Published on March 16th, 2016 | by Anne-Fleur Andrle Stephan8
Open Letter to Pamela Anderson
My dear Pamela,
I cannot stay in the dark any longer, Pam. I need to voice my opinion and to have an open-heart conversation with you. Oh Pamy, what did you do?
You headed to France this week to protest against foie gras. Wait, what? Yes, it looks like Laurence Abeille, an ecologist depute from the French Parliament invited you to promote a new law aiming to ban force-feeding on ducks and geese to produce the gourmet foie gras. Don’t tell me you did not see the irony here! An ecologist, a so-called environment-friendly politician from France invited you to come help out bring attention to a law proposition. Apparently having you would bring more media coverage and help start the debate. Right. May I just remind everyone that France does not only produce foie gras and cheese: we also have artists, in movies, in music, in poetry, etc. and we could have done “this” with an infinitely smaller carbon footprint.
I was reading the news on NPR and found the comments pretty hilarious. Main question being what the heck is Pam doing in France where she is not a national? Good question as indeed Pam is both American and Canadian but not French (no being Canadian does not count as being half French).
So how did you get from Baywatch to the French National Assembly? Apparently, you are following Brigitte Bardo’s footstop, your model. Indeed, Brigitte visited your home country Canada in the 70s to condemn crual practices on baby seals.
You said “In many national cultures, there seems to be at least one cruel tradition that stands out as identifying that culture, […]. Be it the bullfight in Spain, eating dogs in Korea, the slaughter of dolphins and whales by Japan or the bloody and obscene massacre of seals in my own native Canada.” So in France, it would be the foie gras?
What is Foie Gras?
Foie Gras means litteraly “fat liver”. It is a very popular item from French cuisine, which can be consumed raw, “mi cuit” or cooked. You may think: French people care so much about foie gras, it is insane. It might be true. But just so you know: the law is with us.
According to the French law: « Le foie gras fait partie du patrimoine culturel et gastronomique protégé en France. On entend par foie gras, le foie d’un canard ou d’une oie spécialement engraissés par gavage ». What does this mean? Foie gras is an integral part of the protected cultural and gastronomic heritage in France. We mean by “fatty liver” the liver of a duck or a goose specially fattened by gavage (or force feeding).
The culture, tradition and economy around Foie Gras
What you may ignore is that attacking foie gras is pretty close to attacking French people in what they believe in. Foie gras is an institution; very much the same way than stinky cheese is what French people love! I mean look at the cow’s cattle all over California, where animals are parked to produce most of America’s burgers. Cows cannot move freely, exposed to cold and heat and eating corn. Oh the irony… Another interesting fact is that the ban on foie gras was actually just lifted in California.
Come on Pamela! Especially in such economic climate, where unemployment is through the roof, you took a dangerous path by coming to us and telling us what we do is terrible.
Here are a few numbers for you to understand what killing foie gras implies: in 2014, about 25,000 tons of foie gras were produced and France produced about 19,608 tons of it (about 78% of the world production!). According to leblogdufoiegras.com, about 30,000 jobs are directly generated in France only from the foie gras industry, and about 100,000 indirectly. About 95% of the French people consume foie gras. And you call foie gras “a product unworthy of a civilized society”?! You even said that according to some recent polls over 70% of French now are opposed to foie gras? No Pamela, that was not ok.
Business is business?
So what was the meaning of your visit to France? I looked at the coverage of your venue, and realized all three interviews of French television. You offered shoes to all the hosts, in a very candid way. Didn’t you just launch a vegan shoes line? This made me wonder what was the real purpose of your stay in Paris, Pamy.