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The Hai Hospitality restaurant group is selling foie gras at all six of its Asian fusion restaurants in Denver, Miami, and Houston and Austin, Texas. When animal advocates recently visited Uchi in Austin, the general manager falsely claimed that the restaurant’s supplier, Hudson Valley Foie Gras, feeds ducks “naturally.” PETA’s investigation into Hudson Valley Foie Gras (previously called Commonwealth Enterprises) had revealed that workers force-feed ducks by shoving tubes down their throats up to three times a day.
Ducks used for foie gras are confined to cramped pens. The force-feeding causes their livers to become painfully diseased and swell to up to 10 times their normal size. In some cases, the birds’ organs even rupture. Those who survive the process are violently killed, and their bloated livers are sold as foie gras. Ducks are social birds who have complex personalities. When on the water, they congregate in groups called “paddlings,” which helps protect them from predators. Ducks use vocalizations and body language to communicate, and researchers discovered that they even have regional accents, just as humans do.
Foie gras production is so cruel that it has been outlawed in more than a dozen countries, including Australia, Germany, Israel, and the U.K., as well as in the state of California. Numerous companies worldwide—including Aramark, Costco, IKEA, Sam’s Club, Target, and Whole Foods—have stopped selling this “delicacy of despair,” and world-renowned chefs Wolfgang Puck and the late Charlie Trotter removed it from their menus. Pope Benedict XVI denounced foie gras production as a violation of biblical principles.
A growing number of consumers don’t want cruelly produced foods on their plates, and Hai Hospitality tries to humane-wash the source of its foie gras. PETA has written to CEO Tony Montero urging him to make the compassionate decision to stop serving foie gras at all Hai Hospitality–owned restaurants. Please send a polite e-mail to Montero urging him to take foie gras off the menus immediately.