The only people more sanctimonious than Greens are Germans or French. Typical of them. They ban production but not consumption.
Provided the law standsâ€”and it is expected to, given that no one in Sacramento seems keen to revisit gavage in the midst of a budget crisisâ€”Californiaâ€™s chefs will have to decide whether to obey it or, as some have already threatened, defy it (and risk a $1,000-a-plate fine). Such culinary disobedience has some precedent: Chicago, which in 2006 implemented the nationâ€™s first foie gras ban, recently overturned its law, in part because it was so widely flouted, and in part because then Mayor Richard M. Daley claimed it had made his city â€śthe laughingstock of the nation.â€ť (Though not the world. Under Hitler, Germany was the first country to criminalize force-feeding of fowl; several countriesâ€”including Israel, Italy, Denmark, the Czech Republic, and Polandâ€”have since outlawed gavage. None of these bans extends to consumption, however; Germans, who updated their ban in the 1990s, eat 170 tons of foie gras a year.
170 tons of foie gras is an awful lot of tasty ducks being harvested in someone elseâ€™s country.