Heston Blumenthal has dropped his supplier of foie gras after he recently found out it is being produced in torturing conditions.
Hold on…recently did he say? Firstly, how could a chef of a three michelin star restaurant not know this? Secondly, has he been buying and cooking produce without knowing what is in it for all these years?
Surely he has been perfectly aware for just as long as all of us that the production of foie gras is not the most ethical process in the world.
Like in many countries, the production of foie gras is banned in the UK but it can still be bought through many suppliers across the country. The French openly enjoy the popular delicacy and have no shame in saying so.
And why not?
The process is undeniably unethical. But how is it worse than intensive animal farming and slaughtering animals for meat? Factory farmed animals raised for mass production live in horrific conditions all their lives. Many people eat meat but will not touch foie gras.
Are people aware that chickens often have their beaks cut off and live piled on top of each other? Do they know that beef cattle are fed hormones that make them physically sick just to be able to satisfy our consumer needs in terms of quantity and cost? Or that to make pork, ham or bacon, a pig’s throat is slit open while the animal is still alive?
How could people feel so strongly about one form of torture but turn a blind eye to another very similar?
And what about the produce we buy that cause suffering to humans?
Earlier this year an article by The Guardian revealed, after a six month investigation, that humans were being tortured and trafficked into slavery on fishing boats off Thailand to provide cheap prawns for supermarkets in countries such as the UK and the US.
How many of these ‘ethical’ and ‘environmentally conscious’ non-foie gras eaters buy meat regularly without considering the equally torturing process? How many enjoy a prawn ring, the result of human slavery?
Yes, the production of foie gras is cruel and unethical. But is it really worse than the torture behind the mass production meat process? If our conscience is making us say no to foie gras, we should also give a second thought to buying factory farmed meat or, worse still, produce that put humans at risk.