Foie Gras Campaign Update: Why is Quinn's Afraid of the Truth?

Several weeks ago, when NARN first began campaigning against Quinn’s Pub, Quinn’s owner Scott Staples told us that the foie gras he serves comes from Hudson Valley Foie Gras. In fact, he even said that he had personally visited the farm. But when confronted this week with a New York Times exposé about how Hudson Valley Foie Gras exploits its workers, Quinn’s story changed. Its sister restaurant, Zoe, also owned by Scott Staples even changed its website, which up until Sunday said that it served Hudson Valley Foie Gras. When there is a news story about the terrible conditions at Palmex, the supposed new supplier, will Quinn’s change its story again?

Foie Gras Campaign Update: Hudson Valley Lacks Sympathy For Its Workers, Too.

Scott Staples, owner and chef at Quinn’s Pub, has told us that he does not take issue with gavage, the cruel practice of force-feeding ducks to produce foie gras. If he has no compassion for animals, we hope that he will drop foie gras from his menu after reading the shocking exposé about how Hudson Valley Foie Gras–Quinn’s foie gras source–mistreats its workers. According to a New York Times column, Hudson Valley‘s workers are “gruesomely exploited,” forced to work long hours with no paid overtime, no paid vacation or sick days, and barely any time to sleep. Hudson Valley‘s owner, Izzy Yanay said of his workers, “This notion that they need to rest is completely futile. They don’t like to rest.” It is unsurprising that someone with no sympathy for his employees would have no compassion for animals either.
The U.S.’s other major foie gras producer, Sonoma Foie Gras–which Lark’s foie gras is sourced from–is in hot water as well. After several years of pretrial motions, a defamation trial against it is scheduled to begin next week. Sonoma will have to defend its false claim that animal rights activists staged the investigation at its California facility–which found horrid conditions–before a court of law. Best of luck to Bryan Pease, founder, director, and attorney of Animal Protection and Rescue League, in bringing Sonoma to justice!
In the meantime, there is still time to register for our foie gras demo competition. Please email Jenn at jenn[at]narn[dot[org] for more information or to register for the chance to win a pizza party at vegan pizzeria Pizza Pi!

Double Standard

As many of you probably heard, Dr. George Tiller, a doctor that performed late-term abortions was murdered at his church this past Sunday.

Any death is tragic, and this one also serves as a reminder of the “special” legal hurdles faced by animal rights activists. The man that shot and killed the doctor was not called a terrorist by the government or by the media, even though the action he carried out was based on his religious and philosophical views. The man is an extremist. He is part of a group that fights in behalf of the voiceless and the anti-abortionist movement as a whole professes to value all human life.

Animal rights activists are often compared to  anti-abortion activists , and we do have many similarities to the Anti-Abortionist movement. We both proclaim to value life, we both conduct protests and we have been known to label members of the opposition “murderers”.   It is worth noting however, that 4 people have been killed by anti-abortion activists, while zero people have been killed by animal rights activists.

The government however, treats us differently. If an animal rights activists commits an action in the name of Animal Liberation, we are automatically labelled terrorists. Anti-abortionists are not. They are only prosecuted based on their crime, not on their ethical, religious or philosophical views. The man that murdered Dr. Tiller will be charged with murder, not terrorism.  He will not be tried in Federal Court, and it is unlikely that he will receive a special sentence.

This double-standard treatment is unfair, but this should be nothing new to us.  Animal rights activists are fighting against unequal standards every day. Dogs are given more protection that pigs, cows more protection that chickens. Any cute animal has more advocates that the less visually appealing. We should not let the injustice that we face at the hands of the legal system deter us.

We must keep fighting on behalf of the voiceless, for the obstacles that we face, are nothing compared to the injustices faced by the animals.

Foie Gras Campaign Update: Quinn's Pub Desperate to Sell Foie Gras

The scene at Quinn’s Pub on Friday nights is vaguely reminiscent of a forlorn going-out-of-business sale. At 1001 E Pike St, foie gras appears to be on clearance. Not only does Quinn’s owner Scott Staples offer to donate 10% of foie gras sales on Fridays to charities to boost sales (the first four weeks’ worth of contributions were rejected), but now he is even attempting, rather unsuccessfully, to give it away. As free samples sit untouched outside the Pub’s door, Scott Staples’ desperation to sell the engorged livers of force-fed ducks is almost pitiable. Meanwhile, thriving protests continue at Lark, where NARN supporters educated diners about the cruel methods of foie gras production three times last week.

NARN Rejects Quinn's money: blood money

During last Friday’s weekly foie gras protest of Quinn’s in Capitol Hill, NARN returned a donation check from the owner of the pub, Scott Staples.

Quinn’s has displayed a banner advertising that 10% of foie gras sales will be donated to NARN (see picture below).

The NARN board of directors unanimously rejects any such donations. It would show neither consistency nor integrity for an animal rights organization to benefit from animal cruelty – especially by profiting from foie gras, a product we’re actively campaigning against.

After the check was returned to him, Mr. Staples replied that he would “never take [foie gras] off the menu”, but that he was “proud of [NARN]” for rejecting the donation. I’m sure he’s happy we won’t accept money for what he considers our “support”.

We will not be swayed. The demonstrations will continue, and perhaps one day this so-called “delicacy” will be a thing of the past in Seattle eateries.

NARN President Mark shares information on foie gras production with a patron of Quinn's

Remember, if you want to help us stop restaurants from serving this inhumane dish, we need you to contact them and politely request that they remove it from the menu. While the protests keep pressure and attention on them, they will ultimately only listen to public pressure. So drop by, call, or send e-mail to Quinn’s and Lark and ask them to remove foie gras from their menu, and make a difference for the ducks.

Rally Against Cruelty to Ducks—EVERY FRIDAY, 7 & 8PM

We have added an additional restaurant to our protest schedule. We have requested several times to meet with the owners of Quinn’s Pub, and they have not returned our correspondence, so we will begin protesting their sale of foie gras as well. We will meet, as usual, at Lark, 926 12th Ave E on Capitol Hill at 7pm, and then migrate over to Quinn’s Pub, located at 1001 E Pike St at 8pm. We hope to see you there!

Foie Gras Campaign Update:
At Friday night’s protest, NARN’s president had a long conversation with one of the owners of Lark, which continues, despite receiving educational materials about the cruelty inherent in foie gras production, to serve the dish. She mentioned that she is tracking correspondence she receives about foie gras, and that Lark currently receives more pro- than anti-foie gras phone calls and emails. We know that this does not reflect public opinion generally, as a recent Zogby poll found that nearly 80 percent of likely voters in the U.S. believe that foie gras production should be outlawed.

Since Lark is taking the public’s reaction into account in continuing to serve foie gras, please contact Lark and let them know that you would like to see them remove it from their menu. Taking two minutes to do this will really make a difference for the ducks and geese who are force fed to create this cruel product.
Tel: (206) 323-5275
Email: info@LarkSeattle.com

If you can’t make the protest, please call or email Quinn’s and ask them to remove foie gras from their menu.
Tel: (206) 325-7711
Email: info@quinnspubseattle.com

In other foie gras news, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution last week supporting restaurants that removed foie gras from its menu. For more information about foie gras factory farming, please visit: gourmetcruelty.com and nofoiegras.com. Email volunteer@narn.org with any questions.

Protesting the Pro Bull Riders in Tacoma 3/21/09

Not only were bulls never ridden in ranch work, but watching an animal be tormented is not entertainment, it’s abuse. We gathered at the Tacoma Dome to protest this inhumane and completely unnecessary form of animal cruelty.

A few folks made rude remarks, but we kept a Gandhian posture of non-violence and did not respond. One guy saw our signs and stopped to talk to us. After a while he said, “Well, you’ve opened up my mind a bit. I’m still going in to watch the show, but I’m gonna think about this when I’m in there. Thanks for being out here.”

Vegfest 3/21/09

The NARN table at Vegfest supplied many people with information about factory farming, the myth of “free range” eggs, and how milk actually doesn’t do a body good. People’s responses ranged from shy-but-curious, to those passionately making a beeline over to our table to sign up to get involved in helping animals.

There were lots of folks asking how they could make the transition from vegetarian to vegan, to which our friendly volunteers shared their own tips and personal stories. This, along with all the free food samples, made Vegfest another fun event this year!

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