In a taunting act, a Toronto chef has appeared in front of the windows of the restaurant he owns with a raw deer leg. He took a knife and started separating the meat.
At that moment, outside the restaurant, activists were protesting for animal rights. One of the protesters filmed the scene and posted it online, commenting that the chef did it “to taunt the activists”.
The place is called Antler Kitchen and Bar, and the chef is called Michael Hunter – that’s quite a fitting name for what he’s demonstrated in front of the activists. However, the chef didn’t break any law. One of the officers that were there for the protest entered to talk. Sgt. Philip Townley declared that “It’s his restaurant he can do what he wants, really.”
After the chef finished cutting the meat, he put it in a pan and went to the kitchen. Half an hour later, he returned with a stake on a white plate. Michael Hunter started eating his dinner last Friday a little after 8 p.m. to the protesters’ horror.
The protest organizer Marni Ugar said that the chef’s acts shocked him and “it made me feel really sad. For me it’s just an animal and it’s an animal that didn’t want to die.”
“Antler has blood on their hands,” said the protesters over and over again for the fifth time they gathered in front of the same restaurant.
Ugar added that through their protests, they could at least affect the chef’s business: “We were obviously getting to him because we’re impacting his business by standing on the sidewalk. I assume — I actually can’t know — this was his way of getting revenge on us.”
The chef didn’t want to give an interview, but he e-mailed a statement, saying that he wasn’t surprised by the protest and that they are “operating business as usual. Our identity as a restaurant is well known throughout the city as is our ethical farming and foraging initiatives.”
The owner of Sanagan’s, a well-known Toronto butcher shop, said that the chef is a “good guy”, and that even though it’s in their rights to protest, they might be ‘misguided going after the smaller businesses’ when factory-farms and grocery store chains are terrible places.
After the protest, Antler sent them an invitation via e-mail to go foraging with Hunter. Ugar stated that she won’t accept it, but she is willing to discuss with him.
Andre Blair s is the lead editor for Advocator.ca. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Science in Public Health (M.S.P.H.) from the School of Public Health, Department of Health Administration, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andre specializes in environmental health, but writes on a variety of issues.