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The Pittsburgh Vegan Meetup Message Board › URGENT ACTION ALERT from Voices For Animals!!!!

URGENT ACTION ALERT from Voices For Animals!!!!

Niki P.
Pittsburgh, PA
Post #: 57

Please Take Action Now!

Voices for Animals was shocked and outraged to recently discover that next week, in honor of Pittsburgh Restaurant Week (August 12th-18th), the Shadyside restaurant Toast! Kitchen & Wine Bar plans to sell a 5 course foie gras dinner all week! The menu (which has to be seen to be believed) includes salads with foie gras vinaigrette dressing or smoked foie gras dressing with foie gras croutons, an entrée of beef, chicken, or fish with foie gras, and even a foie gras donut for dessert!:

What is particularly ironic is that this dinner is being offered alongside a 5 course vegan dinner alternative option. It is comical to us that Toast’s management doesn’t see the blatant menu contradiction here: vegan food (based on a philosophy of non-exploitation and nonviolence towards animals) vs. foie gras (produced by force-feeding ducks and geese until the painful liver disease hepatic lipidosis is deliberately induced). Toast doesn’t seem to realize however that most vegans are going to refuse to eat at a restaurant that sells 5 courses of a product that is produced with so much egregious cruelty that its production is banned in over 12 countries.

Furthermore, this news was particularly surprising to us, given that in 2009, Toast signed a Voices For Animals statement pledging to no longer sell foie gras! We’ve been hearing rumors for a while that Toast went back on their pledge and is selling foie gras at private events, but this planned 5 course foie gras dinner is an obvious direct violation of their agreement.

Here’s a link to the story on Pittsburgh Indymedia:


Please write, email, and call Toast and tell them that you are appalled that they are serving a 5 course foie gras dinner for Restaurant Week, especially given that they signed a pledge to no longer sell foie gras, and that you want them to recommit to stop selling foie gras at Toast permanently. Tell them that you will be taking your business elsewhere (vegan food or no vegan food) until this happens:

Toast Kitchen & Wine Bar
5102 Baum Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
Phone: 412-224-2579
Fax: 412-224-2655

Twitter: @ToastPgh
You can also post a message on their Facebook page:

If you receive a response back from Toast, let us know! We will send news of any updates on this issue as they emerge.

Thank you for taking action for animals!

For more information about foie gras production, visit­ and http://www.stopforcef...­

Voices for Animals of Western Pennsylvania
Post Office Box 2751
Pittsburgh, PA 15230

A former member
Post #: 3
I just sent them a letter. Thanks for posting.
Colleen Mahoney W.
user 44132012
Pittsburgh, PA
Post #: 3
I also sent a letter.
Pittsburgh, PA
Post #: 146
We shouldn't be shocked that a business that exists on using animals decides to use another animal

How is a vegan option against a beef or chicken dish any less ironic than against a foie gras dish?

How can we criticize foie gras without indirectly condoning other needless animal use? I.E. "If you sell foie gras, which is torturous to animals, I won't eat there! But if you get rid of that, I'll eat my vegan meal alongside the just as torturous chicken dish."

It makes no sense! I like this analogy from Vincent Guihan:

"Let's imagine a similar scenario. Would MLK or Malcolm X go to a diner where African Americans were served (as the main course) to eat a plant-based alternative and go on about how exciting this was? Probably not (and by probably, I really mean definitely)."­

I thought it was pretty ironic that Voices for Animals recently sent out an email about how they were tired of corporate driven welfarism (See PETA, HSUS, Farm Sanctuary, etc) and were going to focus on Abolitionist vegan education, but Abolitionists have always rejected single issue campaigns, which VFA has always engaged in.
user 91540592
Pittsburgh, PA
Post #: 1
I called the restaurant yesterday.

I agree that being an abolitionist means no compromising. It's a hard stance that more of us need to think about as we advocate for the animals.

"Everything is acceptable until we stop accepting them."
---Peter Adejimi
Niki P.
Pittsburgh, PA
Post #: 58
I totally hear you-- but I want to clarify that no one's saying it's OK for them to serve other animals, as long as they don't serve foie gras.

The point in this case is that the owner of Toast agreed of his own volition NOT to do something, signed a contract, and has since gone back on this word. VFA is hoping to highlight the restaurant owner's lack of honesty and integrity in this matter, and to make people aware of the issue.

Whether one thinks, philosophically, that the original "No Foie Gras" campaign was the right way to go or not, is sort of not the point. I wasn't involved in that particular campaign, but I'm most disturbed by the fact that someone would have their consciousness raised about an issue, agree to stop participating in it.... and then go back on their word. (Not to mention that doing it right alongside the vegan tasting menu seems like a weird and even-more-insidious choice!)
Pittsburgh, PA
Post #: 147
My love for analogies knows no end:

It would be like if the NAACP asked the KKK to stop being racist in Delaware, they agreed, but continued to be racist everywhere else, and then eventually decided to start being racist in Delaware again. It's like, well duh, they're racist, what do you expect?

To me, it makes more sense for Toast to be speciesist across the board, rather than making an exception for geese. On one hand, I agree with the lameness of going back on what they seemingly knew, but if they were only thinking of geese, whatever enlightening they had was already pretty limited in scope.

I generally grumble about any supply-side efforts because product choices are driven by consumers.

I don't want geese to be used for frivolous purposes, but I don't want any sentient beings to be used against their will. Vegan education in my opinion is more suited to that broader goal
A former member
Post #: 146
We used a dish, foie gras, that is outlawed in California to get a conversation started. It was an ice breaker, if you will, into a conversation about exploiting animals. You have to take advantage of such opportunities.
We all know it's not black and white!
Joe M.
user 8429479
Pittsburgh, PA
Post #: 6
The first analogy in this thread was really good but I didn't think it applied to the VFA alert. It was about the absurdity of raving about a vegan option in a non-vegan restaurant. I think that author summed it up well when he wrote "It's disappointing when vegans bend over backwards to promote nonvegan businesses". I couldn't find where in the VFA alert they were compromising their views or rewarding Toast so I had trouble equating the analogy with VFA's alert.

I think MLK from the analogy is a good example of a man who had a vision and he realized to move towards his vision involved engaging in one campaign after another, all without compromising his vision. I don't think we would even remember him if he had refused to focus on individual issues.

Engaging on issues and compromising are two totally different things in my mind. I find it hard to believe if we refuse to engage anywhere that we will get change anywhere. People who have businesses base their actions on what is most profitable, not what is most admirable. Silence by the aware means victory for the exploiters.
Pittsburgh, PA
Post #: 148
With MLK though, people weren't en-mass slaughtering black people. I.E. he probably wouldn't have gone to protest poor worker conditions/wages for black trash collectors if black people were still subject to being treated as property and slaughtered at will.

" Silence by the aware means victory for the exploiters."

That's kind of how I take protesting against one kind of animal use at a restaurant while being mum on all the other equally as torturous. I think there's plenty of room to engage people who have no financial stake in exploiting animals and if that's the case, why not bring them the idea of veganism rather than the idea that animal use X is bad. All animal use is problematic.

These campaigns remind me that I need to do more of this as well
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