Chelsea Art Student's End-Of-Term Project Slams Fortnum & Mason's Foie Gras Sales
For Immediate Release:
26 June 2013
Ben Williamson +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 229; BenW@peta.org.uk
London – After Chelsea College of Art and Design student Amy Dixon watched PETA's video exposé – narrated by Sir Roger Moore – of foie gras farms in France that supply Fortnum & Mason's distributor and received no reply to her subsequent letter of complaint to Fortnum & Mason, she decided to make a statement about the issue using her artistic skills. For her end-of-term project, Dixon used a pipe to represent the tubes through which geese raised for foie gras are force-fed, painted it red to signify blood, scattered some "blood"-soaked feathers around it and strategically placed it in front of a classical Fortnum & Mason hamper with a sign proclaiming the company's dubious animal welfare claims in the background. (Click here to see the display.)
"With this project, I was able to combine my two greatest passions: creative expression and animal rights", Dixon says. "It means so much to me to be able to use my art in a way that will open people's eyes to the suffering caused by Fortnum's continuous sales of foie gras."
"Amy's powerful piece is a beautifully creative way to take on a horrible problem", says PETA Manager Mimi Bekhechi. "This striking image will take centre stage in PETA's social-media campaign calling for an end to Fortnum & Mason's support of cruelty to birds."
Fortnum & Mason still profits from sales of foie gras, even though its production is so hideous that it's outlawed in the UK. To create foie gras, pipes are shoved down birds' throats and huge amounts of grain and fat are pumped into their stomachs several times a day. Their livers become diseased as they swell to up to 10 times their normal size. The pipes often puncture their throats and can cause them to bleed to death. Despite being presented with graphic evidence of this abuse on farms from which its own distributor obtains foie gras, Fortnum & Mason refuses to stop selling this universally condemned product.
PETA has persuaded Selfridges and Harvey Nichols to drop foie gras. The group's campaign against Fortnum & Mason is supported by Sir Roger Moore, Dame Vera Lynn, the Duchess of Hamilton, Ralph Fiennes and Bill Oddie, amongst others.
Dixon also took part in a protest outside Fortnum & Mason in May, where the retailer received a Cruellest Retailer Award from PETA. (Click here to see a photo of Dixon at the event.) For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.