Animal Legal Defense Fund's Concern for Anthony Bourdain's Overextended Liver Prompts Unique Holiday GiftDecember 21st, 2011
Post-Holiday Indulgence, Could Celebrity Chef Be as Diseased as Birds Force-Fed for Foie Gras?
For immediate release
Lisa Franzetta, Animal Legal Defense Fund
Megan Backus, Animal Legal Defense Fund
San Francisco – Today, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) sent a very special holiday message to celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, who has been on the “naughty” list of animal lovers for years because of his support of cruelly-produced foie gras. In the spirit of holiday giving, ALDF is offering to arrange to have Bourdain tested for hepatic lipidosis—the same dangerous liver disease that ducks and geese develop as a result of being force-fed massive amounts of food prior to being slaughtered for foie gras. Humans can also develop hepatic lipidosis as a result of excessive food or alcohol intake. Because of his notorious overindulgence, Bourdain himself could be at risk by the time his holiday platters have been licked clean.
A copy of ALDF’s letter to Anthony Bourdain follows.
December 21, 2011
Mr. Anthony Bourdain
c/o Inkwell Management
521 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY 10175
Dear Mr. Bourdain,
On behalf of the national non-profit Animal Legal Defense Fund (www.aldf.org) and our more than 100,000 members, we are writing to offer you a holiday gift, borne of a special concern for your health in this season of overindulgence. As an outspoken supporter of the “delicacy” known as foie gras—the massively enlarged, fatty liver of a duck or goose who has been force-fed huge amounts of grain through a feeding tube—you are already familiar with the freakish impact that this process has on the birds’ organs in question. As holiday tables are being set across the nation, we at ALDF are deeply concerned that your notorious appetite could lead you down a similar path to pathology by New Year’s—which is why we’d like to offer to have you tested for hepatic lipidosis, the same liver disease from which birds fattened for foie gras suffer.
In September, ALDF filed a petition with the United States Department of Agriculture arguing that foie gras products should bear consumer warning labels noting they derive from diseased birds. As you know, on foie gras farms, ducks and geese are force-fed three pounds of mash per day through a pipe shoved down their throats—the equivalent of force-feeding 45 pounds of food to an adult human, such as yourself. This process, banned in over a dozen countries and, effective next year, in the state of California, induces a liver disease that cripples and often poisons the birds. It is this disease that produces the foie gras you have encouraged fans of your show No Reservations to serve to their guests during the holiday season.
While most sane humans would not willingly subject themselves to repeat and painful gorging resulting in rapid-onset liver disease, we fear, particularly at this time of year, an avowed gourmand such as yourself might be at risk. With no sense of compassion for the birds killed in this horrific industry, you might also lack the necessary dietary restraint to protect your liver from a binge-induced expansion to six to ten times its normal size. And so, in this season of giving, we at ALDF would like to offer to arrange for you to be tested for hepatic lipidosis as you recover (we hope) from your year-end pig-outs.
I can be reached at 707-795-2533 to assist in scheduling your lab work.
Director of Communications