God Bless the animal rights loonies. They can, temporarily at least, relieve our minds of having to deal with truly important issues.
The nation’s debt is well in excess of $14 trillion; and despite much rhetoric to the contrary by both major parties in Washington, our annual deficits continue at unsustainable levels. Our military is involved in an eight-year old conflict in Iraq, and another that is a decade long, in Afghanistan; both matters that drain significant national economic and personal resources. Our federal Energy Department, created nearly two generations ago with the express purpose of reducing our country’s reliance on foreign energy sources, has failed miserably at its primary task, even as it continues to cost taxpayers tens of billions of dollars each year. And, this administration, like its predecessor, continues to infringe Americans’ privacy and other civil liberties, as if the Bill of Rights were a quaint but no longer relevant afterthought to the powers exercised by the federal government.
This short list is but the tip of the iceberg of major problems currently confronting the United States.
Yet, with all these issues that ought to concern citizens, what issue occupies the attention of a group of so-called animal “rights” activists in Atlanta? They are apparently worried sick that a restaurant in our fair city might continue to offer the delicacy known as foie gras, to customers who enjoy the seared goose liver. I kid you not; foie gras to these fringe activists obviously is far more crucial to the future of our country than the national debt, taxes, wars or civil liberties (at least those that apply to humans).
The “Animal Protection and Rescue League” (APRL), based in San Diego, California, has decided Atlanta is the new Ground Zero for their vitally important effort to protect a few geese from having their livers cooked for those humans savoring the dish. The group had a few “animal rights” activists waving anti-foie gras signs near the Buckhead restaurant, “Bistro Niko,” last weekend.
Animal rights groups’ record of success in forcing restaurants to stop serving foie gras, or convincing governments to do so by law, is marginal at best. For example, only one state – California (of course) – has passed a law prohibiting production of foie gras (thereby indirectly preventing restaurants from serving it). Only one city – Chicago – has banned foie gras from restaurants in its jurisdiction; although the Windy City later repealed the ban. The anti-foie gras crowd also is lobbying the Hawaiian legislature, even though the Aloha State last year defeated such a ban.
Notwithstanding such a – thankfully — dismal record of legislative success, these animal right-ists spend their time (and indirectly the time of restaurant managers, owners and patrons forced to deal with them) on an issue that in the scheme of things does not even rise to the level of remotely important to this country.
There always will be individuals and organizations focused on or excited by minor or fringe issues; and that’s fine. It’s a free country (at least in that respect). And, there always will be people with money who are inclined to fund such efforts; and here too, they should be free to do so. But intelligent American citizens and lawful businesses such as restaurants should be free to ignore such nonsensical efforts; and they should. Even more importantly, state and local government legislators hopefully will continue to understand that prohibiting restaurants from offering a product desired by its patrons is un-American and should not become a subject for legislative restriction or prohibition.
by Bob Barr – The Barr Code