Now Playing at reason.tv: "Better Enjoy Your Foie Gras Now"

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On November 7, acclaimed chef, bestselling author, and outspoken TV host Anthony Bourdain came to Washington, D.C. to plug a new book based on his Travel Channel series, No Reservations.

Reason.tv talked with Bourdain about foie gras bans, smoking bans, and other nanny state interventions. Click above to watch.

The video was shot by reason.tv's Dan Hayes and the interview was conducted by Maura Flynn.

NEXT: "Better Enjoy Your Foie Gras Now"

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  1. Bring it on. The fucking government can’t even handle drugs, let’s see them try and stop black markets in food.

  2. Just wanted to report that I was served a luscious foie gras appetizer at one of Chicago’s finer restaraunts. This place has taken it off the printed menu after a disgruntled ex-employee started making noise but present it verbally to all diners as a special.

    After the smoking ban kicks in 1/1 I’m waiting to hear about the underground smoke-easies.

  3. Bourdain rocks so hard.

  4. your right to smoke ends at my lungs.

  5. Your right to wear perfume ends at my nose. If I become allergic to peanuts, you can’t eat those either.

  6. I’m allergic to nanny-state do-gooders. When can I expect them to be banned?

  7. Is there a standard libertarian answer for the question “How much pain should an animal have to endure while being prepared for food before the practice becomes worthy of banning?”?

  8. Just skimmed the exploded thread after the eat local article and see that SP is here to convince us all that we are NOT COOL. Just a heads up before anybody else responds to him/her.

  9. “Is there a standard libertarian answer for the question “How much pain should an animal have to endure while being prepared for food before the practice becomes worthy of banning?”?”

    no.

  10. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4987966.stm
    “Unexpected” black market?? Who are these people?

    Full disclosure my first real brush with authority was when I was going to be suspended for selling the “Topps” bubblegum at school. My Dad collected baseball cards and as a good little entrepreneur I decided to turn the gum that would have been thrown away into pocket money. They wanted to use the Drug War shtick of a controlled substance is a controlled substance. It was a valuable lesson for my fifth grade self even if I made less than a buck.

  11. The fucking government can’t even handle drugs, let’s see them try and stop black markets in food.

    BS, Episiarch. The government already has access to millions of dogs which are already trained at sniffing this stubstance out.

    “Find the beef jerky, boy, go ahead, yeah, that’s it… find us some beef jerky, you got something? Yeah you do! Yeah you do! How about some trans-fats? Uh huh, yes you are a good boy, you gonna find us some illegal food aren’t you! Yes you are! Good boy! Good boy!”

  12. your right to smoke ends at my lungs.

    Your right to complain ends at my ears.

  13. Keerist, parker, I just read that link you posted. If it were an Onion article, I’d be laughing harder. Tell me it’s an Onion article that the idiots at the Beeb reprinted. Tell me it is, or everything I’ve ever said and predicted about the drug war expanding at 9,000,000 faster than the speed of light is true.

  14. Anthony Bourdain’s show is one of the reasons i still watch tv

  15. There’s arguably a difference between a foie gras ban which exists to protect animals from people, and a smoking ban which exists to protect people from themselves.

  16. “Is there a standard libertarian answer for the question “How much pain should an animal have to endure while being prepared for food before the practice becomes worthy of banning?”?”

    The only reason we are so squeamish about what is done to animals like ducks and such is that they are easier to identify with than say a fish or a clam or any other living thing that is consumed. To say that it feels pain is only another further argument based on the fact that existentially we identify with that animal. To further say, “I will be a vegetarian” for the benefit of all those with any rudimentary central nervous system is yet another self-centered argument. Vegetables, like animals are the same living matter that we consume to perpetuate our own existence. The manner in which we prepare said life to eat it may or may not affect those life forms in any number of ways which we might identify with (such as pain), but to make this a moral argument due to the extent to which an animal might suffer, must suffer itself under similar scrutiny as to whether it is moral to consume any living matter at all.

  17. Chicago’s silly law bans the “sale” of Foie Gras so, of course, some restaurants are serving rather expensive french fries and throwing in Foie Gras for “free” or labeling it as something else. Plus enforcement has been lax because the inspectors feel that they have higher priorities. I will be in chicago in a day or so – I am going to make sure I get me some 50 dollar fries….

  18. I clicked two links and, not seeing anything remotely looking like a playable video, gave up.

    However, I join with my libertarian brothers in saying, take this, you nanny-statists!

    ~~ Extra special tip for libertarians ~~
    Start a new campaign with the tagline, “Libertarian means Freedom! The freedom to force 4 pounds of grain and fat…down the birds’ throats by means of an auger in a feeding tube”.

  19. “How much pain should an animal have to endure while being prepared for food before the practice becomes worthy of banning?”?

    Why is the “animal’s pain” relevant?
    How, exactly, do you measure such a thing…ask PETA?

  20. Peter, you forgot to include the part about eating people.

  21. Foies gras is no different than eating retarded people’s livers after they have been force fed.

  22. May as well eat babies.
    Babies are the same as geese. I should know I have tenure.

  23. Goddamn Nanny State!

  24. Moderator: I’m using Firefox 2.0.0.8 on OS X, and the image doesn’t appear as a link. You might want to try wrapping the <a> tag immediately around the <img>, instead of around the outerlying <div>.

    In the meantime, for anyone with the same problem, here is the link:
    http://reason.tv/video/show/155.html

  25. Why is the “animal’s pain” relevant?
    How, exactly, do you measure such a thing…ask PETA?

    I’m not saying it is relevant. I’m just trying to better understand the position. I don’t like the “nanny state” either and don’t really know much about how foie gras is prepared but every time it comes up on this site, you just get hoots and hollers about how tasty it is. Do ethical considerations come into play for libertarians concerning animals?

  26. We appear to be the dominant species. being that we exist within that community, the Rights of MAN are the province of us, not animals. Sure, I’ll have some barbecued Man-leg if the guy’s already croaked and it’s cool with him and his family. But murder is murder because we live in a community of humans.

    We must draw the line there. If you don’t believe me, research the campaign our on and off friend Richard Dawkins supports to give monkeys and apes civil rights and liberties (including the right to trial of one’s peers – not even kidding on this one).

    Not to mention … The Writ of Apeas Corpus.

  27. Do ethical considerations come into play for libertarians concerning animals?

    On an individual basis sure.You are free to join with others in shunning or shaming those whose practices you object to as well.Using the armed force of the State to enforce moral objections to traditional human uses of animals is totally “un-libertarian”.

  28. “…give monkeys and apes civil rights and liberties (including the right to trial of one’s peers – not even kidding on this one).”

    I, for one, welcome our poop flinging overlords, as long as they don’t fling it at me.

  29. Is there a standard statist answer for the question “How much pain should an animal have to endure while being prepared for food before the practice becomes worthy of banning?”?

  30. >i>Is there a standard statist answer for the question “How much pain should an animal have to endure while being prepared for food before the practice becomes worthy of banning?”?

    Apparently. See Chicago ban re: foie gras.

  31. Is there a standard statist answer for the question “How much pain should an animal have to endure while being prepared for food before the practice becomes worthy of banning?”?

    Yes. Let Tyson and the HSUS come up with a compromise which bans some traditional practices while increasing the market share for large corporate protein producers.

  32. I don’t know about all of you, but if we hand over our freedoms to monkeys, we’d better still have our 2nd amendment rights. I’m getting behind Mister Heston in a time of crisis …

    “You can have my recognition of your sentience, you damned dirty ape, when you pry it from my cold, dead hands!!!”

  33. By the way … if it’s inhumane to force-feed birds before the slaughter, why does it still sit well with these idiots that we boil lobsters alive when we cook them?

  34. To further say, “I will be a vegetarian” for the benefit of all those with any rudimentary central nervous system is yet another self-centered argument.Vegetables, like animals are the same living matter that we consume to perpetuate our own existence.
    Sorry? Animals and vegetables have the same “rudimentary” nervous systems? Biologists certainly have made some amazing discoveries since I was in school.

  35. No … my point was that vegetables do not have nervous systems, unlike animals.

    However, they are both living things (i.e. carbon based life forms)

  36. No … my point was that vegetables do not have nervous systems, unlike animals.
    However, they are both living things (i.e. carbon based life forms)

    As are you, presumably, but you do feel pain, and I imagine you would object vigorously to being eaten. If any “carbon based life forms” are entitled to eat any others, by your own argument, I’m entitled to eat you.

  37. The video was shot by reason.tv’s Dan Hayes and the interview was conducted by Maura Flynn

    Nicely done.

  38. Using the armed force of the State to enforce moral objections to traditional human uses of animals is totally “un-libertarian”.

    “The Libertarian Party: fighting for man’s natural right to put cute little puppy dogs and kittens in blenders, just as long as the cute little puppy dogs and the kittens and the blender were bought on some sort of market and no one gets splashed with any of the blood or anything.”

  39. TLB,

    Yeah cause feeding kittens and puppies into blenders is a longstanding traditional cultural use of animals.Better pass some Federal Laws and start a new Federal Law enforcement agency.

    Ingredients: Mechanically seperated kitten, water, beef fat,salt,spices and other natural flavorings.

  40. SIV

    Actually, you have to de-fur the kitten before you put it into the blender.

    This is done by dropping the (live) kitten into boiling water until the skin blisters, then peeling carefully.

  41. Mmmmmmm, retarded people’s livers….*DROOL*

  42. Hey TLB / Lonewacko – they’re CanadianGeese, don’t cha know? That means when they flew here, it was IllegalWingedMigration. They may be committing IdentityFraud and StealingTheJobs of AmericanDucks.

    You have some gall to pretend to be some kind of humanitarian, while advocating the arrest and deportation of hundreds of thousands of human beings who have not violated the rights of anyone, totally unconcerned with the pain this would cause.

    You are a wretched, worthless excuse for a human being.

  43. BakedPenguin

    As a Canadian, I have this to say about Canada Geese:

    KILL

    THEM

    ALL

    They are nasty and ill tempered. They destroy ponds, fields and lawns, leave greasy shit everywhere, and reproduce like bacteria.

    They also do not taste good.

    KILL

    THEM

    ALL

  44. If any “carbon based life forms” are entitled to eat any others, by your own argument, I’m entitled to eat you.

    Well, you’re certainly welcome to try. I guess your implication is that eating carbon based lifeforms is some sort of crazy, unstoppable slippery slope. The alternative then must be…what… would you like some dirt with those rocks? another refill on your water, sir?

  45. oh hey, I liked Tony Bourdain’s last comment about the IRA pub. The IRA bombed england for how many years and couldn’t be brought to heel, but damn, one little smoking ban and these “tough guys” are trotting right along, leash and collar firmly attached. I like it.

  46. Anyone else having trouble loading the video?

  47. I disdain the nanny state as heartily as others here, but (you knew there was a but 🙂 coming] you have to admit that smoking bans in public places have not been all bad. In my opinion, they have been a blessing.

    Before the smoking bans, you could not find a restaraunt where somebody’s exhaled carcinogens weren’t wafting over you as you tried to enjoy your foie gras. As you flew across the US, you were trapped in an aluminum tube more akin to a gas chamber than a “friendly skies” adventure.

    This public gassing took place when the majority of Americans did not smoke. I make this observation to head off the inevitable, “let market place” decide responses.

    It is not reasonable to equate (most) public-place smoking bans with a nanny-state mentality, IMHO. To do so marginalizes (even more) libertarians; not that marginilization is something libertarians dislike, of course.

  48. Aresen – From your description, they sound like Muscovy ducks, which we have in abundance here in Florida, and which are some nasty birds indeed. If you have a dog, though, his opinion of how well they taste may differ from yours.

  49. Foies gras is no different than eating retarded people’s livers after they have been force fed.

    If you ever invite me to dinner, please put that quote on the dinner invitation.

  50. Ridiculous peta argument:
    Human beings are no different from animals in terms of assigning rights or concerns

    Ridiculous libertarian response:
    This just proves how any attempts at reducing animal suffering are no different from equating animals and human beings.

  51. your right to smoke ends at my lungs.

    Your right to ban smoking ends at my fist.

  52. I’m a conscientious kind of guy, and I always ask the oyster if he minds terribly much if I rip him out of his home and eat him almost alive. Haven’t had one complain yet. When the animals start objecting, I’ll stop eating them.

  53. Hay Flipper.

    Would you like some canned tuna?

  54. Suffering is the best pickle. That’s why veal and foie gras taste sooo goooood.

  55. BakedPenguin

    If you live in Florida, I guess you’d be familiar with obnoxious immigrants from Canada who foul the beaches, clutter the golf courses, and generally make nuisances of themselves. 😉

  56. I’m a conscientious kind of guy, and I always ask the oyster if he minds terribly much if I rip him out of his home and eat him almost alive. Haven’t had one complain yet. When the animals start objecting, I’ll stop eating them.

    well played, ed. I enjoy putting live kittens in a sack, setting it on fire, and feasting on the charred remains. They don’t complain. Once they do, I’ll stop. Good times.

  57. well played, ed. I enjoy putting live kittens in a sack, setting it on fire, and feasting on the charred remains. They don’t complain. Once they do, I’ll stop. Good times.

    You’re a sick, bastard. What, do you run a Chinese resteaurant for a living? I definitely will not eat there, nor will I try to shit you down and infringe upon your cultural preferences.

  58. I originally meant “shut” you down. Not sure which is better.

  59. Thanks for not shitting me down, mike.

  60. RC Dean,

    Your right to ban smoking ends at my fist.

    Yes, violence is a much better solution than a polite “excuse me, I out for a smoke, will you join me?”

  61. DJVoton

    I will not repeat again, the Rights of MAN are precisely that … they protect humans. We have agreed to draw the line at mankind when we agreed long ago that an arbitrary line must be drawn.

    If an arbitrary line must be drawn, it should be drawn at humans. But if we say selectively that this lower species is exempt from slaughter, we are hypocrites for then saying that species isn’t, and so forth. They are either all okay to eat, or none are. Any selective picking and choosing is done purely on an emotional basis.

  62. Yes, violence is a much better solution than a polite “excuse me, I out for a smoke, will you join me?”

    You do realize that banning smoking also entails all the usual violence of the criminal justice system, yes? That the smoking bans are in fact a discarding of the “excuse me, do you mind not smoking?” in favor of the jackbooted approach?

  63. R. Totale,

    Eat me.

    If you insist, ed, but I’m still pretty full from those kittens.

  64. “live kittens…. They don’t complain.”

    You… don’t have a lot of experience with cats, do you?

  65. I hope that foie gras is still legal by the time I’m rich enough to afford it.

  66. You do realize that banning smoking also entails all the usual violence of the criminal justice system, yes? That the smoking bans are in fact a discarding of the “excuse me, do you mind not smoking?” in favor of the jackbooted approach?

    Blame the inconsiderate smokers.

    Laws like this don’t get passed until the behavior is seen as an affront by a large enough group. If smoker’s had recognized the rudeness of their behavior (and their increasingly minority status) and excused themselves, the perception of a problem would never have risen to the level where a law was passed.

    Guy stands in a crowd and annoys them.
    Eventually crowd kicks him out/kicks his ass to make him stop.

    Law of nature.

  67. Bourdain is dreamy, however, despite the smoking.

    More of a libertine than libertarian, me thinks.

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