Hai Hospitality and its chain of Japanese restaurants, Uchi, are facing what, in a press release, PETA called a “national blitz” of protests over its service of foie gras. That blitz came to Dallas over the weekend, when at least 10 protesters marched outside Uchi’s Maple Ave. location in Uptown on Saturday night, carrying signs demanding the restaurant stop serving what PETA calls a “cruelly produced dish.”
“Most people can’t stomach the thought of foie gras once they learn that birds are force-fed until their livers bloat. We’re calling on Uchi to ban this cruel ‘delicacy’ and for patrons to dine elsewhere until foie gras is off the menu,” one of the protesters, Susan Oakey, writes in an email.
A representative for Uchi and Hai Hospitality declined to comment on the protests, instead pointing to their partnership with supplier Hudson Valley Foie Gras, which maintains a page about its cage-free method of raising ducks and claims that the methods it uses are not cruel to the animals.
The protest came about, according to PETA spokesperson Amber Canavan, after the organization learned there was interest from local members and activists in protesting foie gras service. The dish is available at several local restaurants. PETA confirmed its members have protested outside Uchi restaurants in Austin, Houston, Miami, and Denver also, and that Austin Animal Alliance activists are planning weekly protests outside that city’s Uchi.
According to Canavan, some customers reacted to the protest by asking protestors for more information and declaring they would not return to the restaurant after learning about foie gras production.
Update: December 20, 2022, 12:30 p.m.: Updated to include information about past and upcoming PETA protests against Uchi.