PETA Threatens Pop-Up Restaurant With Lawsuit for Serving Foie Gras
The issue of whether the production and sale of foie gras was ethical was a big one here in California, and eventually the meat was banned from menus statewide last summer. Many local chefs fought to lobby the federal court in order to bring it back, but in the end animal rights activists won the battle. But even though the sale of the birds' livers is illegal, plenty of restaurants have been serving it as an off-menu or gifted item, partially because diners love the fatty livers, and perhaps even more so as a political statement.
So when this is not a pop-up Tweeted about the potential of the engorged geese/duck livers being on their menu this week, it really wasn't a huge shock. But Randy Clemens, Digest blog editor at Los Angeles Magazine and a vehement vegetarian, didn't take the Tweet lightly. And his vocal opinion via Twitter eventually lead to this is not a pop-up being threatened with a lawsuit by PETA's legal counsel.
That's where Clemens called in PETA.
And of course, a little thank you from the PR folks from PETA to the LA Mag food editor for tipping them off to the issue.
PETA's legal counsel couldn't be reached at the time of publication for comment. [UPDATE, 2/27 at 12:30 p.m.: PETA's legal senior legal counsel, Matthew Strugar, was reached for comment: "I think the people of California have spoken, saying that consuming disease-ridden livers of ducks and geese is inherently cruel. These are sick, dying birds. There is a law on the books, and we are seeking to have it enforced. We are saying their proposed activity is illegal."]
Springut defended her team at this is not a pop-up. "I personally visited a foie gras farm last year to check out what was going on before I made up my mind as to whether I would eat it, and serve it, or not," she said. "As someone in the food industry, I am immensely concered with how the animals I eat live, and die."
It remains to be seen how this will play out for the team at this is not a pop-up, who will be moving to the space at Tiago restaurant later this week.