Monday, March 23, 2009

Dangerous Precedents And Philosphical Terrorism

No one would call it cruel if it was Kate Moss.

I won't lie, I am pretty opinionated. As hypocritical as it may be or as I may sound - I try my best to not judge a person's life choices despite how much I may disagree with it. And the fact of the matter is, there are lots of gray and lots of opinions out there that are not my own, e.g. 99.99999% of the other people on this planet. A difference of opinion may be at the root of the controversy over foie gras, but at the root of it - there are dangerous precedents being set over the banning of food items that are not classified as drugs and do not belong to the artificially/chemically hazardous food group.

Without going too much into the whole controversy, foie is created primarily by force feeding ducks/geese, though this is not always the case as described here by Dan Barber. Aside from Dan Barber's wonderful story of sustainable happy geese, most foie comes from a force feeding process outlined as gavage. Beyond identifying the technical process, every other aspect of foie production is primarily gray and you pretty much have to decide whether you feel this process can be claimed as torture or not.

I'm not really going to debate or support foie on the basis of torture - there are enough people including overzealous retro-propagandist organizations like PETA to do that. (If you some research on foie, you'll quickly find people on both sides of the fence and different definitions on what consitutes as torture to them.) What I do question is that if we start banning production of foods that are not based on basic human health concerns, does this begin to create a dangerous precedence? When enough people don't agree with the production of an item, does it warrant banning its production? It is not a stretch of imagination if you decide to call the foie ban an extension of censorship.

Hypothetically if we based food production on relative ideals - whether those are that of humane animal preservation, religious, or cultural. Would it be so different for a country to ban pork based on social and religious ideals that deem the pig as dirty animal? Could we live in a world without bacon? Why are we not identifying the dangerous production of processed and unnatural foods and protest on those instead? Who decided to make foie the posterboy for animal cruelty and world food issues?

Oh yeah, all that good stuff and let me eat my meat or foie. I don't enjoy food philosophical terrorism. I am also looking forward to Head To Tail dinner at Incanto. Woohoo, gonna rub animal parts all over my mouth and send them to PETA for shits and giggles. How do you like them propaganda apples?

1 comment:

  1. Stumbled upon this via Twitter.
    Keep writing.

    You bring up some great issues.
    As a former food writer for Asian Week in San Francisco, I find that different cultures really do see food different.

    The Chinese see Turtle soup as a form of medicinal eating. After traveling around the globe, I think that everyone need to bring to context their view.

    keep writing.