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New York Times - March 22, 2007

Celebrity Chef Announces Strict Animal-Welfare Policy

By KIM SEVERSON

Wolfgang Puck, the Los Angeles chef whose culinary empire ranges from celebrity dinners at Spago to a line of canned soups, said yesterday that he would use eggs and meat only from animals raised under strict humane standards.


Full Story:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/22/di...=1&oref=slogin
 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Tricia Ritterbusch, Farm Sanctuary, 607-583-2225 ext. 233,

[email protected]

WOLFGANG PUCK SAYS "NO" TO FOIE GRAS AND OTHER FORMS OF ANIMAL CRUELTY

Farm Sanctuary Thanks Renowned Chef for Taking Stand Against Important

Factory Farming Abuses and for Offering Vegetarian Options

Watkins Glen, NY - March 22, 2007 - Farm Sanctuary, the nation's

leading farm animal shelter and advocacy organization, today thanked

Wolfgang Puck for addressing farm animal welfare concerns by taking

foie gras and crated veal and pork off his menus. Farm Sanctuary first

contacted Wolfgang Puck in 2002 about humane concerns as part of its

campaigns to prevent the cruel treatment of farm animals. Wolfgang

Puck has removed foie gras from all of the Wolfgang Puck companies'

restaurants and is implementing a series of other animal welfare

improvements to be completed by the end of 2007.

In a bold move and in recognition of the growing importance of animal

welfare to the nation's consumers, Wolfgang Puck is expanding his

offerings of animal-free meals, and has developed a comprehensive plan

to directly reduce the suffering of the animals who are used for his

other menu options.

"Farm Sanctuary is very pleased that Wolfgang Puck has taken such

impressive steps in the right direction," said Gene Baur, president of

Farm Sanctuary. "We are grateful to see a chef of Wolfgang Puck's

stature take steps away from factory farming by eliminating several

egregious practices. His statement is consistent with a growing wave

of concern over the way farm animals are treated."

Farm Sanctuary first approached Wolfgang Puck nearly five years ago

regarding farm animal treatment issues and, more recently, worked with

the Humane Society of the United States to help The Wolfgang Puck

companies create a plan that addresses a wide range of farm animal and

vegetarian issues.

"When a highly respected icon in the food industry takes a bold

position like this, it has an impact," said Baur. "Other chefs and

establishments should follow in Wolfgang Puck's footsteps." Farm

Sanctuary has convinced nearly 1,000 restaurants across the U.S. to

sign pledges not to sell foie gras because of humane concerns.

Farm Sanctuary led a campaign in Chicago to ban the sale of foie gras-

a campaign that garnered widespread support among humane

organizations, businesses and religious leaders. The City Council

passed the measure by a 48 to 1 margin and went into effect in August

2006.

About Foie Gras

Foie gras (French for "fatty liver") is produced by force-feeding

ducks and geese through a pipe shoved down their throats, causing the

birds' livers to expand up to 10 times their normal size. The liver,

which becomes diseased, is turned into pate and sold as an expensive

appetizer. Force-feeding birds to make foie gras is so cruel that it

has been outlawed in more than a dozen countries, as well as in

California and Chicago. More information about Farm Sanctuary's No

Foie Gras Campaign can be found at www.NoFoieGras.org.

About Crated Veal

More than four million male calves are born to dairy cows every year

and approximately 750,000 are sold to the veal industry. Veal calves

are taken away from their mothers immediately after birth. They are

chained inside 2-foot-wide wooden crates where they cannot turn

around, stretch their limbs or even lie down comfortably. The calves

are fed a liquid, fiber-free and iron-deficient diet that causes

anemia and produces the pale flesh known as "white" veal. This diet

causes chronic diarrhea, which these calves are forced to live in

under confinement until they are slaughtered around 20 weeks. Most

European countries view veal production as so cruel that they have

banned the practice altogether. More information about Farm

Sanctuary's No Veal Campaign can be found at www.NoVeal.org.

About Farm Sanctuary

Farm Sanctuary is the nation's leading farm animal protection

organization. Since incorporating in 1986, Farm Sanctuary has worked

to expose and stop cruel practices of the "food animal" industry

through research and investigations, legal and institutional reforms,

public awareness projects, youth education, and direct rescue and

refuge efforts. Farm Sanctuary shelters in Watkins Glen, N.Y., and

Orland, Calif., provide lifelong care for hundreds of rescued animals,

who have become ambassadors for farm animals everywhere by educating

visitors about the realities of factory farming. Additional

information can be found at www.FarmSanctuary.org or by calling

607-583-2225.
 

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Humane standards for killing animals? Isn't that an oxymoron?

Personally I find Puck to be an egotistical pompous jerk. I think this is publicity only and will mean absolutely nothing to the veal calves he's dishing up.

Edited to add:

Here's the key

Quote:
The announcement also provides a marketing splash for Puck, who acknowledged that he wanted to draw attention to this year's 25th anniversary of Spago by taking a public stand against containment rearing, in which animals are kept in cages, crates or sow gestation pens.
 

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I've got to disagree with you, MrsKey. While I'm sure he's doing this for his own publicity, he's also bringing positive publicity to animal rights issues at the same time, and that's always a good thing. We can't convince the world to go vegan overnight. Every small step in the right direction has to be seen as a victory.

The article mentions that he'll be making more vegetarian dishes, which should help raise public awareness that there are good options to eating meat, besides just boring salads.

--Fromper

 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fromper View Post

I've got to disagree with you, MrsKey. While I'm sure he's doing this for his own publicity, he's also bringing positive publicity to animal rights issues at the same time, and that's always a good thing. We can't convince the world to go vegan overnight. Every small step in the right direction has to be seen as a victory.

The article mentions that he'll be making more vegetarian dishes, which should help raise public awareness that there are good options to eating meat, besides just boring salads.

--Fromper

Call me cynical. I'll believe his actions are truly in the spirit of animal welfare when his policies last beyond this 25th Anniversary of Spago.

Essentially "free range" veal? Doesn't that defeat the purpose? They don't feed them properly and they lock them in those crates so that they will become anemic and weak. It makes the flesh paler and more tender. I can't imagine that there's a huge market for so called free-roaming veal as it won't have the characteristics that make veal so sought after and expensive.

Why not cut out veal entirely?

I understand not expecting people to change overnight. I just don't believe that he is sincere. Much like the "What veg*n celeb surprises you" thread where one astute observation was that the surprise is when they stay veg*n ... I believe the proof is in the long term actions and not the splashy publicity.

So I'll believe it when it lasts a while.

But his passionate defense of the use of froie gras is not so far in the past that I can believe his change of heart is anything more than a publicity stunt.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsKey View Post

Essentially "free range" veal? Doesn't that defeat the purpose?
"Traditional" veal is from calves killed soon after birth. The crating and forced anemia came along later as way to keep the flesh pale and tender while producing more meat.

There's also meat from older, non-anemic calves which also called veal, but the meat is supposed to be darker and a bit more "beef"-like. This is probably what Puck is switching to.

I do agree that he should quit cooking it altogether, though.
 

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One step forward no matter how small is better than doing nothing. Plus I agree it has brought it to the public's attention so that's a good thing. On the network news they were explaining the procedure of making foie gras and why it was cruel. Something I'm sure the majority of the public didn't know.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by whisper View Post

One step forward no matter how small is better than doing nothing. Plus I agree it has brought it to the public's attention so that's a good thing. On the network news they were explaining the procedure of making foie gras and why it was cruel. Something I'm sure the majority of the public didn't know.
Definate agreement here. Even if Puck isn't renouncing all meat and becoming the world's most famous vegetarian chef, it's still positive publicity that brings attention to animal cruelty issues that people might not think about otherwise.
 
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