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23.8.06

I bet They Think Murder Laws are for the Murderer's Good

Chicago has banned foie gras, and the foodies are up in arms. The ban addresses animal cruelty concerns -- making foie gras involves "force-feeding grain to ducks and geese until their liver enlarges as much as 10 times its normal size." So I would expect opponents to claim that ducks and geese enjoy being force-fed, or that humans' right to be "dazzled" by fancy ingredients trumps the mere suffering of animals. But some of them manage to completely miss the point:

"They might as well make a citywide bedtime ordinance," said bartender David Brown, 29, who feasted on the outlaw ingredients with his wife, Jennifer, at 676. "It's like banning smoking. If I'm a bartender, I don't run a health club. We're adults; we're allowed to have bad habits."


I can sympathize with the libertarian desire to be allowed to knowingly take risks with one's own health. But the foie gras ban is not for the benefit of foodies. It's for the benefit of the ducks and geese, who don't get a choice in the matter.

(The folks who talk about the need to "dazzle" customers are at least trying to address the real issue -- but their word choice makes me wonder whether they're secret plants of the animal rights movement. I'd have trouble coming up with a better word than "dazzle" to make foie gras consumption sound like the frivolous luxury of a self-centered elite with far too much money on their hands.)

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