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NEWARK, N.J. -- Dartagnan, Inc. here, a leading purveyor of foie gras, pates, sausages, smoked delicacies, organic game, and poultry in the nation for retailers, restaurants, hotels, cruise ships, and airlines, has decided no longer to stand by while "animal rights terrorists" work to ban foie gras from American grocers and eateries.
"This represents a threat to an ancient tradition as well as to our business," said D'artangnan owner Ariane Daguin in a statement. "It's a threat to the fundamental freedom to choose how we live and what we eat."
She went on to accuse animal rights activists of an "agenda" to "eliminate all meat from our tables."
Added Daguin: "D'Artagnan is built on dedication to free range, organic, humanely raised meat, and the highest possible standards in animal husbandry. We are proud to support small farms that adhere to strict humane standards, and believe emphatically that foie gras meets those standards."
To combat the actions of what she termed "3 percent of the population with very deep pockets and questionable tactics," Daguin suggested to consumers, "When you see foie gras on a menu or at the grocery store, thank the owner, manager, and server for protecting your right to choose what to eat, [and ask] for foie gras if they don't have it."
She also asked consumers sign a petition at www.artisanfarmers.org, the Web site of Washington-based Artisan Farmers Alliance. According to the group's Web site, it is "a newly created group representing all of America's foie gras farmers and others involved in bringing artisanal agricultural products to the American table."
Recent anti-foie gras campaigns concerning retailers have targeted New York's Fairway Market, Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle, and Texas grocer HEB. Additionally, restaurateurs such as Wolfgang Puck have been pressured to drop the delicacy from their menus.