Foie gras is off the menu in Japanese bento lunchboxes following protests from customers and animal rights activists.
Japanese convenience store chain FamilyMart scrapped its foie gras bento over customer complaints that raised concerns regarding how the traditional French delicacy is produced.
“We understand foie gras is a common food in Japan,” a spokesman for FamilyMart said. But after “carefully considering opinions from customers, different views abroad on foie gras and the production of foie gras itself” the convenience store chain decided to chuck the item.
“We don’t intend to make anyone feel uncomfortable,” said the spokesman.
Foie gras is the liver of a duck or goose that has been specially fattened by force feeding. Animal rights campaigners say the process is painful for the creatures.
FamilyMart, which has around 10,000 stores across Japan, planned to introduce gourmet lunchboxes with a meat patty and foie gras paste for the price of 690 yen ($6.70).
The issue has also gained attention abroad amid lingering scrutiny over animal rights in Japan following the bloody dolphin hunt in Taiji Cove. But the protest has moved into a different light after images poking fun at the animal cruelty awareness poster began circulating on Japanese internet forums.
By Maesie Bertumen
Image: Animal Rights Center