Published on November 19, 2013 | by Hollie Bracciale2
CSM students target ‘torture in a tin’ outlet
Three CSM students have protested against Fortnum & Mason’s sale of unethical food.
Their protest followed the opening of Fortnum & Mason’s new store in the recently refurbished Kings Cross station.
MA Culture Criticism and Curation students Marc Mazauskas, Marnie Botwright Rance and Melanie Weaver believe the company is attempting to appeal to a younger audience by encouraging CSM students to shop there.
The protest was organised by Mazauskas, who said: “Just because they [Fortnum & Mason] opened a new location students will not support their sale of foie gras. It is a very cruel product that, sadly, is still produced.
“We wanted to do something to show these peddlers of cruelty that while they may want UAL students as customers, we will not shop at Fortnum & Mason’s new store until the company stops selling this torture in a tin.”
Almost all department stores and supermarkets in the UK have stopped selling the controversial product.
Fortnum & Mason is the last department store in London to sell foie gras, which is produced by force-feeding ducks and geese to enlarge livers up to ten times their normal size.
“Huge amounts of grain are pumped into the stomachs of geese through metal pipes, which are forced down their throats several times a day. Their enlarged livers press against their lungs, causing them to pant constantly,” said Ben Williamson, a spokesperson for animal charity PETA.
Although vets and avian experts agree that there is no humane way to produce foie gras, the upmarket store defends its sale of the product saying it is used in many top restaurants as well as being sold in shops throughout the UK.
“We do understand that it is not to some people’s taste, and we respect their right to make their feelings known,” a spokesperson for Fortnum & Mason told ALN. “Foie gras has been on sale at Fortnum’s down the centuries and a sizeable number of our customers enjoy it. We believe they should have the freedom to choose whether to buy it or not.”
Prince Charles refuses to allow foie gras on royal menus and many well-known British institutions are following suit.
The BRIT awards, BAFTA, Wimbledon, Lord’s Cricket Ground and both houses of Parliament, have pledged not to serve or sell it.
But it is not just Britain which is rejecting the expensive pâté; California already has a ban on its sale and production.
Israel introduced a ban this year, and animal welfare charities are supporting the introduction of similar legislation in countries across Europe.
“It’s just not an ethical food,” said Mazauskas. “People are becoming educated and even more compassionate towards animals. Hopefully soon, foie gras won’t be sold anywhere.”