Jun 26, 2005

Sin Relegated to Indian Reservations [LINK]

Lawrence Downes, writing in the New York Times, describes response to a bill that would outlaw fois gras:

Michael Ginor, an owner of Hudson Valley Foie Gras, says he feels an anti-foie-gras mood building and is willing to be put out of business in New York if he can land on his feet somewhere else. The Bonacic bill, unlike others lurking in the legislative wings, does not take effect until 2016, giving Mr. Ginor ample time to make other plans - moving to Canada, maybe, or an Indian reservation - without worrying about losing his market dominance or facing prosecution for cruelty.

Animal welfare advocates have thus found themselves opposing a foie-gras ban, which in this case they say cynically gives a duck torturer a decade of indulgence.

In such rhetorical battles, it's always fun to shift ground to considerations of racial politics. Think of how much less powerful the following conclusion would have been had it concerned itself with garden-variety trailer trash:
In Sullivan County — which could use all the economic activity it can get, beyond the force-feeding of dollar bills into video slots at Monticello Raceway — Hudson Valley Foie Gras gives a living to 175 people, mostly Latino immigrants. Many of them live in trailers on the grounds and worship in a tiny chapel of crepe-paper streamers and candles in a corner of a warehouse. Those who calculate the cruelty of foie gras would do well to include them in the equation as well.

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