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Wolfgang Puck Announces Strict Animal-Welfare Policy

Los Angeles Times - March 22, 2007
Puck says it's time to hold the foie gras
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-me-puck22mar22,1,1750268.story?coll=la-headlines-frontpage&ctrack=1&cset=true

New York Times - March 22, 2007
Celebrity Chef Announces Strict Animal-Welfare Policy
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/22/dining/22puck.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Farm Sanctuary campaigns woke Wolfgang Puck to the cruelty in his restaurants, and the renowned chef responded. Off the list are crated veal and foie gras; on the list are fine vegetarian options.

After being alerted to the cruelty involved in several of his offerings, Wolfgang Puck removed foie gras and crated veal from the menus of all of his businesses, including his fine dining restaurants; catering and events services; franchises; and store shelf products. The chef is also implementing a series of other animal welfare improvements to be completed by the end of 2007, and expanding his offerings of animal-free meals.

Farm Sanctuary is very pleased that a chef of Wolfgang Puck's stature has taken such important steps away from factory farming by refusing to purchase or offer products derived from several egregious practices. His decision reflects a growing wave of concern about the way farm animals are treated.

Campaign History
Farm Sanctuary first contacted Wolfgang Puck in 2002 as part of its campaign to inspire major dining establishments to help us eliminate the cruelest of factory farming practices. Dedicated animal advocates reached out to this celebrity chef about menu items that were especially inhumane in order to educate him about the extreme cruelties involved in foie gras and veal production. More recently, Farm Sanctuary worked with the Humane Society of the United States to help Wolfgang Puck companies create a plan to address a wide range of farm animal and vegetarian issues. Now that Wolfgang Puck's plan is a public pledge, many animals will be spared a terrible fate, giving Farm Sanctuary and all of its supporters cause to celebrate another precedent-setting victory.

What You Can Do Now
When a highly respected icon in the food industry takes a humane position like this, it has an impact. You can help continue to make a huge difference by asking other chefs and establishments to follow Wolfgang Puck's example.

Click Here for information on asking restaurants to sign Farm Sanctuary's Say No to Foie Gras pledge and to encourage celebrity chefs Emeril Lagasse and Todd English to follow Wolfgang Puck's lead. http://www.nofoiegras.org/FGhelp.htm

Farm Sanctuary is the nation's leading farm animal protection organization. Since incorporating in 1986, we have worked to expose and stop cruel practices of the "food animal" industry through research and investigations, legal and legislative actions, public awareness projects, youth education, and direct rescue and refuge efforts. Our shelters in Watkins Glen, NY and Orland, CA provide lifelong care for hundreds of rescued animals, who have become ambassadors for farm animals everywhere by educating visitors about the realities of factory farming. For more information about Farm Sanctuary or our programs, please visit farmsanctuary.org or call 607-583-2225. To become a Farm Sanctuary member or to make a donation today using our secure online form, please click here. For updates on previous action alerts, please click here.

Please forward and distribute widely! Thank you.
Farm Sanctuary, P.O. Box 150 Watkins Glen, NY 14891

Contact:
Tricia Ritterbusch, Farm Sanctuary, 607-583-2225 ext. 233, tritterbusch@farmsanctuary.org



WOLFGANG PUCK SAYS "NO" TO FOIE GRAS AND OTHER FORMS OF ANIMAL CRUELTY

Farm Sanctuary Thanks Renowned Chef for Taking Stand Against Important Factory Farming Abuses and for Offering Vegetarian Options

Watkins Glen, NY - March 22, 2007 - Farm Sanctuary, the nation's leading farm animal shelter and advocacy organization, today thanked Wolfgang Puck for addressing farm animal welfare concerns by taking foie gras and crated veal and pork off his menus. Farm Sanctuary first contacted Wolfgang Puck in 2002 about humane concerns as part of its campaigns to prevent the cruel treatment of farm animals. Wolfgang Puck has removed foie gras from all of the Wolfgang Puck companies' restaurants and is implementing a series of other animal welfare improvements to be completed by the end of 2007.

In a bold move and in recognition of the growing importance of animal welfare to the nation's consumers, Wolfgang Puck is expanding his offerings of animal-free meals, and has developed a comprehensive plan to directly reduce the suffering of the animals who are used for his other menu options.

"Farm Sanctuary is very pleased that Wolfgang Puck has taken such impressive steps in the right direction," said Gene Baur, president of Farm Sanctuary. "We are grateful to see a chef of Wolfgang Puck's stature take steps away from factory farming by eliminating several egregious practices. His statement is consistent with a growing wave of concern over the way farm animals are treated."

...

"When a highly respected icon in the food industry takes a bold position like this, it has an impact," said Baur. "Other chefs and establishments should follow in Wolfgang Puck's footsteps." Farm Sanctuary has convinced nearly 1,000 restaurants across the U.S. to sign pledges not to sell foie gras because of humane concerns.

Farm Sanctuary led a campaign in Chicago to ban the sale of foie gras- a campaign that garnered widespread support among humane organizations, businesses and religious leaders. The City Council passed the measure by a 48 to 1 margin and went into effect in August 2006.

About Foie Gras
Foie gras (French for "fatty liver") is produced by force-feeding ducks and geese through a pipe shoved down their throats, causing the birds' livers to expand up to 10 times their normal size. The liver, which becomes diseased, is turned into pate and sold as an expensive appetizer. Force-feeding birds to make foie gras is so cruel that it has been outlawed in more than a dozen countries, as well as in California and Chicago. More information about Farm Sanctuary's No Foie Gras Campaign can be found at www.NoFoieGras.org.

About Crated Veal
More than four million male calves are born to dairy cows every year and approximately 750,000 are sold to the veal industry. Veal calves are taken away from their mothers immediately after birth. They are chained inside 2-foot-wide wooden crates where they cannot turn around, stretch their limbs or even lie down comfortably. The calves are fed a liquid, fiber-free and iron-deficient diet that causes anemia and produces the pale flesh known as "white" veal. This diet causes chronic diarrhea, which these calves are forced to live in under confinement until they are slaughtered around 20 weeks. Most European countries view veal production as so cruel that they have banned the practice altogether. More information about Farm Sanctuary's No Veal Campaign can be found at www.NoVeal.org.

About Farm Sanctuary
Farm Sanctuary is the nation's leading farm animal protection organization. Since incorporating in 1986, Farm Sanctuary has worked to expose and stop cruel practices of the "food animal" industry through research and investigations, legal and institutional reforms, public awareness projects, youth education, and direct rescue and refuge efforts. Farm Sanctuary shelters in Watkins Glen, N.Y., and Orland, Calif., provide lifelong care for hundreds of rescued animals, who have become ambassadors for farm animals everywhere by educating visitors about the realities of factory farming. Additional information can be found at www.FarmSanctuary.org or by calling 607-583-2225.


Wolfgang Puck, the Los Angeles chef whose culinary empire ranges from celebrity dinners at Spago to a line of canned soups, said yesterday that he would use eggs and meat only from animals raised under strict humane standards.

With the announcement, Mr. Puck has joined a small group of top chefs around the country who refuse to serve foie gras, the fattened liver of ducks and geese. But Mr. Puck, working with the Humane Society of the United States, has taken his interest in animal welfare beyond ducks.

He has directed his three companies, which together fed more than 10 million people in 2006, to buy eggs only from chickens not confined to small cages. Veal and pork will come from farms where animals are not confined in crates, and poultry meat will be bought from farmers using animal welfare standards higher than those put forth by the nation's largest chicken and turkey producers. Mr. Puck has also vowed to use only seafood whose harvest does not endanger the environment or deplete stocks.

"We decided about three months ago to be really much more socially responsible," he said in a telephone interview from Los Angeles. "We feel the quality of the food is better, and our conscience feels better."

Many chefs at high-end restaurants, some smaller food-service chains and grocery chains like Whole Foods have refused to buy meat and eggs unless animals are raised under certain conditions. In 2000, McDonald's became the first American food company to impose minimum animal-welfare standards, like increasing cage size, on its egg producers. But Mr. Puck's program goes much further than most corporate animal-welfare policies, and he is the flashiest culinary name yet to join with animal rights groups in the movement to change farming practices.

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full story:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/22/dining/22puck.html
 

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