Chicago debates foie gras ban

In the city once known as the world’s slaughterhouse, restaurants, politicians and animal rights activists are exercised over a goose liver delicacy.

In the city once known as the world’s slaughterhouse, restaurants, politicians and animal rights activists are exercised over a goose liver delicacy.

A proposed ban on foie gras has divided Chicago’s fine restaurants and stirred a two-pronged debate: whether it is humane to force-feed geese and ducks to plump up their livers, and whether politicians should be telling diners what they can and cannot eat.

“Our laws are reflection of our culture, and in our culture it’s not acceptable to torture small animals,” said Alderman Joseph Moore, whose proposed ordinance would affect at least 19 restaurants in Chicago, by one count.

Chicago was once “hog butcher for the world", as the poet Carl Sandburg put it.

The idea of a ban does not sit well with Mayor Richard Daley. “We’re trying to tell people they can’t eat certain foods. They can’t buy certain foods. They can’t ship certain foods in,” he said.

“Pretty soon, you can’t drink. Do you really want government to keep telling you every day what to do?”

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