Big Burrito's Big Mistake.
Eleven Restaurant of Big Burrito Chain Returns the Sale of Foie Gras.
Contact Eleven's Chef Derek Stevens to Permanently
Remove Foie Gras From the Menu!
It was recently discovered that VFA's former Foie Gras-Free Pittsburgh campaign target Big Burrito Group, is selling foie gras again at their restaurant Eleven. Long time VFA members may remember the over two year long campaign to remove foie gras from all of Big Burrito's 6 restaurants. The campaign ended when foie gras started disappearing from Big Burrito's menus, with Eleven being the last holdout. Now foie gras is back on Eleven's dinner menu, appearing not just once, but twice, on the appetizer menu and again on the chef tasting menu: http://www.bigburrito.com/eleven/menu/pdf/eleven_dinner.pdf
Furthermore, the foie gras on the chef tasting menu is specifically Hudson Valley Foie Gras. The notoriously cruel Hudson Valley Foie Gras farm was first investigated by a team of undercover investigators back in 2002, where they exposed the most deplorable of conditions and treatment: thousands of ducks stuffed into crowded pens and isolation cages that are so small the ducks could barely move, ducks denied any water to swim in which is absolutely essential for their overall well-being, and many ducks were uncovered who were severely sick or dying from disease, infection, and force-feeding induced conditions, such as aspiration pneumonia and their stomachs ruptured open from being overstuffed with food.
Because Hudson Valley's name became synonymous with animal abuse, Hudson Valley began distributing a false flier containing outrageous lies such as the ducks enjoy being force fed and run up to the feeders. In fact, the Better Business Bureau has found Hudson Valley's claims to constitute false advertising.
It is also important to note that in addition to exploiting animals, Hudson Valley also makes a profit off of exploiting roughly 300 undocumented workers who live in squalid labor camps on Hudson Valley's property as well as environment through its massively polluting factory farms.
Foie gras production is one of the cruelest and most egregious forms of factory farming. It literally means "fatty liver," and is made by force feeding ducks and geese over a third of their weight in food each day through a metal tube. The force-feeding continues until the birds' livers are severely enlarged up to ten times their normal size, creating a serious and painful disease called hepatic lipidosis. This literally makes foie gras a disease sold as a delicacy. Force feeding wreaks such terrible havoc on these birds' bodies that many ducks are not able to walk or even stand up properly. An undercover investigation of Elevages Perigord in Canada revealed appalling abuse where ducks were kicked and bashed to death by workers, in which ducks’ heads were even ripped off. Foie gras is so inherently cruel that over a dozen countries have banned its production; in the United States, the production and sale of foie gras will be made illegal throughout the state of California in 2012. Many restaurants all over the country have banned foie gras from their tables and here in Pittsburgh, VFA’s Foie Gras-Free Pittsburgh campaign has succeeded in convincing over a dozen restaurants and stores to hault the sale of foie gras since January of 2004.
Please email, call, and write to Eleven and tell them that putting foie gras back on the menu again at Eleven is unacceptable and you demand that they make the wise and ethical decision to go permanently foie gras-free.
Mr Derek Stevens, Executive Chef
1150 Smallman Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
412 201 5656
You can also send your comments to Eleven electronically by clicking here: http://www.bigburrito.com/eleven/eleven.shtml and then clicking on “about” on the toolbar menu and then “comments”.
For lots more info on foie gras production and to see the new video of foie gras farm investigations in the US and France, visit www.stopforcefeeding.com
***As a side note, we recently discovered the new East Liberty burger restaurant BRGR is selling a real gruesome twosome of a meal: foie gras to top kobe beef burgers. VFA will be sending informational packets to this potential future campaign target. Stay tuned for updates.