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Foie Gras-Free Pittsburgh Becoming a Reality
by Darren Gruetze Thursday, Aug. 05, 2004 at 7:02 PM
voicesforanimals@yahoo.com

Update on Voices for Animals's Foie Gras-Free Pittsburgh Campaign: Bikki Restaurant in Shadyside joins 7 other local restaurants in no longer selling foie gras.

Voices for Animals (formally Voices for Animal Liberation) Foie Gras-Free Pittsburgh campaign, (previously reported on by Eric Jonas Animal Rights Activists Speak Out About Foie Gras Tuesday May 18, 2004), achieved their eighth victory on July 31st, when Bikki, located in Shadyside, agreed to pull the item from their menu.

Less than a half hour into the first protest against the Shadyside restaurant for their continued support of foie gras, the owner, Bikki Kochhar, wrote and signed the following statement: “Effective 7/31/04 Foie Gras will no longer be served at Bikki Restaurant. It will be taken off the menu immediately?. This quick victory came as a pleasant surprise as it sometimes takes months to convince restaurants to remove the gourmet cruelty from their menus.

When asked the reason behind the focus on foie gras, Voices for Animals campaign coordinator Candice Zawoiski, said “It is an absolute disgrace that ducks and geese suffer such horrendous cruelty for something as trivial as a delicacy item. If someone treated dogs or cats the way ducks and geese are treated on foie gras farms, the perpetrator would be thrown in jail.? For those unfamiliar with foie gras, it is the fattened and diseased liver of a duck or goose. In order for the duck or goose’s liver to reach the weight common for this dish, twelve times its normal size, the duck or goose must be force-fed a third of their body weight every day via a metal pipe and kept incapacitated between feedings.

Bikki is not alone in their decision to remove this $13 a plate appetizer; Baum Vivant, The Big Burrito Group (owner of former foie gras sellers: Kaya, Soba, Eleven, and Casbah) and others have already agreed to strike the dish from their menu.

VFA’s Foie Gras-Free Pittsburgh campaign is ongoing and aims to eliminate foie gras from the restaurants, distributors, and grocery chains in the Pittsburgh area. Voices for Animals of Western Pennsylvania is a local animal rights organization that works by means of non-violent campaigning, community dialogue, public education and direct action. More information about the Foie Gras-Free Pittsburgh campaign can be found at VFA’s website http://www.pghfoiegras.com. For results of the investigation at the two largest foie gras farms in the country, please visit http://www.gourmetcruelty.com

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Foie Gras on the Out
by Michael Croland Saturday, Aug. 07, 2004 at 4:10 AM
mic@andrew.cmu.edu

What do Pittsburgh, California, and New York almost have in common with Switzerland, England, Austria, Italy, and 10 other countries? They're becoming increasingly closer to being Foie Gras-Free! The two American states are progressing through legislative means, and Pittsburgh is almost there thanks to the city's residents telling restaurants the harsh realities of an alleged delicacy.

Foie gras is nothing less than a medical disease -- hepatic lipidosis. Upon force-feeding ducks and geese by shoving long metal pipes down their throats, foie gras farmers make the animals' livers grow to be about 10-12 times their healthy size. This results from feeding the animals one-third of their body-weight daily!

From these cruel procedures, the animals suffer pre-slaughter deaths 20 times more often than on other factory farms.

We must all band together to oppose the inherent cruelty of foie gras. As this campaign progresses and triumphs in Pittsburgh, I encourage all yinz guys to come onboard.

Check out http://www.pghfoiegras.com for more information and let's make Pittburgh a Foie Gras-Free city!

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Cruelty to animals is bad business
by Eric Saturday, Aug. 07, 2004 at 5:32 PM

It looks like restaurants are finally learning that the public isn't just going to quietly sit by if their establishment is supporting cruelty to animals. Certainly the fact that Bikki caved in almost immediately suggests that. Everyone who opposes torturing animals for a delicacy--and I don't think any reasonable person can support something like that--needs to realize this fact. It takes very little time or know-how to make a major difference in the lives of animals. Anyone can volunteer a couple hours per week or even per month to a group like Voices for Animals--standing at a protest with a sign is pretty easy as far as volunteering goes--and your contribution makes a serious impact on the lives of many, many innocent animals.

Even if you can't make it to protests, you can help out a lot by writing letters or calling restaurants and asking them to stop selling foie gras. We made sure Bikki got a lot of letters before we ever started protesting there. This was probably a big reason why this victory was almost immediate.

Right now VFA is targeting a place called Le Pommier. You can contact them here:

Jeremy Carlisle, Manager
Le Pommier
2104 E. Carson Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
(412) 431-1901

Go to http://www.pghfoiegras.com/help.html to learn more.

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