The bill will ban the force-feeding of geese to produce (really good) foie gras … in 2012. How’s that for "progressive" governance? Let Them Eat Cardboard in California

We write about food a lot, because we like food a lot. What we don’t like a lot, to put it mildly, are people who mess with our food.

That would include trial lawyers who see deep pockets to be looted from the purveyors of fast food, which can’t help but raise the price of our chili cheese fries. That would include the fruit and nuts crowd, who would force us to live longer at the expense of better — certainly a matter of individual choice. The animal rights whackos who want us to have dinner with our ham rather than of it. The anti-obesity opportunists, seeking to deprive fat fetishists of fundamental civil rights.

The list is long and could get very personal. Moving from nowhere to the very top of the list is California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has now signed one of the most idiotic bills in that state’s much-studied history of such action. We’d blame the California legislature, which passed the bill, but Arnold was elected to be the adult there.

The bill will ban the force-feeding of geese to produce (really good) foie gras … in 2012. How’s that for "progressive" governance? You’ve got a state where betting touts can’t decide whether terminal mismanagement or an earthquake will do it in, and its government has the time and inclination to declare foie gras production to be a crime against goosemanity. Having done so, it postpones implementation for eight years. A state that can’t (or won’t) police illegal immigration and thinks marijuana should be the state plant is going to police illegal goose liver. Paul McCartney and Kim Basinger, who cried for the bill, celebrated with soy milk toasts.

To be sure, foie gras is soul food only to the decadent rich and serious foodies who debate the comparative merits of pan seared with figs or pears versus au naturelle. To even admit eating foie gras is to brand oneself a despicable hedonist, eliciting sympathy only by invoking the victimology of addiction, the twelve-step program for which is eating it only once a month.

Getting right with the geese may well be the more acceptable human decision, but that argument requires a great deal more obsession and self-flagellation than we can muster. But when any aspect whatsoever of goose relations becomes the mandate of a government incapable of or unwilling to act intelligently or responsibly in the interests of its saner citizens, then the jig of state is demonstrably up. More important, when any legislature plunges down the slippery slope of food bans (not the first time for California), what happens when it is confirmed that broccoli aren’t all that happy with vegan culture?

October 8, 2004
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