Chef Michael Hunter has butchered a deer leg in the window of his Toronto restaurant Antler Kitchen & Bar in front of vegan protesters who watched on in horror.
The feud began last year when the venue put out a chalkboard sign saying “venison is the new kale”.
The message was not appreciated by vegan locals, who staged a number of protests, holding signs depicting messages including “murder” and “animals are not ours to use”.
The group believes eating meat that is pasture-raised and hormone-free is no different to consuming mass-produced meat products.
“The goal always is for a restaurant to go fully vegan,” a protester told writer Corey Mintz. “To reduce the animals they kill, for me, isn’t good enough.”
Hunter allegedly attempted to diffuse tensions by adding vegan dishes to the menu, but the group persisted and amped up their efforts, shouting “murderer” whenever the door to the restaurant opened.
Hunter decided to take the matter into his own hands by breaking down a deer leg in the window of the restaurant before returning to eat the meat.
The restaurant released a statement via email regarding the incident.
“Our identity as a restaurant is well known throughout the city as is our ethical farming and foraging initiatives. We simply want to carry on running a restaurant and have a peaceful environment where our guests can enjoy their food.”
According to Eater, a protester emailed Hunter the next day, offering to limit the protests to once a month if he would put a sign in the Antler’s window explaining that animals have rights and killing them is wrong.
Hunter reportedly offered to cook his vegan tasting menu for the protesters and bring them on a foraging trip, but the gesture hasn’t been accepted.
Image credit: Quench Magazine