PETA is still no fan of Hot's Kitchen in Hermosa Beach, the restaurant that serves complimentary foie gras despite a ban in effect since last summer. In the fall PETA claimed to have filed a lawsuit against the restaurant, but owner Sean Chaney claimed no such suit existed, and it was all a ploy for attention on PETA's part. Then, just last week, PETA sent Chaney a letter asking him to stop serving foie because the duck factory farm in Carignan, Québec from which Hot's sources its foie uses inhumane animal practices. PETA even sent video footage from that facility depicting the animals' suffering. A note from PETA Senior Research Associate Dan Paden: "PETA has presented Mr. Chaney with all the evidence that a compassionate person would ever need to see to be convinced that ducks cannot be allowed to suffer this way to make little bites of food for greedy people. Exposés have repeatedly revealed that foie gras farms deny ducks all that is natural and important to them and force-feed them, sometimes until holes are punched in their throats—it is so cruel and barbaric, which is exactly why California outlawed the sale of foie gras."
March 6, 2013
Sean Chaney, Co-Owner
c/o Kellie Motte
Hot's Restaurant Group, Inc.
Dear Mr. Chaney:
PETA has taken a recent firsthand look at the living conditions imposed on ducks at Palmex, Inc., the factory farm outside Montréal that supplies the Rougié brand foie gras illegally sold at Hot's Restaurant Group, Inc. ("Hot's"). We hope you do not know what goes on there and ask that you consider the facts and decide to do the right—and legal—thing and swear off foie gras for good.
Please see how these gentle ducks—living beings who, as anyone who works with them, has kept them as pets, or has observed them in a non-exploitative way in nature will assure you, are ordinarily full of life and delight—spend the last weeks before they are slaughtered in barren, metal cages with slatted floors that they must stand on with their webbed feet, cages that are only slightly larger than their own bodies and that do not permit them to take a single step in any direction or to spread even one wing. They are prevented even from stretching, which is natural for ducks, or turning around. They cannot preen, a behavior that is integral to their well-being. There is no water for them to bathe or swim in or eat from. In other words, for this little bit of fatty liver that is being produced by force-feeding them—another horror—these tormented ducks are denied everything that is natural and important and pleasant to them. They are allowed to exist only as fatty liver–producing machines. Yet they are animate and alive, they are not machines, they feel and they suffer.
Dr. Anthony Pilny, an avian veterinarian who viewed our footage, said, "This housing denies and frustrates the ducks' basic, biological needs, and it is cruel and inhumane." Dr. Ian Duncan, world-renowned avian welfare expert, said that these "individual cages ? prevent the birds from carrying out natural behaviour that is essential for their physical and psychological health."
This misery is imposed on ducks who are cruelly force-fed huge amounts of grain to benefit Hot's. I won't reiterate the other forms of cruelty involved in force-feeding but ask you to look at how the ducks are kept, something that you may not have known about or considered. There is no question that the treatment of these ducks is cruel and grotesque. It is done just to produce one culinary treat. I am asking you to reconsider and please decide no longer to support this degree of suffering. Will you please join the many wonderful chefs and restaurants and catering services that no longer serve foie gras? I look forward to your reply. Thank you.
Senior Research Associate
Cruelty Investigations Department