As planned, at noon Saturday, members of The Animal Protection and Rescue League, the vegan animal rights group, stood outside of the Time Warner Center mall in Columbus Circle to demonstrate against Thomas Keller's use of foie gras at his restaurant Per Se. Police and mall security kept a watchful eye on the protesters who kept themselves to the outer edges of the sidewalk (they weren't even allowed inside the mall).
As it was with the demonstration against UWS spot Telepan (where just three protesters showed), it was a completely timid affair. Ten protesters (and three dogs) silently stood with sensational banners and signs, while another handed out photocopied pamphlets saying that "Foie Gras = Animal Cruelty." At one point they even asked a security guard for permission to stand closer to the mall for a group photo.
One would expect that in a city of 8+ million people that maybe more than ten protesters would show up? Especially when their pamphlet cited that "77% of New York voters agree that the process of force-feeding ducks and geese in order to produce foie gras should be banned by law in the United States"? Curious.
Meanwhile, on the third floor of the mall, Thomas Keller's enterprises acted with indifference the goings-on outdoors: the Bouchon Bakery cafe continued to serve its Terrine de Foie Gras de Canard ($40) and the bakery had an entire jarful of foie gras dog biscuits ($2.50) available for sale.
For the record, we're with Regina Schrambling on this one: "If the foie gras crazies are so worried about avian welfare, shouldn’t they be picketing BP, not Bouchon and other Keller establishments? I imagine drowning in crude oil would be far more miserable than living like your average fast food junkie."
Luckily for the vegans, the protest out in LA was much more boisterous (with chants!). Check Eater LA later today for the full run down.
· Thomas Keller Comments on Planned Foie Gras Protests [~ENA~]
· Foie Gras Protesters Turn to Per Se, Bouchon, French Laundry [~ENY~]