Skip to main content

Hearts vs. Taste Buds

Share this:

On the basis of compassion and good sense, the California State Legislature made it illegal to sell foie gras as of July 2012. The production of foie gras necessarily involves the force-feeding of ducks and geese, resulting in a diseased and painfully enlarged liver, for which the animals are eventually killed.

All for a cracker spread.

In 2011, the California State Legislature made it illegal to sell shark fins. The ban became effective as of July 1, 2013. To keep restaurants in supply, sharks — as many as 70 million a year — are caught, have their fins sliced off and are thrown back into the ocean to die a slow death, gravely affecting not only those individuals but the larger ecosystem and the population of dozens of shark species.

All for a soup ingredient.

Since the foie gras ban went into effect, most restaurants have taken it off their menus, but some have been either overtly selling it or covertly offering it to knowing customers as a “secret” menu item. Some restaurant owners are delighting in the creative ways they’re exploiting a loophole in the foie gras ban that makes it illegal only to sell it, so they’re giving it away for free to patrons.

We have yet to see if opponents of the shark-fin ban will do the same, but, as in the final legal days of foie gras, people were urged to order shark fins before they went underground.

Personally I see no difference between killing a duck for his liver, a shark for his fins, a chicken for her wings, an elephant for her tusks, or a rhino for his horn. Cultural prerogative and personal choice — the common refrain of those who defend such acts — are feeble excuses for what amounts to desire, profit and pleasure.

I take heart in each anti-cruelty law we pass and find hope in each person who advocates for those who have no voice. They remind me that — aside from a few antagonists — our hearts are larger than our taste buds.

With a Perspective, this is Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Related Posts

The Gift of Appreciation: It Goes Both Ways
Letting others know you appreciate and value them is one of the greatest gifts you can give. In today’s episode, I recount personal stories of app…
Black Cats and Halloween: The History Behind the Superstition
Why Black Cats and Halloween? Why are certain animals synonymous with Halloween — bats, rats, owls, spiders, ravens, crows, toads, wolves, and….
We Are Not a Single Movement: Fighting in the Vegan, Animal Advocate, and Plant-Based Communities
Being part of a supportive community of people who share the same joys and heartaches, victories and challenges, pleasures and concerns is critica…

About Colleen

Hello, and welcome. I’m Colleen, aka The Joyful Vegan, and I’m here to give you the tools and resources you need to eat, cook, travel, and live compassionately and healthfully. 

Donating = Loving

For over twenty years, my work and podcast have remained free (and ad-free) and vibrant thanks to support from listeners, followers, and readers. I have no staff, no interns, and no assistant. What you see (and hear and watch) is a one-woman labor of love that is also my life and my livelihood. If this labor has impacted your life in the past year (or the past decades), please consider aiding its sustenance by becoming a patron or by making a one-time donation. Your support makes all the difference.

Favorite Things

Joyful Vegan Messageware

Wear your compassion on your sleeve (or chest or head!) by choosing any number of my message products.