MoMA Cafe Keeps Horse Meat off the Menu

Ducks force-fed to produce foie gras suffer lifelong abuse, and a premature mortality rate that can be 20 times higher than normal. Photo by Farm Sanctuary.Shortly before the M. Wells Dinette opened at the Museum of Modern Art’s PS1 gallery (MoMA PS1) in Long Island City, New York, in late September, the restaurant’s chefs announced that the menu would include horse tartare—or, in less glamorous terms, raw horse meat—in addition to a number of dishes prepared with foie gras, or fattened goose liver. The horse meat was to come from U.S. horses slaughtered in Canada.

AWI has consistently and firmly supported legislation to ban the slaughter of American horses here and abroad for food. Horse meat is not and cannot be produced humanely because traditional livestock transport and slaughter methods are poorly suited to horses. In the United States, horses have never been raised for human consumption, yet for decades, our horses have been bought and slaughtered by a predatory, foreign-owned industry for sale to diners elsewhere.

Production of foie gras is similarly inhumane; to produce foie gras, duck or goose livers are artificially enlarged far beyond their natural size by force-feeding the birds far larger portions of food than they would otherwise consume. Upon learning that the M. Wells Dinette would serve these cruelly produced foods, AWI sent a letter to the MoMA PS1 board of directors urging them to remove the foods from the café's menu.

In response to intense pressure to keep horse meat off the menu, the M. Wells Dinette’s chefs have announced that they will not serve horse meat at the gallery restaurant. Disappointingly, however, the Dinette menu does include dishes prepared with foie gras. AWI will continue to encourage chefs and restaurants to make responsible, humane choices in developing their menus. Please let M. Wells Dinette and other restaurants know that you object to foie gras and support humane choices, as well.