Ingrid Newkirk wants people to light up and smoke in California restaurants. But not for what you think.
The outspoken activist president of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) thinks California’s ban on the sale and production of foie gras in the Golden State isn’t tight enough.
A story carried by CNN  suggests that chefs may pooh-pooh the foie gras ban. Newkirk wants people to protest these restaurants by lighting up at the next table. Cue the outrage.
California’s foie gras ban went into effect July 1 of last year, even though it was signed in 2004. Apparently the outrage over force-feeding ducks to enlarge their livers for the delicacy wasn’t sufficient for the Legislature to make the ban immediate.
California’s appellate court, which is not-so-affectionately known as the Ninth “Circus” Court of Appeals, recently upheld  the state’s foie gras ban.
As is common in California, unpopular laws are meant to be broken. This one will likely be skirted, according to the CNN article.
The law bans the “sale and production of foie gras,” Some clever chefs were anonymously quoted as saying they will simply “give” the stuff away to customers and charge accordingly for the other menu items. After all, they can’t be accused of ‘selling’ it if they give it away.
Maybe the donations could be termed ‘charitable’ and thus be eligible for a tax write-off. This is delicious.
Newkirk is crying ‘foul.’
PETA is never known for its common sense approach to protest what the organization opposes. Calling on people to smoke inside a restaurant may not be the brightest form of protest in a state where cities are expanding smoking restrictions to beaches, parks, outdoor dining areas, and even your own home.
Although the fines for illegal smoking may be less than those for serving the expensive duck delicacy, the larger outrage over cigarette smoke in an exclusive restaurant might be fun to watch.
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