While trawling my Twitter feed, I saw an article on one of the world’s most delicious delicacies: foie gras. As of July 1, California law decrees that foie gras is verboten. While it might not seem obvious, there’s a strong parallel between California’s goose liver prohibition and those whose goal is to roll back Americans’ Second Amendment rights . . .

Like gun control advocates, animal rights lobbyists are nothing if not vocal in demanding that something must be done (SMBD). This emotion-based outcry appeals to a certain breed of politician: elected officials who specialize in doing something that gives the appearance of doing something without actually doing anything.

The Golden State’s recently enacted ban on foie gras is a perfect example. The politicians choose to deal with the issue of “geese being force-fed” because it’s an emotional issue that affects a small minority of people. The gustatory “one percenters.” The pols plucked at the low-hanging fruit and made a symbolic gesture.

The anti foie gras law gives the appearance of something being done about animal cruelty without actually changing the way the vast majority of animals reared for food are treated. Truth be told, most of the meat that people eat in California will continue to come from animals that live in squalor and misery during their short lives.

You want cynical? Dealing with the substantive issue of “concentrated animal feeding operations” (CAFOs or factory farms) would jeopardize one of the politicians’ sources of re-election funds. So the supposedly anti-animal cruelty pols are benefitting from CAFO contributions.

What does this have to do with gun control? When Little Johnny Who Really Was An Angel is shot dead while trying to hijack a car at gunpoint, the Brady campaign and their compliant politicians immediately jump at the chance to pluck at the low-hanging fruit. They want to restrict your ability to own a firearm.

They don’t want to deal with the substantive issues of broken families, chronic poverty, institutional racism, lack of educational opportunities, lack of employment opportunities and so on. They’d rather use the blood of a child as an excuse to pile on even more laws infringing the rights of law-abiding citizens. Grappling with the substantive issues underlying gun violence would alienate their base.

This SMBD hypocrisy isn’t about liberals versus conservatives. It isn’t east coast versus west coast versus flyover country. And it isn’t even vegetarian versus carnivore. This is about  blatant and cynical political opportunism.

We who cherish our gun rights must face down the opportunists who demand that something must be done about guns. We must continue to punish politicians who cave-in to emotional appeals. Because without those opportunists something would not be done. Our rights would be protected rather than abridged.


  1. Same thing can be said for “climate change”. The dirt people scream that “SMBD”, but they don’t have a clue what.

    • Actually, they have many ideas. The problem is that they all come down to the same thing — lower your standard of living.

      • I am not sure that is a fair comparison. The basic argument about force-fed animals is that it is cruel. The basic argument about climate change is that subsidizing fossel fuels is inefficient. As the price of gas increases (make no mistake, it will go up whether we tax it or not,) people will gradually figure out ways to live without their V8’s. If they don’t, then they will at least start paying the full price. You have the right to spend your own money, but no right to a tax subsidy of gas. The subsidy is only designed to keep the price low. Subsidy, in this context, is just another Communist idea dressed up to look like “standard of living”.

  2. This all circles back to the elitist attitude of “we know better for you, so shut up and take it.”

  3. I’m sorry, but this sounds delicious. Could TTAG start a cook book or something?

  4. Chicago implemented a foie gras ban a few years ago. The city became a laughingstock for doing so. It caused enough embarrassment that the ban was rescinded. It’s too bad the politicos there aren’t as embarrassed about violating the second amendment.

  5. Well written. I find most people ignorant and knee-jerk in their shallow and emotional reaction to issues. It’s frustrating. Last week I was in a politically left of center coffee shop here in Portland Oregon. The liberated modern woman business owner (a single mother with two girls) complained to a woman friend (and loud-enough for other customers to hear) that the men in Portland must have vaginas since they don’t ask women out on dates. I called out that one of the reasons they don’t get asked out on dates is because women have grown penises and most men are not into chicks with dicks. Her reply indicated that she just didn’t get my comment. The owner’s attitude will result in not getting my future busine$$.

  6. SMBD to limit the rich and powerful corporations and individuals ability to buy more free speech than you and I have. Protecting my First Amendment rights also protects my Second Amendment rights.

  7. According to the interweb foie gras is specifically the liver of a duck or goose. So that means I can still eat a duck breast, from a duck who was maliciously treated with short lives and steroids on a crowded farm or cage…that same treatment given to almost every other piece of meat eaten in this country and world. This also means that when a butcher chops up a duck he has to throw out the liver? I think most animal rights activists would agree that when an animal is killed that it should at least be used to its fullest extent and nothing go to waste.

    • No – it means the duck liver gets shipped somewhere else for someone else to enjoy. The law doesn’t say foie gras can’t be sold out of state.

    • Actually, the process for making foie gras, tethering a goose or
      duck and then force feeding it until it develops liver disease,
      renders the rest of the bird unsuitable for consumption. It’s kinda
      like taking the roe out of the sturgeon and then tossing the
      carcass overboard.

  8. The SMBD concept to me is exactly what explains a lot of useless gun ‘contrl’ legislation. I agree with the parallels you made. The appearance of doing something political without actually accomplishing anything is what comes to mind here in NJ when looking at the one handgun per month rule, the month long process to obtain the permit to get your handgun (which expires after 90 days), and little things like the fact that your FID (purchaser’s card) is just big enough that it doesn’t fit in a standard wallet. I’m sure someone was like, “oh I know how we can stick it to them, we’ll make it so the card they need to buy guns and ammo doesn’t fit in a wallet, then it’s easier to lose and it’s a huge hassle and time required to replace, brilliant!”

  9. The greatest and most inventive comparison: “While it might not seem obvious, there’s a strong parallel between California’s goose liver prohibition and those whose goal is to roll back Americans’ Second Amendment rights . . .”

    • Both are attempts by a Nanny State to limit personal choice in the interests of “what’s best for the citizen.” The comparison is entirely apt, Michael. That you don’t see it that way doesn’t change it.

      • “That you don’t see it that way doesn’t change it.” Nor surprise me. Tyrants always seem to think their own brand of oppression is so different from others.

    • At the risk of being ridiculed for violating Godwin’s Law on Nazi
      Comparisons in Internet discussions, the NAZIs drafted the 1933 Law
      on Animal Protection (Tierschutzgesetz) and five years later, the
      NAZI Weapons Law (Waffengesetz). So, there is a historical
      connection between Leftists (National German SOCIALIST Workers’
      Party) using animal rights laws and gun control laws as a means of
      persecuting minorities and stifling political opposition. Is there
      a “strong parallel” between NAZI Germany and California? No, not
      yet. ;^)

  10. This post and these comments hit the nail squarely on the head. It has long been my contention that politicians regularly and predictably do whatever appears to the general public as though they had addressed an issue, when ,in fact, they have done nothing but played the “smoke and mirrors” game. One of our real problems is that both the major parties (who actually get people elected) are so ruled by the sources of political campaign funding and the imperative to not jeopardize those sources of money that they dare not do anything that would cause real, positive change in U. S. Society. They are so morally and philosophically craven that they no longer stand for the ideas that founded this Country. As long as we, the People, continue to vote for the candidates offered by the Democrats and Republicans, nothing will change, and we will suffer the consequences we can so clearly see…erosion of our Rights, more and more repressive laws, loss of decent paying jobs in the United States, deteriorating environment, dependence on foreign oil, a public education system that produces functional illiterates, a college system that costs too much, housing that is unaffordable, prescription drugs that are more dangerous than life-saving, food that is making us fat, sick and half-dead by middle age, and declining expectations for quality of life for our children. Now, we face a Presidential Election in which neither Candidate is substantively different than the other, a “do-nothing” Congress, and a Supreme Court we cannot really trust to decisively protect the Constitution and our Individual Rights. Change begins at the Local and State levels, which many people regularly ignore. Start by paying attention to who you are electing to City, County and State Offices and get people elected who believe as you do. We can only believe in the change we create.

  11. next those freedom hating communists will try to ban fried kittens, what has the world come to?

  12. Animals that are treated cruelly make awful meals. Geese that are “force fed” actually get very used to it and walk up to the machine and use it without any human intervention once they get the hang of it. Almost all footage of animals being treated cruelly would never be condoned by the owner of the establishment. My grandpa was a farmer, and treated his animals well so they gave good milk, eggs, and meat.

  13. My family were all farmers back in the old country, and they always took good care of their animals because they needed to feed the family. When I was little my dad would buy us some rabbits or chickens and we would play with them for a month or so and then they became dinner. We always treated them as pets and then we would eat them. I’m just happy that they didn’t eat dogs back in the old country, because I loved my dogs and I wouldn’t want to eat them.

  14. … They don’t want to deal with the substantive issues of broken families, chronic poverty, institutional racism, lack of educational opportunities, lack of employment opportunities and so on. …

    So, Little Johnny was a victim of society before I shot him and he became a victim of me, which was after he attempted to victimize me. I mean, … well, I don’t know what I mean … I guess.

  15. Ah California, the dancing clown of the USA: that pathetic little creature we laugh at but secretly pity. Can we just sell to to Mexico already? Forget selling, just take it.

  16. animals that live in squalor and misery Worry not. The California Assembly is considering a bill that will provide welfare payments and subsidized mortgages to raise the animals up from squalor and misery. Can job training, college grants and voting rights be far behind?

    • LMAO you did it again! And I continually wonder WTF is going on in
      this state! It blows my mind sometimes with the crap they come up

  17. OMG! No foie gras in Kalifornia! THAT means no French tourists in
    Kalifornia! On second thought, I’m over it…

  18. And the elite will still be able to get their weapons and their
    delicacy of choice. At the heart of all this is the use of
    government to effect (seemingly) positive social change. Some
    people really still believe that if you just make something illegal
    it will go away.

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