Omnivore - Restaurant Eugene responds to foie gras protests
A dispute between animal rights activists and Linton Hopkins
- James Camp
- Linton Hopkins of Restaurant Eugene and Holeman and Finch
A few days ago, I received a press release from a group called Animal Protection and Rescue League (APRL) about the continuing demonstrations outside Restaurant Eugene and Holeman and Finch protesting their use of foie gras. The release called into question the restaurant's claims that they were "green" and "sustainable," saying that this was impossible seeing as foie gras is featured on their menus.
On Friday, Restaurant Eugene posted a response on its blog, explaining the contact chef and owner Linton Hopkins has had with APRL, and the lengths they've gone to to make sure their product, including foie gras, is humanely raised:
The first complaint...came in March and stated that if we did not immediately remove foie gras from our menu we would be subject to protest, but that if we did remove it, positive reviews of our restaurant would be posted on Yelp. This felt a little coercive, but nonetheless, prompted us to do some soul searching. Sourcing and ingredients are very serious matters here. Chef Hopkins is steadfastly opposed to the industrialized farming of animals, as well as vegetables for that matter.
It goes on to explain the farming process of the farmer they source foie gras from, and the difference between that process and the factory foie gras farms depicted in the photos and literature used by APRL. A meeting took place between APRL and Hopkins, in which he explained the restaurant's research and position, but no amicable agreement was made. From the Restaurant Eugene post: "We felt the meeting went well and our mutual points of sympathy were understood. Unfortunately, this group would not be reasoned with and has taken a bafflingly myopic view of animal welfare."
They go on to say: