Saturday night, a group of thirty or so animal activists led by Dani Thumma -- with the help of the California-based Animal Protection and Rescue League and In Defense of Animals -- pounced on the Biltmore in East Phoenix to protest the serving of foie gras at Christopher's Restaurant and Crush Lounge.
Not the best turnout, but pretty good considering 1. it was the group's first protest 2. it was a sweat-enducing 105 degrees out there and 3. the low visibility of this issue (As numerous commenters to Lauren Gilger's original post on this issue pointed out, several dozen restaurants in the area serve foie gras, but the numbers who consume it are relatively low.)
Thumma originally planned to host the protest directly in front of the restaurant, but after speaking to the Biltmore's management office, the group was forced to picket with their graphic signs on the public sidewalk out front on the corner of 24th St. and Camelback Rd. -- not the best location for passing out literature, but a decent place to gather support from folks in passing cars via a honk or wave.
Of course, what passersby were likely wondering was, "what's all the fuss about?" and "are these people just crazy hippie activists?"
Find out after the jump...
|Thumma (right) and another protester in action.|
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Phoenix New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Phoenix's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Thumma's opponents point out that foie gras has been around for centuries, and say she could better spend her efforts elsewhere since the amount of people who eat foie gras isn't exactly huge.
"The goal today was to try to get Christopher's Restaurant and Crush Lounge to make the compassionate decision and remove this cruel dish from their menu and to bring public awareness to the cruelty behind foie gras," Thumma explains.
Considering Chef Christopher Gross responded to the protest by joking about sending out someone in a duck costume, we're thinking Thumma will be protesting on that corner till the cows come home.