The City Taketh Away, The City Giveth Back

May 15 2008 - 10:33 AM

Whether you love foie gras, hate foie gras, never had foie gras, don’t even care about foie gras you’ve likely heard about the ban. It’s made front page news now how many times? So the ban has been repealed. Great. The whole foie gras safehouse thing was ridiculous anyway. If anything it was a brief glimpse in to sweetbreads and their wonderfulness… don’t forget the glands people!

What the city needs to do, especially in light of the attempt to position Chicago as America’s gourmet city (which it is), is to help promote local, small producer meat suppliers. We can argue about the morality of foie gras or veal or what have you but the bottom line for me is the industrial meat farming in America is truly cruel, truly inhumane and truly dangerous. Foreign consumers have been losing confidence in our product and for good reason.

It’s an economy of scale and the level at which things are produced with care is at odds with that scale. Look at any industry. You go to Abt and ask about different HD cables and you’ll get an answer from someone who likely knows the answer. At Best Buy they might know the answer but they might not. At Wal-Mart they might not even know where those cables are.

I don’t know if that’s a good metaphor for the meat industry. All I mean to say is that people will try but it’s not about them in the industrial farming model. There is no ownership the way a farmer owns his cows. There is also, more importantly, no personal responsibility. That’s a big problem especially when you head into a discussion about cruelty and you have a system that doesn’t include responsibility… that’s my vision of hell. That’s the opposite of foie gras production in almost every way.

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