For the Love of England: Stop Selling Foie Gras, Fortnum & Mason!

Posted by on April 23, 2013 | Permalink

St GeorgeOn St George’s Day, there are plenty of genuinely English things that everyone who lives in this green and pleasant land can be proud of. But there’s one company that claims to represent national values while profiting from a product so un-English that it’s actually illegal to produce here.

Yep, you guessed it: we’re talking about Fortnum & Mason and its shameful sale of foie gras. It’s hard to swallow – a shop with Royal warrants that trades on British tradition promoting a foodstuff made from torturing animals.

The following are some of our favourite English qualities – things that are truly worth celebrating!

  1. Our reputation as a nation of animal lovers: We’re known as a country that cares, from the affection that we lavish on our dogs, cats and other animal companions to our determination to protect wildlife – just look at the hundreds of thousands of people rallying behind Team Badger. Let’s not allow Fortnum & Mason, with its blatant disregard for animal welfare, to tarnish that reputation.
  2. Politeness: Forming orderly queues, minding our Ps and Qs or giving up a seat on the bus to someone who needs it more – these British habits are, essentially, all about acting with consideration towards those around us. But shoving a metal pipe down a bird’s throat (or paying someone else to do it)? That’s beyond rude. Where are your manners, Ewan Venters?
  3. Animal welfare legislation: The UK was the first country ever to implement laws protecting animals, with an 1822 Act to Prevent the Cruel and Improper Treatment of Cattle. Since then, we’ve been at the forefront of outlawing cruelty. In 1835, we banned two horrific blood sports, bear baiting and dog-fighting. In 1958, England forbade the use of vicious gin traps. Fur farming was banned in 2000. And, also in 2000, it became illegal to produce foie gras in the UK (although, paradoxically, not to sell it).
  4. Generosity: When it comes to giving money to charity, Brits are joint third in the world, according to the World Giving Index. As a nation, we donate an impressive £9.3 billion a year to good causes – including PETA, which has thousands of giving supporters here in the UK!
  5. Standing up for what we believe in: Our highest award, after all, the George Cross medal, commemorates “acts of the greatest heroism or of the most conspicuous courage”, while notable English figures who have spoken up for animals include compassionate philosopher Jeremy Bentham; Donald Watson, inventor of the word “vegan”; and, of course, PETA’s very own Ingrid E Newkirk.

And one thing that is utterly un-English?

Foie gras: It’s made from the diseased livers of ducks and geese who have had metal pipes rammed down their throat and been force-fed, day after day. It’s illegal to produce in the UK, because it’s so cruel. Sixty-three per cent of British people want to see a complete ban on its sale, and members of the Royal family won’t tolerate it – Prince Charles, for instance, asked that it be taken off Royal menus. At the end of the day, this revolting product is not a part of our culture – but compassion towards animals is. That’s why foie gras does not belong on British shelves.

As consumers, citizens and compassionate human beings, we need to come together and condemn the cruelty of foie gras. Show the world what real British values are – tell Fortnum & Mason to ditch foie gras today!

Image: treehouse 1977 / CC BY-SA 2.0