Do One Thing: Write A Letter Regarding Something You Care About.


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This week’s Do One Thing comes courtesy of something my wife did a few months ago – she wrote a letter. An honest to goodness, pen on paper letter to a local restaurant here in town. When we first moved here last summer, we received a gift certificate to a fancy local restaurant which we were more than wanting to try out. When we finally did, we had an amazing meal – drinks, appetizers, main course, desert and coffee. It was incredible. But there was one problem with the place that we didn’t know until we ate there – they served Foie Gras. Don’t know what that is? Well here you go:

Foie gras (translated literally from French as “fatty liver” and pronounced ‘fwah grah’) is produced by cruel and inhumane farming practices. At just a few months old, ducks are confined inside dark sheds and force-fed enormous amounts of food several times a day. A farm worker grabs each duck and, one by one, thrusts a metal pipe down their throats so that a mixture of corn can be forced directly into their gullets. In just a matter of weeks, the ducks become grossly overweight and their livers expand up to 10 times their normal size.

Sounds lovely, no? Well, needless to say we were not happy that they were serving foie gras in a restaurant that prided itself on it’s “sustainable” menu and food acquisition. So a little while after getting home, my wife penned a letter to the owner and chef of the restaurant, outlining her concern about foie gras, calling into question the sustainability of such a meal, and letting him know that we would not be coming back for another meal until it was off the menu. She never heard back…until last week. And this is what she got:

The ethical issue surrounding the inclusion of foie gras in our menus has been an ongoing concern for Joseph. I would like you to know that after careful consideration, and lots of research, we have decided to stop serving foie gras.

And while it was probably not a solitary letter from my wife who made them change their ways, I am betting they heard from other people as well. Never think that your voice does not matter – you can make a difference by making your voice heard to those who need to hear it. My wife could have come home from dinner that night and said “I will never go there again”…and then dropped it. But she didn’t, and now she can see that she might have had a hand in the restaurant changing for the better. So when you have a strong opinion or feeling about something, don’t let it go – let them know!

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  1. A young teenage acquaintance of mine really enjoyed a local Mexican restaurant, but never ordered drinks there because they served them in Styrofoam cups. BUT she also told them each time she ordered food WHY she wasn’t ordering a drink. Eventually the restaurant stopped using Styrofoam and began using paper cups. Victory!

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