Fie on foie gras! Rivera calls for pâté ban

BY ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH | Councilmember Carlina Rivera has introduced a bill that would make foie gras illegal in New York City.

“In the New York City Council, we aim to pass commonsense legislation every day,” Rivera said in a statement. “I can think of nothing more commonsense than ending the egregious practice of selling a luxury food item made from the gruesome abuse of animals.”

Foie gras is made from fattened goose or duck livers produced by force-feeding the birds corn via a long metal tube down their throats. Humans have engaged in the practice, known as gavage, for centuries. Ancient Egyptians are credited with being among the first do it, cramming a surplus of food down the throats of geese, ducks, cranes, cows and even hyenas with the intention of harvesting their fatty livers.

A wallet-forcing foie gras sandwich at Le Petit Parisien, which goes for more than $30.

Animal-rights activists have long railed against the inhumane treatment these birds endure to create the luxury food item.

In 2009, the Animal Protection and Rescue League held a protest at the East Village restaurant Momofuku, calling on it and all other restaurants to stop serving foie gras.

According to reporting from Gothamist, David Chang, owner of Momofuku Noodle Bar, at 171 First Ave., among other restaurants, viewed the anti-foie gras movement as “highly misguided.” Chang stated that the ducks on the Hudson Valley farm where he got his foie gras from “live a good life, free of cages and with plenty of area to roam.”

“It is hypocritical,” Sakis Pitsionas, owner of Le Petit Parisien, at 32 E. Seventh St., told this paper. According to the restaurateur, chickens, pigs and cows, which humans eat on a much larger scale, are treated just as poorly in this country as the force-fed geese are. Yet there have been no bans proposed on consuming them.

“I find this very authoritarian,” Pitsionas said, adding, “Let’s see in a few years what is going to be available to eat.”