Every Tuesday between 7pm-8pm UK time, twitter uses the hashtag #veganhour to share vegan stories and chat all things cruelty-free. This week a fantastic activism success story caught our eye.
Earlier this year activists, including the Nottingham Animal Rights group, became aware of a restaurant in Calver, a small village of the Peak District, which was serving foie gras. Protestors stood outside the village pub with signs and banners – one banner said: “Tortured for your indulgence. No more foie gras.”
Foie gras is made from the liver of male ducks or geese that have been cruelly force fed to fatten the liver, to up to 10 times its normal size. They are force fed through a tube which is rammed down their throats and dispenses controlled amounts of feed for 12 to 15 days, at least twice a day. Due to the excessive weight the birds gain, they are often unable to stand and can exhibit stress-related behaviours such as feather plucking and aggression. Although the production of foie gras is against the law in the UK, the product can still be imported.
At the end of May, David McHattie, co-owner of the restaurant, was quoted saying: “Far from driving foie gras off the menu the protestors have actually succeeded in making it a point of interest and the increase in sales have ensured that it would now be impossible to remove from the menu.” The co-owner said that overall sales had increased by 78 per cent on protest days and that they had received messages of support from the public. McHattie continued to say that the protestors would not dictate his actions.
However, the activists continued their protests and the restaurant has reluctantly now removed the product from their menu. In a statement to the Derbyshire Times McHattie said: “Peaceful protest is fine but these people know the law (and) exactly how far they can push it. While their actions have increased awareness and sales, their behaviour just continues to reach new depths which (are) totally unacceptable to our guests.”
A spokesperson from Nottingham Animal Rights responded by saying: “We do not see it as a victory for us; it is a victory for the geese and ducks that are abused and tortured every day to produce such a horribly cruel dish.”
Image credit: Derbyshire Times