WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Toronto-based restaurant Antler Kitchen & Bar is popular for serving regional ingredients, foie gras and farmed meat “meant to run in the wild.”
- A group of animal rights protesters stood in front of the restaurant last week shouting “you’ve got blood on your hands,” and flashing a banner that read MURDER.
- Michael Hunter, a chef and co-owner of Antler decided to have his own protest by carving a deer in the window, in full view of the protesters.
The vegans decided to protest the locavore restaurant Antler during its busy dinnertime shift.
The restaurant’s chef made a counterprotest. He appeared in the restaurant’s window with a raw deer leg and started carving it with a sharp knife. The protesters later said they were disturbed for days, according to news reports.
“I figured, I’ll show them. I’m going to have my own protest,” Hunter told the Globe and Mail.
The rift started in December when an Antler employee wrote a slogan on a board for the restaurant’s display: “Venison is the new kale.”
The message disturbed animal rights activist Marni Ugar, according to the Globe and Mail. Ugar said that she took issue because the restaurant served foie gras, “the dish made from the liver of fattened ducks or geese that has long drawn complaints, as well as the impression that people were eating ethical meat there.”
“I don’t think there’s any such thing,” Ugar told CTVNews. “It’s very misleading because they’re calling these animals wild animals, the deer and the boar, but they’re actually being farmed. So they’re not living in the wild. They’re just being bred and killed.”
The protests started small then grew bigger and louder, affecting business for the restaurant.
“I just felt helpless,” Hunter said. “It’s hurting our business. I hoped it would fizzle out and go away.”
The restaurant offers vegan dishes on its menu, like mushroom yakitori and sweet potato gyoza, but the activists were not satisfied.
“The goal always is for a restaurant to go fully vegan. To reduce the animals they kill, for me, isn’t good enough,” Ugar asserted.
So last Friday, as the protesters chant of “murderer,” Hunter developed a new plan.
“This is who we are and what we do,” he said. “They’re offending us; I’m going to offend them. So I went and got a deer leg.” But he later said he regrets the move.
“He wanted to get us back. We’re only there because we love animals,” Ugar said. “We were in shock.”
Ugar and the group have offered to lessen the frequency of protests to once a month if Antler displays a sign in its window saying “Attention, animals’ lives are their right. Killing them is violent and unjust no matter how it’s done.”
Hunter plans to add a vegan tasting menu and has invited Ugar to come foraging with him, the Globe and Mail reported.
Source: The Washington Post