Not About Food

When do ethics come to play in your dining decision?

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When do ethics come to play in your dining decision?

SteveTimko | Mar 10, 2012 11:23 AM

I've been mulling this over for a couple of weeks. I thought maybe I'd toss it out on Chowhound and see what other hounds think.
I couple of years ago I heard a rumor that a local restaurant allowed a celebration in honor of a highly despised world figure. The person who first told me about it seemed reliable. I didn't give it much thought. I haven't eaten at the place in years because of food quality issues any way.
Then I heard the story again from another person. The explanation attached to it this time is that it was a one time thing. Apparently the owner knew in advance what the celebration would be.
I help coordinate dinners for a dining group and this restaurant has been suggested as a destination.
Even if it was a one-time thing, if it was true that this restaurant knowingly hosted a dinner for this figure is enough to get them crossed off my list forever.
So where do hounds draw their ethical lines?
Some people make a big deal out of free-range chickens and how they want to eat only free-range meat. Most chickens go to market at age 7 weeks. So if you take away the time they are protected when they are young and the final two weeks of their life when they are kept penned up to fatten them up, a typical chicken has about 2 weeks to spend on the range, and most are too stupid to walk out the door. So free range chickens mean nothing to me, but obviously they do to others.
One Chinese (Americanized, otherwise I'd say Taiwanese) restaurant here used to proudly display pictures of Chiang Kai-shek. It reflected the owner's anti-Communist attitude. It turned me off because I considered Chiang Kai-shek to be corrupt (he was a Communist himself when it suited him politically) and because I was unhappy that he used all the American aide during World War II to prop up his own government and not fight the Japanese. But truthfully, if the food had been special there, I would have overlooked those objections and happily eaten there.
So when do ethics come into your choice of places to eat?

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