Outrage Over Seal and Foie Gras Burger - Why Not Beef Burgers?

A restaurant in Canada has been serving burgers made with seal meat and foie gras for over a year. For those who don’t know, foie gras is made by force feeding geese or ducks until their liver becomes engorged and usually, diseased. Oh yes, and it’s also considered a delicacy.

It wasn’t until a recent post on Facebook spread the word about the burger that outrage among concerned consumers has begun to come out. The “phoque bardot” burger is so named because “seal” is “phoque” in French and French actress and anti-seal hunt activist Brigitte Bardot has long led a boycott of Canadian products.

In September, a French Facebook page, called “Defend the animals and protect nature,” reported the burger was made of “the meat of massacred baby seals,” according to the National Post. Since the post, the restaurant has been inundated with comments and messages on their Facebook page, so much so that they removed it temporarily. They also received death threats.

According to Côté, all the seal meat used at the restaurant is federally inspected and legal, which means that at least it doesn’t come from baby seals, reports Grist.

The burger remains on the menu, as does my mild curiosity as to why this particular burger has sparked so much outrage. The name is certainly antagonistic, and foie gras is up there as one of the more egregious practices of factory farming. However, cows, the animals mainly used for burger meat, are just as deserving of our respect (starting with not eating them) as are seals, ducks and geese. The arbitrary “cuteness” of an animal should not make it any more or less of a tragedy to kill and eat.

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