October 2, 2009
Protesting foie gras at the Firehouse

By Chris Macias

A group of local animal rights activists are fed up with foie gras being offered on the Firehouse's menu. A protest is planned for 6 p.m. today in front of the Old Sacramento eatery, with a dozen activists planning to wave signs and distribute flyers which detail the cruelty behind this delicacy made from duck and goose liver.

The protest is being organized by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Sacramento Animal Rights Group and the Animal Protection and Rescue League.

"We would love to embarrass the restaurant for their lack of compassion," said Linda Middlesworth, a protest co-ordinator. "It's an animal issue of extreme cruelty. (To make foie gras) you take a large pipe and stuff it down their throats to engorge their livers. It's all about greed, and gluttony and money."

Middlesworth and other activists first contacted the Firehouse last month to ask that foie gras be removed from the menu. They also visited the restaurant in person to express their grievances.
Despite the protests, the Firehouse plans to keep foie gras as a food option.

"The foie gras featured on our menu is produced in Sonoma and meets state and federal standards," said a press release from the Firehouse. "More importantly, it meets the Firehouse standard for quality, flavor and freshness. Our chefs selected our supplier, Artisan Sonoma Foie Gras, because of their commitment to quality and their artisan techniques in producing foie gras. The ducks are free range."

Middlesworth and other activists plan to protest more local restaurants which serve foie gras. Cafe Rolle in east Sacramento has already been picketed, and Grange Restaurant is being eyed as an upcoming protest site.

"We're going to keep doing this over and over," said Middlesworth.

Call Bee food and wine writer Chris Macias, (916) 321-1253.

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