at the heart of the matter here...modern cities consume vast quantities of food that need to be produced and delivered to the mouths of consumers. There are cities in the developing world as well.

2009 May 8
Earlier this year I posted a link to another side of the Foie Gras debate that I think is worth looking at for those who have not read it:

2009 May 8
Tracinho: You're doing it again.

I responded to only one part of "I take umbrage with the characterization of unapologetic meat eaters, fur wearers etc. as "willfully ignorant"

For the record, as much as I did not call the consumption of meat willfully ignorant -- neither had anyone previous to then mentioned anything to do with wearing animal products whatsoever.

If you read the postings you see that I have tried to resist using personal anecdotes to further any point whatsoever.

To be specific I was not talking about a mythological 'farmer' but the general sense that I got from people I know who have personally been in 'poorer' nations and interacted for periods of months with people who lived there; consumers, not farmers.

For once I hope that anecdotal 'evidence' trumps the entirely mythological beast you created, someone I will propose is, 'the common man on any street corner in a poorer nation than Canada' to bolster your position, that about right?

If you don't want your tactics turned back on you, then don't throw up an all encompassing 'argument' that stands on a foundation of sand.

The methods used to produce the 'food' you feel that is so necessary is about increasing production capacity and reducing costs and they produce a less healthful product while utilizing a 'system' that is completely unethical that acts in a parasitic manner on the ecosystem and produces needless waste. I have no idea how much you read up on Agribusiness and Agronomy but I am guessing only enough to satisfy your narrow curiousities.

I'm not sure what your geographic background is but fyi more of those countries than not are located in the Caribbean & South America.

Re: Medicinejar, who are you fooling? That 'essay' is a joke of an argument that is, it would seem relying on a position which can be fairly summarized as 'well if you think this is a bad way to produce a food product look at what THOSE guys are doing to produce theirs! Geese don't even know how to puke I mean come onnnnnn.'

That is coupled with, 'children are starving the world over, don't you think that's a bigger issue?'

If you think global poverty and malnutrition have anything to do with under supply you've been living under a rock and/or are ignoring the hundreds of reports on food supply produced annually.

Going one better, if you think that there are animals in the wild who would willingly hook themselves up to a gavage tube three or four times a day for their entire life (which lasts only a few months) risking in fact blowing up on the tube just to produce a food product that is basically pure cholesterol and saturated fats I seriously question your sanity.

2009 May 8
re: Chimichimi

I ignored you but I feel like maybe you deserve an answer. Yes, I do enjoy smelling them *big inhale* probably about as much as your mom did just now. Yes that's right, I'm here, in bed, with your mom.

Happy I descended to your level?

When did I say I was protesting? When did I say I loved what's on sale in the local 7-11 or supermarket? When did I even say I loved what these protesters did and how they did it?

Sure there's a lot of 'greater' ills out there in the world and personally I try to work towards changing some of them. For me personally eliminating foie gras has never been high on my list.

Those people chose something specific to focus on and went after fulfilling a goal. Good for them, maybe they weren't perfect in doing it but terming them 'bullies' and pretending the restaurants had no choice is a little over simplistic.

The Charter protects people's right to express certain rights, the protesters' actions by and large fell within a protected spectrum it would seem if all we have is one summary charge related to what sounds like disturbing the peace.

If you want to term me 'smug' for taking a position and explaining it that's fine, but all you did with your post is look and 'read' like the bodily function you referenced.

2009 May 8
Before I engage in some childish behaviour I thought I would make a serious post:

1) I have been to a Foie Gras farm in the Ottawa area and what I observed was ducks roaming freely on the farm. I personally would choose that life, with the force feeding at the end, than what the majority of animals face in industrialized farming.

3) Related to my first point – I do not feel guilty about eating Foie Gras at all. I do feel guilty about buying industrial meat and egg products from chains and not buying more meat products and eggs that my butcher obtains from smaller producers that have what to me are more humane practices of raising an

4) With due respect our friend Ron Eade, I don’t much like the Citizen and don’t read it because I find it to be right wing (I’m not), overly sensational, and often trivial in how it covers political, government and social issues…. and lets not even mention their sports coverage. So why do I believe this article? I do not think that either Beckta or Domus would cave in unless the actions they faced were as described and unfortunately, stopping that sort of action is not easy. Yes you can call the police but the protestors are not stupid and can leave before they arrive or change their behaviour. Phone calls can be made from pay phones. Proving what was done in a court of law is difficult. I doubt that either Beckta or Domus are truly “committed” to Foie Gras. They are committed to staying in business and providing their diners with a positive experience. They did what they had to do to avoid the unruly behaviour of some that wish to inflict their views on the rest of us.

People are free to protest and certainly protests have done the world much good whether it be civil rights, women’s rights, gay rights or drawing attention to other injustices. But in this instance, I think people are trying to force their views on the rest of us and thereby deny us freedom of choice.

The Reverend Fred Phelps in the United States has picketed the funeral of Aids victims among others. I am not going to even try to compare in any way the foie gras protestors to him because he, in my opinion, is clearly in a league of his own when it comes to distatesful action. My point simply is that the right to protest can be abused and can infringe on what might be called the non-legal rights of others. I do not think a business should not have its right to choose what it would like to do, within the law, because a few people want to curtail that choice. This is not Walmart engaging in union busting. Its restaurants choosing to serve a food that is legally available in this country.

5) I cannot afford to go to Domus or Beckta on a weekly basis and let my wallet do the talking but I did go last year and had a double helping of foie gras and will be returning later this year, and unfortunately, not able to partake in the dish I would prefer to order.

I would say this: people are free to think what they wish and I am free to label these protestors as bullies who want to force their views upon others and call their actions what I think they are: deplorable.

Cheers and would suggest most people skip my next post which will be quite childish and infantile.

2009 May 8
Better order up some Hot Tamales with that popcorn.

2009 May 8
I was referencing your link " " not anything else

1) You're clearly not aware that the 'feedings' are done three or four times daily since you seem to think it's all done at the 'end' of their life (which again is a few months not the years they could theoretically live to. Did you witness the feeding and are you aware that this manner of feeding can result in the animal and internal organs bursting?

3) Never asked you to feel guilty, dine on! Hell have a couple smokes and toss down some bourbon with it, I don't care mange mange mange mange!

4a) I didn't pretend to think it would be easy to catch someone intent on engaging in harassment or abuse. It is not however impossible to catch them either. If a restaurant wants to serve a product they should serve it. Their level of committment I would suggest is intrinsically linked to its contribution to their bottom line

4b) Fred Phelps is essentially banned from Canada for certain of his actions he committed previously in Canada as they contravene statutes here and should these protesters have done something analogous they'd have been arrested.

5) Perhaps you should find another restaurant that serves the dish you wish to order.

2009 May 8
Golden Turtle, first I apologize for saying that mass food production is the main issue here. It isn't, and it was I who digressed. The issue is that foie gras, which is delicious, has been targeted by activists who seem to have succeeded in forcing their views on others. Some agree with these tactics, some of us don't and find it sad and undemocratic.

Thanks for the geography lesson by the way. In the spirit of clarification, my position is as follows: Self-righteous preaching about animal welfare and the merits of free-range, organic, sustainable, biologic, non-GMO (throw in any other buzzword you like) agriculture is largely the domain of privileged westerners. Westerners who often haven't spent a minute on a farm. People of the developing world generally just can't afford to think about these luxuries. It is hard to get worked up about a caged chicken when you see maimed accident victims and teenage mothers begging on the side of the road everyday. I'm speaking from experience here.

I know that there are farmers all over the world who truly care about their impact and adhere to a more traditional way of doing things; good for them, I truly applaud them. But if we are going to end the serious hunger problems in the world, modern agriculural techniques are going to be paramount.

2009 May 8
I disagree that factory farming is 'needed' to produce sufficient amounts of dairy/meat to feed the entire world and I definitely disagree with some of the other points you're raising but my intention was never to engage in a flame war on that or any other point on on here (reference to moms notwithstanding).

With reference only to foie gras;

I don't believe that you can force a view on someone, what I believe you're saying is that you can force someone to comply with your wishes which I agree with can happen.

That said;

If Beckta, or anyone else is devoted to that meal here in Ottawa then I think they should engage in direct confrontation with their opponents and continue to serve it and they should campaign equally or more aggressively as their opponents and let the more deserving side win in the court of public opinion. It's not hard to trace calls, or block pay phone incoming calls. For most problems, in particular with the ones outlined in the article there is a solution and it needn't go so far as hiring that butch bow hunter from South Africa.

2009 May 8
Cap'n - pass the popcorn & tamales - better make it vegan though so we don't have to flog yet another dead horse (goose?).

2009 May 8
GT-RIP - I'm not sure where I implicated you with the protesters? Was making a simple reference to the fact that in relative terms, we're talking about a very small market with a small consumer base.

With respect to your smugness - you're doing more than taking a point and explaining it, you're lacing your responses with ad hominems and you've done it outside of this thread (rum cake, anyone?). Maybe you should declare your veganism - yet again - so you can feel better about yourself?

2009 May 8
Drawing an analogy to someone's argument and surmising about the person while answering each element of what they said isn't exactly ad hominem per se.

If I call you a stupid fart without responding to what you said which was asking me if I liked smelling my own, that would be closer to the point. But it's actually more just me returning the favour of you asking if I like to sniff mine in the first place instead of attacking the person and not their argument.

With respect to you, given that it was immediately after and without even the benefit of a new paragraph talking about the 'smug factor' for me to take it all as directed at me is, I think fair.

If you want to reference the 'rum cake' (and please do) the person called me a spammer on a section related to "desperately seeking" in a smug fashion and remember it was under the heading 'desperately seeking', not a forum and not a review. Gee, what'd I do? Well I said "hey try ordering online."

Would you take what I did as 'spam'? Oh, why ask I'm sure you'll say I am just to prove your point. I mean after all you're exactly the sort of person that has nothing better to offer than "do you like sniffing your own farts?"

I have not once said people can't, or shouldn't eat meat or dairy on here. I'll suggest in fact that you go find a nice 'ripe' one and go suck an egg dude.

2009 May 8
A few of the points I raised in a previous post were my reflections on these matters and not directed at anyone in particular. I just thought I would share them as I think I am not the only omnivore that reflects on these matters.

In contrast, this post is entirely, directed at one individual. I wonder who?

By way the CC, I think popcorn and Tamales are a good idea for a Friday but why not spend your time watching the Team Canada game or the Food Network, hell why not watch Fox News or listen to a pod cast of Rush Limbaugh - even they will be more intelligent than much of the drivel in this thread (especially my stuff!)

Previously, I have really tried not to be unnecessarily provocative and I will let others decide to what degree I succeeded. I don’t particularly like it when debates turn personal but more than one stone has been cast. I chose to ignore the first one but sadly, I can be a small and petty man at times and I intend to do that now. For those on the website that don’t like these sorts of posts, it’s probably best to ignore the drivel I am about to write:

1) There was a lot of discussion on the Charter of Rights and Freedoms from one person that I found interesting. I would describe the posts as preachy, an attempt to sound smart and completely wrong. The Charter of Rights only protects individuals from Government action. The freedom protestors have to protest was established long before the Charter was put in place in 1982 and it has nothing to do with BNA Act/Constitution Act either.

What the Charter protects people against are governments in Canada passing laws or taking action that violates the Charter Rights individuals possess.

For example, everyone has the “freedom of conscience and religion” but churches are perfectly within their rights to deny an individual membership in their church because their beliefs are not in line with the church. Hence why some officials within the Roman Catholic Church were free to tell some MPs that they may be refused the sacrament because they voted in favour of the Civil Marriage Act (i.e. marriage for gays). Some even mused about excommuniation. While it’s true that employers must respect an individual’s freedom of conscience, that right stems from various labour and human rights laws and not the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. And how do I know this…. Well, I guess I could try to make myself sound smart with some pretentious language but the reality is like others here I can read plain English:

“32. (1)This Charter applies:

a) to the Parliament and government of Canada in respect of all matters within the authority of Parliament including all matters relating to the Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories; and
b) to the legislature and government of each province in respect of all matters within the authority of the legislature of each province”

A suggestion: If you are an egotistical person that needs to show how smart you are and talk down to others, I think it helps if you’re right - otherwise the opposite affect is achieved.

2) One person wrote that another individual was engaging in a “straw man argument.” I found that position a bit rich given that most of their posts in this thread were glowing examples of straw man arguments.

3) There is one vegetarian on this forum whose posts I have found to be very intelligent and always respectful. I don’t think they posted in this thread which is too bad because I would have been interested in hearing their take on things. I have several vegetarian and vegan friends with whom I have talked about these issues and we have respectfully disagreed and that is what has been missing from this thread and I would point the finger for that problem at one person.

4) I think it always helps on forums to be respectful of the views of others even when you disagree with them. I try to do that and I do try to walk away from provocative threads…. sadly, not today. I also think it’s a good idea to ask oneself if a debate is really worth having and I probably should have done that before making this post which I readily admit is made up of childish garbage. But sadly, I am not grown up enough to resist the previous poster in this thread who overstepped those bounds to point where I will no longer bother reading their posts and responding to anything they have to say whether in this thread or in other threads. If we could “ignore” users the way some forums let you, that person would be the first and only person on this board that would be on my list. And it’s not because they disagree with me but because they are pretentious and rude. I don’t like rude people. This post has been rude to them and probably pretentious. I apologize to the rest of the community here for that.

5) Finally, to that one person: You can have the last word here and I am sure it will be witty retort that shows how stupid I am and how correct all of your actions and words have been. (Warning I am about to make statements in the same spirit as an ad homonym argument – maybe you can use your higher intelligence to demonstrate whether this fits the definition) You, like the comic book guy on the Simpsons must invest so much of your time typing away on the computer (is it located in your basement? – be honest is it in your parent’s basement? do you have an opinion on who is the better Captain - Kirk or Picard?.... how come I think its 50/50 you are a grad student procrastinating on your thesis? must be me). I am guessing that many in the wired world do not realize how blessed they are to have you demonstrating your intelligence with numerous, insightful posts on various forums in which you skillfully dissect those whose views diverge from your own. Sadly, I am one of those who do not recognizing your gift and I am done. Have a nice life or should I say, live long and pontificate.

I apologize to everyone else whose time I have wasted, the bytes I have taken up on the site and for contributing such childish drivel.

2009 May 8
Gee, I wonder if they'll revoke my law degree? (and yes I have one)

Since when is the Police force not a state actor? Btw that's the Constitution Act's NAME I used at the first instance, it includes a lot more than The Charter what's your point? Oh *ouch* I guess I'm right after all.

Did you think I was suggesting Ollie was going to rush out and conduct a pogrom on animal rights activists? No, I felt he was more wishing in writing that he'd like the police to do something. If my assumption was wrong he'd have said something. Then if it wasn't the Charter covering him, it'd be statues covering him both provincial and federal including but not limited to the Criminal Code. You want me to spoon feed every point, or just deal with the proper area of generality given the context?

I have addressed every point raised and I haven't constructed what someone else has said in order to demolish it so yeah, really 'rich'.

I have encouraged people to continue eating foie gras and not once have I knocked someone for eating meat or dairy (truly, don't care I mean I'm too busy memorizing Star Trek episodes right?)

Commenting on the method of foie gras production specifically, or making reference to what is accepted commercial livestock rearing is far from attacking meat eaters. Surely none of this is directed at me or is someone misrepresenting what I've written to make a point?

But since we know the previous post references me. When did I call you stupid? I said go on, eat whatever you want, I said it's stupid to portray someone as a bully when all they did was shout and yell and wave some signs but that wasn't even specifically directed at you.

Real and valid threats result in real charges (you know from the Police force a state actor covered by the Charter) and there's one charge laid and it wasn't for threats. It was for mischief, and it's of the variety that will likely result in a fine not jail.

2009 May 8
Holy moly you people!

OK, I'm still only half way through this thread - wow!

Turtle already answered Jane-Buck's questions to me - I'm only talking about how the meat was raised, not the quality.

BTW Turtle, one of my farmers raises their cattle like the ones you posted. 100% the way it was done 200 years ago. There are only 15 or 20 head and they have about 100 acres to graze on. This year he is thinking of doing a small amount of grain fed too but will keep them well segregated.

Now back to my readings ... wow!

2009 May 8

2009 May 8
Trachino - well said except that part about "expecting the world to eat". The easiest way to feed the world is on a vegetarian diet.

Factory farmed meat consumes 6x (for chicken) to about 15x (for pork and beef) the resources of the same nutrition coming from vegetable sources. Typically the grain fed to these animals is human grade and could easily feed far more humans than the meat does.

A person eating grass-fed pastured beef consumes about 3x the resources as a vegetarian. Not sure about chicken - haven't found numbers on it.

still reading more ...

2009 May 8
p.s. I do think, Trachino, that an awful lot of people thing their meat is raised by the "Old MacDonald" method, versus the "McDonald's" method which is in fact the truth for a huge percentage of it (basically, unless it says otherwise)

Obviously you are an exception. But I think I am correct in my statement.

2009 May 8
Turtle: I believe I was the one who said something like 'willfully ignorant'. And I stand by it for the majority of people.

2009 May 8
"I disagree that factory farming is 'needed' to produce sufficient amounts of dairy/meat to feed the entire world "

I do as well, considering that the average Canadian eats about 10x more meat than the really "need". Actually, they eat infinitely more than they need since we don't need meat in our diets. But my 10x figure is talking about any schmo who tosses meat into their diet for a variety of nutrients, and does not really want to learn about proper eating/nutrition.

2009 May 8
Turtle: I was going to call you out for getting too personal as I read through this thread, but it seems Medicinejar already did. And well done on that MJ.

I like to do my share of trash-talking here against factory farming, but I try my best not to get personal. Though I think I did just a bit the other day with F&T (and my apologies to her).

2009 May 8
The only personal comment I recall making was in response to being asked if I liked to sniff my own farts.

Calling someone's argument based on sand, when I'm clearly outlining that it's based on an imaginary amalgam of 'johnny everyman on the street in the 3rd world' is hardly an insult in my books. If I have said anything personal other than the response to fartman please point me to it.

Did I question the level of some people's examination of the issue, yes. Did I say I may question someone's sanity? Yes, but that was if they were maintaining the argument that the link was a worthwhile addition to discourse on the issue of foie gras.

You can argue my style of argument; but I haven't been abusive, or up to now so far as I can see, wrong.

People are free to eat whatever they like in much the same manner that (the people I did liken to baying dogs I'd like to point out) the animal rights people were free to engage in legal action to persuade the restaurants to discontinue serving foie gras that's been the long and the short of what I've written.

2009 May 8
Well turtle, it was too much for me to read through the first time so I'm definitely not going through this thread again :-)

I recalled you saying something about being in bed with someone's mom - which was funny as hell I'll point out, but was a personal remark and uncalled for even if it was in response to another personal comment.

And my brain is recalling 1 or 2 others but my brain does not always work so well in the memory department so I could be wrong. I'm sure someone else will set us straight if I am not wrong. But if I am, then my apologies. I'd really been enjoying your contributions to this thread up until the personal comments.

2009 May 8
I still enjoy foie gras!

back to the popcorn

2009 May 8
More 'Fallen' Restos

in MySpace: "Ottawa Animal Defense

3 restaurants in 3 days have dropped foie gras!! That makes 4 in two weeks. We're on our way to a foie gras free Ottawa!Mood: ecstatic 5 hours ago"

and from a Facebook source:

"The Ottawa Animal Defense League is very happy to announce that we have received official confirmation that Luxe Bistro will no longer be offering foie gras. They voluntarily made this decision after learning about the production methods used to create foie gras and and have advised us that this decision is permanent. The owners of Luxe Bistro also own Stella Osteria and Blue Cactus and they have confirmed that these two locations will also remain foie gras free! We congratulate the owners and management of these locations for making this compassionate decision.

Please take a moment to send a quick email thanking them. They can be contacted at the following:

This makes 5 restaurants in 3 days to to announce they are removing foie gras from their kitchens and the sixth since the campaign began. Thank you for your help. We are just getting started. Please continue to send emails and make phone calls to restaurants that serve foie gras. New locations will be sent out soon.

Together we can work to make Ottawa foie gras free! People are learning about these cruel practices and making decisions not to buy it. It's a very simple decision. This practice is horrible! No more cruelty!"

mmmmm .... Hot Tamales.

2009 May 8
GT-RIP - the fart crack is a pop culture reference (South Park - Smug Alert).

2009 May 8
This just makes me want to eat foie gras right now!

2009 May 8
The odds of me 'getting' a South Park reference other than possibly a crack about 'gingers' is pretty low. I just said that to prove I can sink as low as anyone else here cares to but in classic style.

I expected you to believe/take offense about the 'mom crack' about as much as I'm sure you believe I care what commentary from Medicinejar stands for. Henceforth and forever more known as, the guy who thinks he's vivisected what I had to say via proving he didn't read and/or understand it.

2009 May 8
this thread is friggin EPIC! 'popcorn' references, sniffing farts, smug alert, "your mother" insults, Fred Phelps...i think we've hit a new low on Ottawa Foodies

re: the topic at hand - everyone is entitled to free speech and the chance to express their opinion. however, belittling/bullying/harassing a restaurant because they serve foie gras is absurd. foie gras nazi douche bag? lol! it's infuriating to know steve beckta caved to these militant vegan jokers.

as an aside, i call for a round of fisticuffs between chimi and Golden Turtle. if chimi wins, GT has to eat a full course dinner at Au Pied du Cochon. if GT wins, chimi has to eat a bucket of tofu while listening to an Earth Crisis record.

2009 May 8
So....where's a good place to pick up some foie gras this week-end?

2009 May 9
The harassment is just allegations until a conviction even after an arrest is made and I think the main point I had all along is that no one has been arrested for that. Calling someone a nazi douche bag both betrays a total lack of skill in the insult department but as well a real absence of thought as well since it may be a type of 'holocaust' to the person saying it but it's just trivializing what happened there and elsewhere in other periods like Armenia or Burma etc.

If you want an aside that I found pretty funny, the shoes on the people that I saw protesting I am quite sure were not uniformly pleather based.

Daft if you can stomach the garbage there are plenty of places that serve it, I propose you defenders of freedom go mow down on as much as you can this weekend and award a medal to the person who most resembles a goose on the gavage tube at the end of it.

I'll assume this is the most up to date list.

2009 May 9

Sassalov's in the market.

2009 May 9
Actually, I saw pate foie gras with black truffle at Metro recently.

2009 May 9
More power to the activists. If they're more passionate about stopping the restaurants from serving foie gras than the foodies that can't be bothered to get off their lard-filled behinds to show support for the restos, then why on earth don't they deserve this victory? I wonder how many of the posters that are so concerned about the protests would be standing right up there with them if a local restaurant was slaughtering stray dogs and cats.

2009 May 9
3 cheers for Brian Mc!

Speaking of dogs and cats, there was mention above about the word "inhumane" and how it does not apply to animals. In fact, the word is most often used in reference to animals - dogs and cats (pets) in particular. The word typically means "if it were a human being treated like this, we would find it deplorable". I've been looking for a good excuse to call out that fallacy, and you've given it to me :-)

I have to assume from the comment above that the author would not mind me kicking the sh*t out of a few dogs and cats with my steel toe boots, if I so choose.

2009 May 9
Recreating PDC's seared foie gras and apple onion tart as we speak. Mmmmmm.

2009 May 9
If you think feeding a cow nicely and giving it a field to roam in before offing it well before its time is good and moral, get over yourself. They may have a nicer extremely short life, but you can't pat yourself on the back.

2009 May 9
Well Peter, you are of course right. But it is still a huge step up from torturing it its entire life and then offing it before its time.

2009 May 9
Is it really a *huge* step?

I'm not a vegetarian, and I prefer more "ethical" standards but I'm not kidding myself that in the end, either way that cow is going to get a shock and it's going to be eaten before it gets to anywhere near a matured age.

This discussion remind me of this talk I watched recently on the TED website

2009 May 9
Ethically raised local beef consumes 1/5th the resources of unethically raised factory meat.

That is a pretty huge difference. And it flies in the face of the contentions above that we need factory food to feed the planet. The fact of the matter is that resources are becoming scarce and there is no way we can continue this way.

2009 May 9
That's a great video, and I think the relevance to this thread is in showing that our uninformed gut reaction as to how animals should be (and are) treated is often incorrect.

It seems clear that the only people who deserve to have an opinion on something like foie gras are those who've actually visited foie gras farms and have compared them to other farms that do not produce foie gras. Or at least people who've read reliable first hand accounts of those farms. And of course this is why I've stayed out of the discussion so far. :)

2009 May 9
It is a good video, but I hope the implication isn't that animals are happier on factory farms. I've been "my" farm many times and I am 100% certain the animals there are happy.

But in any case, let's not forget the very end of the video - the closing remarks. The whole point he was trying to make. That there is inherent (forgotten) value to manual labour. And that makes people happy. So instead of a highly-mechanized factory farm which provides cheap food and huge profits to shareholders, what we should be encouraging is labour-intensive, smaller, local farms that provide food just as cheaply, but instead of all the profits being skimmed off the top to pay shareholders, that money goes into the pockets of local manual labourers. Spreading happiness with every farm.

2009 May 10
Fresh Foodie: Are you being completely tongue-in-cheek with your statement "It seems clear that the only people who deserve to have an opinion on something like foie gras are those who've actually visited foie gras farms and have compared them to other farms that do not produce foie gras."?

Hard to tell if it's sarcasm or not so I'll hold off on replying until you clarify that, if you'd be so kind.

2009 May 10
ZYMURGIST, are you a vegetarian?? Or do you have your own personal source of humane animals to eat? Is that what you mean by "my" farm? Do you never eat at restaurants?
Are you a kettle calling the pot black?

Can you post some links to your facts about resources? I can't understand how a "humane" cow or chicken uses less resources. Surely they don't take up less land.

2009 May 10
I'd also be interested in seeing the source of the 1/5 resource claim for ethically raised beef. I can only assume the reference is relying upon some form of 'freebie' resource from the 'pasture fed' beef. Other than that, I'd have to agree with Zym's comment on manual labour being a satisfying thing. Of course, if you try to organize a society around such a premise (as opposed to just letting it live or die by it's own merits) you end up with a regime that likely occupies a place I'd never like to live.

2009 May 11
jane-buck - read what i wrote the other day in the k-cups thread

PiO - look back at threads where I talk about Diet for a Small Planet

EDIT: Hint - pastured meat gets fed from the pasture (d'uh). Factory meat gets fed by a massive supply chain where grain is grown (with oil as a fertilizer) and harvested (with big machines and lots of oil), then gets shipped huge distances burning lots more oil

2009 May 11
Zymurgist: RE the use of the word "inhumane"...and without getting too chippy ;)

You are more than welcome to use the term with respect to animals. I choose to reserve it for the treatment of people. I am sure you disagree with my position, and likewise I find the modern preoccupation with the an idyllic animal lifestyle a bit silly. There's no fallacy here, just subjective opinions.

I feel my positions as outlined above are rather moderate, and it has taken me years and a lot of reading on the topic to craft them that please don't read in things that support your position. If I wanted to convey something I would have written it myself.

I don't want dogs kicked in the street and chickens tortured and cats electrocuted and whatnot. But at the same time you won't see me walking a dog in the street with a sweater like it is a child, or worrying how self-actualized a pig is. Similar to most things in life, be it religion, economics, politics, etc. (and the topic of "animals ethics in food production" seems to draw on all such areas) the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

Lecturing people on the ethics of meat production and simultaneously posting about all the great deals in Chinatown strikes me as a little...disingenuous. All that stuff is cheap for a reason, and in many ways we Canadians benefit greatly from that reality.

2009 May 11
Tracinho, I hear ya!

ZYM, I waded though the coffee thread hoping for a link to your actual facts. Didn't see one. Can you post a link? Well of course I understand how we are running out of oil, ect. I am still need sure if you 1/5 resources really count when you take the amount of land into play.

Also While you may say that solar energy is "cheap" because it comes from the sun, it is very very expensive in the initial start up.

Well you may have your idea of a utopia, that doesn't mean it is at all possible in our world. That doesn't mean that I believe we shouldn't try. Only that perhaps you should not reserve the right to act "holier than thou" just because you follow the 3 Rs. Surely you are not perfect.

Also couldn't find in the kcup thread where you buy your meat??

2009 May 11
Trachino - the English language is in my corner w.r.t. the use of the word "humane" towards animals : .

Jane-buck - I just bumped another thread with my 1/5 figures. And I don't act holier than thou. As I stated in the k-cup thread I point the finger first-and-foremost at me. K-cups thread is here : . I buy 90% of my meat from local farmers who pasture raise them. Looking to do better, though. I am far from perfect. Doesn't mean I can't speak out against practices which are not sustainable.

2009 May 11
Whoops, forgot to address Trachino's point about me posting about great deals on meat in Chinatown. I'm not so sure about what is disingenuous here. First of all, the main person I'm lecturing is ME, first and foremost. Anyone who thinks I am lecturing THEM must be feeling guilty or something.

I've said for a long time on this site that I get 90% of my meat from ethical sources. So some simple math tells me that - whoa - there is 10% there NOT coming from ethical sources! Nifty, that math stuff! And yup, that other 10% generally comes from the really cheap-a$$ sources, and yup, I know full-well where it comes from.

The thing is, I am trying to do better incrementally, and that's what I promote. Going "cold-turkey" is a recipe for failure for most people with just about anything. Incremental is the way to go. And stuff like this is easier to do in numbers which is why I like to talk about it in public. The more people who get on board, the easier it gets.

2009 May 12
Anybody here actually been to a foie gras operation? or seen how geese gorge themselves silly naturally? When I worked at Mariposa the geese would be banging on the sides of the feed shed as the truck was filling it waiting for their daily feed. Ian took us all on a tour of a foie gras operation and we all agreed it was OK. (John Taylor and Mike Moffat included) It is unfortunate that people who operate ethical businesses(supporting small farmers local producers etc) are targeted by a bunch of smug self righteous protestors. It is easy to complain about foie gras it is on the surface unfair treatment of the ducks. Did anyone go on the website of the people complaining it is almost impossible to respond to their claims. Read Ron eades article on his blog and then continue complaining.By the way we only serve animals whose farms I have visited and know the growers and I would still serve foie gras but not if a bunch of idiots were threatening my business or making threatening phone calls. And this behaviour is OK because we have a right to free speech? I'm with whoever suggested going to these peoples homes and phoning them and leaving vile messages on their answering machines.

2009 May 12
The Montreal Gazette had a foie gras farm expose on the weekend (in this case at Hudson Valley Farms in Upper NY State, largest NA producer), and it aligned exactly with R. Eade's article, my personal observations and pretty much any other first hand account I have ever read.

2009 May 12
As Bruce said, free speech does not give someone the right to bully, threaten and scare someone into doing what you want them to do. This is EXACTLY what these people did.

Beckta did not stop serving FG because he believe it was inhumane, and as stated in the citizen article, he did not stop because he felt his business was in any danger. This leads me to believe that Beckta was in fear for his OWN safety, and likely the safety of his family and employees. THAT, is fucked up. THAT is terrorism. Using fear to get what you want.

Regardless of where you stand on FG, or animal welfare in general, we cannot allow people like this to bully to get what they want!

Now, you can say, well call the cops. And I am sure he did. But anonymous phone calls coming from all over the place are not that easy to trace. These people know that!

This whole thing is just sick.

2009 May 12
Looks like I missed the Bullhorn in this shot.

2009 May 12
In one of the other Foi Gras threads someone posted a video that was secretly taken at one of the places in Quebec. Didn't look too humane to me.

Maybe someone with better search-fu could dig it out.

2009 May 12
why can't we all just get along?

2009 May 12
Hee, hee. Hey, I'm good with it all, Obi, really. Will shut up for a while. But I did still have to point that out - I couldn't find the video myself.

2009 May 13
Zym, the videos are posted in the comment section of ron eade's blog omnivores ottawa.

2009 May 14
On a lighter note :-) for the foie gras lovers out there, have fun reading this and drooling over these pics:

2009 May 14
Jane are you intellectually lazy or disingenuous on purpose?

Like I already said far up above this mess; it's very easy to block incoming calls from payphones and 'blocked' numbers.

There were no charges laid for all these crimes you claim were committed or menacing behaviour Beckta claimed. From personal experience this city possesses a police force that errs on the side of overreacting to perceived problems like you allude to so the lack of charges is really telling.

Your abuse of the term 'terrorist' answers the first question for me so no reply is needed.

2009 May 14
golden turtle, have your internet battle if you wish; but please leave the personal attacks out.

2009 May 14
Golden turtle: Yes, I see you now how brilliant you are. A restaurant, a business blocking payphone numbers! How did I not think of that? I guess because I am intellectually lazy.
And because I know how much you love it when we all cut and paste;
Hmmm...Maybe I was closer to the truth than I thought?

Regardless of claims that PETA is tied to terrorist groups, I still believe that the ways the ADL decided to protest Beckta were wrong. You disagree. Get over it.

2009 May 14
I have been reluctant to frequently wade into this (futile) debate in this forum, feeling it's best to hold off and let others vent, and vent, and vent ...
They have also vented ad nauseam on the comments section of my blog, Omnivore's Ottawa, which I have published.
But, really, much of this foie gras discussion is a dialogue of some convenient self-serving ignorance, promulgated by those who will not rest until no animal is used for any human purpose whatever, full stop. That is their real agenda; foie gras happens to be a vulnerable and small-industry target. Try taking on the well-oiled beef industry -- fat chance!
Yes, you can produce videos of abject horrors on almost any subject you choose. The videos of foie gras I have seen, I maintain, are horrid but they are exceptions. In fact, there are laws against animal cruelty and those who transgress should, of course, be prosecuted. There are not a lot of foie gras operators out there, so policing should not be beyond possibility. We're talking about a handful of producers in this entire country (read: Quebec).
Cruelty is not the norm, no more than rare news reports of a farmer who has abandoned his animals to starvation and horrible death are commonplace.
Armchair critics can pontificate about force-feeding ducks, based on their assumption that animals, like humans, would prefer to graze on Doritos and watch Dr. Phil if given the choice. They misunderstand completely the reality of animal agriculture.
I am among the first to admit that slaughtering animals is not a pretty sight, but it is done as humanely as possible in my first-hand experience. Far more inhumane, in my opinion, is waste. To throw out half an uneaten chicken is disrespectful to the creature that gave its life for your table. To call a product Lillydale instead of "chicken" is self-serving conceit.
Most who have offered opinions on this foie gras issue (including, I might add, some newspaper writers) have not visited the operations they so vehemently oppose.
To me, that is a sad commentary.

2009 May 15
Oh Ron. You love to blabber on about how these groups are only out to stop all animal agriculture, but conviently choose to ignore the evidence of cruelty in foie gras production. 15 countries in Europe have banned the production of foie gras. The State of California has banned not only the production of foie gras but also it's sale starting in 2012! Off the top of my head I cannot think of a single other food item that is banned in so many countries. Do you believe all of these legislators in all of these countries have the intention to eventually ban all meat production? You can choose to call the abuse of animals documented in Quebec foie gras farms isolated incidents, but you cannot ignore the fact that these birds are subject to a violent and completely unnatural feeding process created to purposely disease their liver and bring them to the brink of death. Mortality rates on foie gras farms are up to 5 times higher than on conventional ducks farms. These birds routinely die from overfeeding, develop respiratory problems, vomit blood, and sometimes their stomachs literally explode from the huge amounts of food forced into them. You can find all of this documented from industry reports themselves. Cruelty is absolutely the norm. In a natural state ducks and geese would never gorge themselves to the point of death, or to the point where their livers are ten times larger than normal. And I've never come across a duck in the wild ramming a metal feeding tube down it's throat. It is routine on foie gras farms to kill female ducklings in the cheapest way possible, which is to either throw them in the garbage or to suffocate them in garbage bags. In your fervour to defend all meat production you defend one of the most horrific forms of animal agriculture that exists. I'm sure your visit to the farm in Quebec was perfectly staged. I'll choose to believe evidence and video from people who spent months working in these farms, not from food writers who had a pre-arranged tour.

In a previous post someone asked about the videos taken from the three largest foie gras farms in Quebec. Here they are:

You say "Armchair critics can pontificate about force-feeding ducks, based on their assumption that animals, like humans, would prefer to graze on Doritos and watch Dr. Phil if given the choice. They misunderstand completely the reality of animal agriculture." I fail to understand your point here. Are you saying that the only people who understand ducks are the foie gras farmers and yourself? That these birds would willingly lock themselves in cages so they are unable to move for three weeks? That female ducklings would hurl themselves into garbage bags or trash cans? That birds would gorge themselves to the point of death in the wild? These are not the realities of animals acting naturally, so the "reality of animal agriculture" you refer to must be that these animals are treated violently and inhumanely because it pleases your taste buds and creates a profit for the farmers. That's the true reality of foie gras animal agriculture.

And as someone who knows some of the people working to expose foie gras production and have it taken out of local restaurants, I can tell you that no one involved with this local group ever sent a threatening email or made a harrasing phone call. Stephen Beckta said this himself in the last article printed in the Citizen on Sunday May 10. That being said, comparing mean words to physical cruelty is truly ridiculous.

2009 May 15
New user 1161: You illustrate my point wonderfully. Take a Valium.

2009 May 15
It would appear that no one can agree on this subject and the discussion is becoming increasingly personal. Whether you agree or disagree it is childlike and petulant to devolve into name calling and slurs to try and make your point. New visitor GO TO A FG FARM. The reason most countries are banning is because it is easier to cave in then to continue to be subjected to abuse from animal rights activists. Chefs in California had photos of their kids at school mailed to them and told to stop serving FG. If you are so vehement about getting this stopped go to the farma dn check it out yourself. Ron is right about it being an easy target. Anyhoo can we move on to a new issue, maybe battery hens used in fast food operations or feedlot beef?

2009 May 15
Thanks Ron. That's exactly the response I expected from you.

2009 May 15
Hi bruce-the-chef. While I have made many requests to visit foie gras farms I am always turned down. Probably because they don't want to have to clean up the place for a few days. Of course they will do this when a large group of big customers are coming in, like chefs and food writers. I have spoken with someone who worked inside Quebec foie gras farms and who personally witnessed all of the abuse that has been documented. So while you may have visited a farm for a couple of hours, this person was on the farm for months.
However, I agree, let's talk about battery hens. That's a great idea. People should be aware of the conditions of these animals.

2009 May 15
Jane, just how many people do you think would be calling Beckta from a payphone to make a reservation? If they're from out of town and don't want to risk roaming charges they call from their hotel room.

Do you know who the group you cited is? This is like when the US or the UK says about a client regime, "well they invited us in"

Orleansfoodie: if I was making a personal attack it would be far less polite than asking her whether she was just lazy on this issue or intentionally lying. It seems to me she is doing both at this point.

It's really wonderful to portray me as waging a "battle" when I don't really care whether people eat foie gras or not. What I'm doing is taking a minute out here and there to point out that the main points being made by a few people are either;
a) so far into the realm of wrong even the person posting it should know or;
b) relying on information so clearly biased it's laughable.

Jane: this isn't an agreeing to disagree, you're abusing the English language and common sense to call them terrorists and you're clearly clinging at straws by saying "but they did this, they did this" and yet clearly NO charges were laid, but pointing that out doesn't have you acknowledging it like the must studious of hacks you just persist onwards but now with your hands clamped over your ears responding only to what you think you can damage control.

2009 May 15
From the ottawa citizen article:"
Halvorson was charged in late April with mischief over an allegation that his group was blocking the entrance to Play and banging on the windows with placards"

Golden turtle, I would also like to point out that it costs money to block numbers. Why should Beckta have to pay for that?

"asking her whether she was just lazy on this issue or intentionally lying." Could you point put out where you believe I am lying?

2009 May 15
Well Jane where to start?

If you aren't lying to me you're lying to yourself because this is a pretty cut and dried scenario.

On the disingenuous side:
You're selectively giving information in order to slant perspective towards your own and when you do cite something it's from a hugely biased organization.

I'm too lazy to go research the actual particulars made public on his arrest but let's boil it down to a bit of a reduction sauce.

You claim terroristic menacing behaviour copuled with multiple issuance of threats.

Well the Citizen and reality show us that ONE person was charged, ONE.

This charge was for mischief, the article you're claiming to quote cites blocking an entrance and banging on windows while other reports linked the charge specifically to his use of a bullhorn.

Regardless, a mischief charge IF it results in a conviction, is going to result in a fine. Do you know what that fine meant to the cop at the time he issued it? "Here's a fine for being a general shit disturber buddy let this be a lesson." This was not laid because they felt he was the head of some evil black ops group menacing Beckta and Domus.

Uttering threats and the rest of what you claim happened is a lot more serious and well gosh golly gee none of those charges were ever laid and I have seen no reporting in the two Ottawa papers or on the radio that has any police officers recounting these claims. We have one man, the restaurateur claiming they happened.

Oh yes the prohibitive phone cost argument how EVER will I recover from that? Well let's see, it's a nominal annual charge and last time I checked he runs a restaurant and can add it to his long list of write offs on his financials.

"Why should Beckta have to pay for that?" File it under 'breakage' just like a restaurant paying for a dozen eggs even if only 11 show up unbroken it's not exactly fair but it's the price of living in reality. You should join us here sometime, we have cookies.

2009 May 15
Okay so with ears firmly clamped shut you are picking and choosing what to respond to selectively again. In doing so you are quoting wikipedia or something similar it would seem to me, that's not even enough to pass muster for a high school english essay.

I'm going to say it again, to equate the shaking of righteous fists in the air and baying like a dog through a bull horn with "terrorism" serves to post weaken the meaning of the word as it is generally understood but to reveal yourself as a total naif.

Do you want a parallel to what you're doing? A high school kid that calls his teacher a nazi for giving him detention.

2009 May 15
Golden Turtle.
Seriously, you are one messed up individual.
Why are you so upset by my opinion?
Why does my opinion matter so much to you?

You say no crime was committed because not charges were pressed. No charges, No harassment.
Well there are laws to prevent animal cruelty.But the FG farm has not been charged. No charge, No cruelty?

Just because only one person was charged, doesn't mean Beckta was not harassed. Or in your reality (the one I am missing out on) is the law perfect and just?

2009 May 15
Except that, Golden Turtle, we are so overwhelmingly provided with information that we must selectively listen/read. I would argue that you are no less guilty of selectively picking and choosing your content sources than Jane Buck is, Golden Turtle, we're all guilty of it. So using that reasoning to make Jane's argument less weak will only backfire on you.

The problem with a concept like terrorism is that it is broad-based, and everyone has a difference understanding, depending upon what they've selectively read. If someone reads something enough, it becomes true, or at least it has a certain level of truthiness. It's also highly politicized.

I'm not going to say who is right or wrong in this argument, because really I'm not informed enough, I just really think that this debate (which at the beginning was relatively well-informed and rather interesting to read) is slowly disintegrating into an elementary school yard fight.

Golden Turtle, I would love very much for you to explain how Jane Buck's comments on terrorism rival that of a high school student's on detention and national socialism. If you're more inclined, you can private message me (this forum is getting awfully long)

2009 May 15
Jane: you're projecting I'm not upset, I'm calling you lazy and disingenuous. You can lie to yourself but when you do it to others you should expect to get called on it.

In fact I did not say 'nothing' other than the issues related to the charge occurred, I said possibly all manner of things could have happened. What I also said is that if it was happening in the manner he claimed charges should have resulted because it would have triggered an investigation.

The fact that there was no investigation and that there are no other charges; until you can prove otherwise is sufficient evidence for me to believe that Beckta was exaggerating and I guess also that you're gullible.

I am not going to discuss FG farms in general with you or Beckta's suppliers specifically. They were also not investigated as far as I know so where were the charges to materialize from? You are trying to change the parameters of debate from your accusations of "terrorists" and "terrorism" to getting me to wax poetic on my opinion of farming practices, why exactly? Is it because you realize you don't have any ground left to stand on?

Madam who brunches: What did I cite that you feel was selectively chosen, get the links and shoot them at me and I'll respond.

If you can't see what I mean when I spell it out as,

"to equate the shaking of righteous fists in the air and baying like a dog through a bull horn with "terrorism" serves to weaken the meaning of the word"

I think we might have a real problem here but let me try.

The last time I checked interrupting people momentarily on the sidewalk and causing a ruckus in general was not exactly analogous with a suicide or car bomb or for that matter flying a plane into a building.

Neither is sending someone to detention roughly equal with the mass transfer of people on train cars to death camps.

"Truthiness" is not a word, neither is what you said really an argument.

Attempts to link civil disobedience with terrorism is worthy of Fox News and other scaremongers do you really want to sit with them?

Here's a link for you both to follow Jane and a word to become intimately familiar with,

2009 May 15
A quick note for Mr. Eade. Through the process of force feeding, the birds liver grows up to 10 times its normal size. The liver function in foie gras birds is severely compromised. In medical terms, the liver is in a state of dysfunction called hepatic lipidosis or hepatic steatosis, meaning it can no longer perform its intended function. So yes Ron, it is diseased.

I'm curious, in journalism school, did they not teach you to check your facts before writing? Or maybe facts go out the window when it's posted on your Twitter page.

2009 May 15
For a minute I thought Golden Turtle wasn't going to be a weenie, and would send a link to the definition of terrorist so we (and Jane Buck) could see how right he is... but no... weenie it is. I hope GT doesn't start throwing big lawyer words at me that I won't understand.... I can't remember, did he say he was a lawyer, or just that he had a law degree(damn bar exam)?

2009 May 15
P-i-O - if he was a lawyer, I'm sure we would already know! Funny, I was thinking the very same thing... (great minds think alike?)

2009 May 15
Hey new user 1161 - at least ron, and even golden turtle (who i don't side with on this whole debate) has the balls to identify themselves in some respect. Keep hiding behind that new user post - you probably will never contribute to this forum aside from this long, and at this point - pretty useless debate.

All - I call this useless, because its pretty clear its a debate that has no end, with either side of the argument every having a chance to convince the other.

Personally it is now on my ignore list - i ran out of popcorn, foie, and anything else that would make this enjoyable.

2009 May 16
Sourdough, I hear ya. I have wasted way to much time and energy on this forum and on Golden turtle. I really have better things to do.
Golden turtle, no matter what I , or anyone else says, we are wrong and you are right. Honestly, at this point, I don't give a flying *#$@.

2009 May 16
hey new user I have been to the farms on more than one occasion and not just when they are "cleaned up" for visitors. At any rate I agree with the others that GT new user and others have turned thsi from a food/ethics issue into a festival of mud slinging and name calling. Too bad can't stick to the point and discuss it intelligently without all the BS. You all have fun I'm going to get ready for the market which is right outside my door and spend the day hanging out with farmers and great staff 3000 km. away from the silliness.

2009 May 16
Bruce-the-chef is a wise and down-to-earth man. Sooner or later, the rational among us grow weary of fanatics, which is exactly why restaurants cave in to the lunatic fringe.

2009 May 16
ohhhhhhhhh Lunatic Fringe!
now, that's entertaining
where's my Limewire?
I too will have this on ignore which is a shame for I will miss out on O's O wit

2009 May 18
I felt it far more useful to explain to her the word hyperbole since she's so wrapped up in it acting like a very well informed Ottawa Sun reader and all.

To try finding an 'exact' and suitable definition for a politically charged buzzword is about as easy as nailing honey to the bee. Try finding an acceptable definition for 'hypoallergenic' while you're at it.

If you don't accept that the term is applied more often than not to people engaging in large scale forms of violence, whether your example is from irgun to hamas then you're just lying to yourself. This is a term that we apply to "large scale bad" as opposed to the jackass on the sidewalk who straightens his shoulders and tries to cow you out of his way and onto the street.

Like I'm really effing sorry if I'm coming off as condescending because I believe in due process and using appropriate language and objective thinking to describe a situation. I have not once said that what these people did was a good or proper manner to approach this particular situation.

Apparently I need to diddle around in the lingua franca of b.s for acceptance on here, good thing I don't care what any of you think beyond at this point possibly zymurgist.

To the two in the peanut gallery, even if in only your own worlds you're great minds it doesn't make you look any less the asshole for trying to take a piss on me.

a) took and passed the bar exams on the first try thanks for caring
b) I never would have raised that fact if small fry up top didn't make a complete anus of himself trying to prove me wrong in one of the most imaginative displays of falling short of the mark I've seen in a long time.

Like I could respond in kind and randomly speculate on your efficacy rate in reaching suitable erectile function if your physical health is as slovenly as your demonstrated capacities for wit, but I'll refrain.

2009 May 18
I have had this thread on ignore but i just have to comment.
Has anyone read the "Rules You agreed to".
"Please remember the rules you agreed to:
Treat other foodies with the same respect you expect from them.
Treat vendors with the same respect you expect from them as a customer.
Do not use unnecessarily coarse language."
As far as I can see there are some posters not abiding by the "rules". Nothing else to say.

2009 May 18
I have no problem with someone talking to me like that "oh wait" they already did when I was asked if I liked sniffing my own farts.

2009 May 18
It is nothing personal. I get its a controversial topic. I just think it would be nice if we all follow the guidelines. I did say "some" posters.And yes I can be a "too polite" Canadian.

2009 May 18
w.c: I know I transgressed if we're talking the Victorian prudishness of censored postings, I just don't think I was the first to do it and I always return that which is volleyed.