This article originally appeared on VICE Canada. A Toronto chef, exasperated with some vegan activists protesting outside of his restaurant, decided to fire back in a rather unique way.
A small group of vegans gathered outside of Antler Kitchen & Bar, a west-end Toronto restaurant, with a banner and cameras to protest the eating and butchering of meat this weekend. The vegans have been protesting there regularly and the Antler has responded with a few stunts like pushing their foie gras usage. This time though, much to the vegans' chagrin, Michael Hunter, the restaurant's chef, who specializes in wild game meat, upped his game by hauling a leg of deer out to the window and started carving it up in front of the protestors.
Police, there to oversee the protest, went in to talk to Hunter during this but decided that, hell, since it’s his restaurant, he can do what he likes. In a video provided to UniLad, you can hear the protesters were not too pleased.
“He’s doing it deliberately to mock and taunt us because we’re vegans,” says the man behind the camera. “As you can see the owner has brought the leg of a recently murdered animal to the front of the restaurant to taunt the activists.”
From here, Hunter didn’t really pay any heed to the protesters. He just butchered part of the deer, cutting off a good sized hunk of meat. The chef then took this meat and headed to the back of his restaurant. When he returned to the window, he had a big plate with just a sole chunk of (most likely the recently butchered) meat—cooked to perfection—on it. No garnish, no sides, just meat. Once sitting, Hunter quickly went to town on the steak.
Hunter has been denying media interviews after chomping down on his steak but told the National Post in a statement that he doesn’t really know why he’s being targeted because “our identity as a restaurant is well-known throughout the city as is our ethical farming and foraging initiatives.”
One of the protesters said that their reason for targeting Antler was because it’s a small business that uses ethical meat. The reason behind this is they think they have a better chance of getting action at a smaller restaurant rather than a chain and the protesters don’t believe in the concept of ethical meat.
Oh deer. (Whatever, you think of something better.)