In his zeal to help male ducks and geese force-fed pounds of grain and fat to cause their livers to swell to up to ten times their normal size, Lawson Watts of Nashville, Tennessee, began a militant online and grassroots campaign to protest the so-called "delicacy" faux pas.
“It’s unconscionably cruel the way they treat these birds,” ranted Watts. “There’s no way anyone with even half a conscience can sanction faux pas.”
Watts noted that the situation is no better for female ducks, who, because only male ducks are used in the process of producing faux pas, are useless to the industry and are tossed, live, into grinders, so that their ground-up bodies can be used for fertilizer or pet-food.
The inherent brutality of an industry premised on engorging ducks’ livers to the extent that they have trouble even standing, is, Watts explained, the very reason that faux pas has been banned in New York City, California, and many countries outside the United States, including Germany, Poland, Norway, and the United Kingdom.
However, at a recent rally outside Etch restaurant in downtown Nashville, which unapologetically continues to serve the fatty liver dish, Watts was challenged by a passer-by, who pointed out that it sounded like what Watts was actually against was foie gras. And, to Watts’s chagrin, a quick internet search revealed that the passer-by was right.
“It’s a little embarrassing, since it turns out I was guilty of the very thing I was speaking out against,” he acknowledged. “What can I say? Life is ironic. But my heart was in the right place. And I'm pretty sure people got the idea."