Valentine’s Day diners at one of our popular village inns are having to negotiate their way past protesters this evening.
Nottingham Animal Rights activists have gathered at The Ruddington Arms from 7pm to 9pm, holding up signs and handing out, leaflets to object to ‘Ballotine of Foie Gras’ being an optional starter on the gastropub’s £38.50 romantic menu.
An earlier post on their Facebook page said:
“We have tried to contact them and they have ignored us. The Ruddington Arms will be selling Foie Gras on their Valentines Special Menu. They know the cruelty involved and simply do not seem to care. What better way to say ‘I love you’ then eating the fatty diseased liver of a bird that was force fed corn with a feeding tube to the point that their stomachs burst!!! Foie Gras is illegal to produce in this country because it has been classed as extreme and unnecessary cruelty, but sadly it is not illegal to trade to this country and sell.
“Since we have had no response or acknowledgement of our concern we will now be protesting outside of the restaurant on the evening of the 14th of Feb to show them that we will be the voice for these poor poor animals.”
Another group member called Arnold said it was to give the pub’s customers “the facts and information about the horrors of Foie Gras” and that they would “converse with members of the public in a respectful and peaceful manner”. He added: “On events like this emotions can run high but we are here to show that we are against all forms of cruelty in a non aggressive or negative manner.”
However Ruddington Arms owner & chef Mark Anderson says that he had responded to the group and, whilst he respects the commitment and beliefs of animal rights protesters, he does not respect their “underhand tactics and misinformation.” One of these has been to post a torrent of bogus single star food reviews on the Ruddington Arms Facebook page – bringing down the pub’s impressive previous 4.8 out of 5.0 star rating to just 3.4.
Mark told RUDDINGTON.info:
“Foie gras is only on our Valentines menu and is not a regular feature.
“With regards to our statement on our website, the majority of our produce is from these shores and mainly farmed in the East Midlands. Our meat is from grain fed outdoor reared live stock from small farms in Derbyshire, as are our eggs, vegetables from Nottinghamshire growers (even our own allotment), cheese from small artisan British producers and our fish from the East coast day boats, the oil we use is rapeseed from Northhampton. So on the whole we are environmentally efficient and ethical when it comes to 99% of the food sold here. Which can’t be said for the majority of the food industry which puts profit before product selection and sourcing.
“I also give a lot of my free time to working at the local college trying to promote this wonderful yet difficult industry that we are in, yet for some reason I and my business have been portrayed as “murderous” and some sort of monsters!! I would prefer not to be held in judgment by people who don’t know me or how my business operates.”
Nottinghamshire Police are in attendance at tonight’s “awareness campaign” by around twenty members of Nottingham Animal Rights group. But it is hoped the protest will pass by peacefully.