We’ve always been perplexed by the hubris of animal rights zealots who harass restaurant owners (and customers) over specific menu items like veal or foie gras. These are not boycotts by existing customers. The protesters are generally strict vegans who would never eat at the targeted establishment anyway. So why does anyone take them seriously? A chef who follows advice about meat from a non-meat-eater, after all, is like a electrician who takes pointers from the Amish.
Yesterday in Texas, Chef Tim Kartiganer of the Culinary Academy of Austin said it pretty well. Kartiganer was addressing a recent rash of vandalism against restaurants, some of which serve foie gras and veal, by someone calling himself the “V-Gangster”:
I think it’s more of a small minority making a big noise than it is an issue with most Americans … To change your menu for a group that doesn’t come to eat at your restaurant anyway seems ridiculous to me, so I would never do it. I think people have the right to eat what they want to and since it’s out there they should have that choice.