On 26th October 2022, animal rights activists disrupted a foie gras tasting event at David Burke Tavern, an American restaurant on the Upper East Side of New York City. The event was organised by David Burke as a response to the upcoming ban on the sale of foie grass in the city (billing $250 per person), but this “protest” event ended up being protested by activists from PETA and Humane Long Island’s Duck Defenders. The activists chanted “David Burke has Blood on His Hands” and “Foie Gras is Animal Cruelty” while walking through the restaurant. 

In 2019, New York City Councillors voted to ban the sale of foie gras after a two-year campaign by Voters for Animal Rights (VFAR). A citywide poll that year revealed that 81% of New York citizens wanted a total ban on the sale and trade of foie gras. The ban on the sale of foie gras was supposed to take effect on 25th November 2022, but on 15th September a New York State Supreme Court judge issued an injunction, allowing the continuation of selling foie grass in NYC restaurants while the case is still live. Two of the only three foie gras farms in the United States are in New York, and in May this year, they took legal action to prevent the ban from being enacted. Hudson Valley Foie Gras and La Belle Farms claimed that they would face economic hardship as about 30% of their business come from the city, and the city council had gone beyond its scope because the farms exist outside its jurisdiction. The production of foie gras is banned in several European countries, including the Czech Republic, Italy, and Germany, but not the selling.

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.