Freedom to eat

02-06-2006 | |
Van Der Sluis

In many countries around the world people have the right of freedom of speech. And in places where rulers do not comply with this human right activists work to get it anchored in their national law. We all believe that this is a good issue to fight for.  (2 comments)

In many countries around the world people have the right of freedom of speech. And in places where rulers do not comply with this human right activists work to get it anchored in their national law. We all believe that this is a good issue to fight for.

What is strange though is that in some countries where freedom of speech has long been accepted and where politicians as well as activists stand up as soon this right is questioned, there are some who are now asking for legislations to limit the freedom to eat.

Animal welfare groups being the strongest opponents of this freedom, wanting to dictate to governments as well as supermarkets on what products should be produced, sold or eaten.

A bill to ban foie gras production or sale, which has been accepted in Israel and several EU countries, is now becoming a major issue in the USA.

The delicacy is already coming of the menu in California, which in 2004 set a 2012 deadline to end production and sale. Chicago has also imposed a ban, despite protests from chefs and the state restaurant association. In reaction to the council’s decision Mayor Richard Daley, a strong opponent of the ban, said to the Chicago Sun-Times that the council should get its priorities right. “We have children getting killed by gang leaders and dope dealers. We have real issues here in this city. And we are dealing with foie gras?”

I like this statement and would like to see more people in and outside the poultry industry to stand up and focus on issues that really matter. In this respect I admire the initiative of Laurie Pycroft, a 16 year old boy from Oxford, UK. He was so outraged to see animal rights protesters marching through the street to get attention for their anti-vivisection and animal research ideas, that he wrote his own pro-testing placard and waved it furiously. Within days he had enthused thousands of students and academics and changed the whole tenor of the discussion.

This shows that there are many people outside the industry who do not follow the ideas of animal welfarists, but they have to be mobilised to make society aware of that fact and about what is going on.

The animal welfare movements have been infiltrated by vegetarians whose ultimate goal seems to be to put a ban on all foods originating from animals. Of course they are free to voice their opinion but they also should realise that other members of society also have the freedom to eat what is healthy and to their liking.

More about



Beheer