Earlier this week, animal rights activists hacked the website of Hudson Valley Foie Gras — a large U.S. supplier — and sent the names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses of their customers to animal rights groups.
The information was published on Wednesday, and is still online at the North American Animal Liberation Press Office.
There's also a note from the anonymous hackers explaining their motives:
For Earth Day we targeted Hudson Valley Foie Gras, the largest foie gras farm in the United States. Hudson Valley Foie Gras tortures birds and pollutes the earth. The company has been fined tens of thousands of dollars for violations of the Clean Water Act.
We temporarily took down their website and online store, and uncovered name/address/phone number/credit card details for over 1,200 customers who purchased foie gras and duck flesh products between June 2012 and April 2013.
The customer list included buyers in California, where the production and sale of foie gras is currently illegal. There are also chefs and private cooks on the list, some of whom have been harassed since their information went public.
"We are talking about ducks," Laguna Beach chef Amar Santana told the Orange County Register. "They are raised to be eaten. It is illegal to sell it or whatever, but you are telling me it is OK to blast personal information like that online? That is more illegal than anything else."
Foie gras has long been a hot button topic for foodies and animal rights activists. The former believe that gavage — the common practice of force-feeding the ducks to fatten their livers — is not stress-inducing for the animals, and no more upsetting than the mass-production of pigs, poultry, and cattle. Animal rights activists disagree, and say the production of foie gras is akin to animal cruelty.
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