FamilyMart, one of Japan’s largest convenience chains, has cancelled their foie gras lunchbox, after receiving several complaints from customers and animal rights groups. The decision to listen to animal welfare activists comes after much international focus the past weeks has been put on the annual dolphin hunt in Taiji.
A company spokesman announced on Thursday that they are pulling out the “FamilyMart Premium Black-Haired Wagyu Hamburger Bento with Foie Gras Pâté” that was supposed to be launched earlier this week after “carefully considering opinions from customers, different views abroad on foie gras and the production process of foie gras itself.” Even if foie gras is a common food in Japan, animal activists have been protesting it because of the process involving force feeding the birds in order to engorge their liver which is a painful process for them. The spokesperson said the company, which has around 10,000 stores in Japan, does not want anyone to feel uncomfortable because of this.
Animal activism is still a “fringe interest” in Japan, but recent attention to both the country’s whaling activities and the dolphin hunt may have played a factor in this decision. But it has been met with mixed reactions by the public. Some netizens complained that vegans and vegetarians were constantly trying to limit food options for those who choose to still eat meat. Some pointed out that consumption of anything, whether meat or vegetables, has an element of “cruelty” in it, saying eating foie gras is no worse than eating other kinds of food.
[ via Global Post ]