TORONTO – What do you do if you’re a restaurant that serves meat, yet protesters keep showing up to tell you you’re a “murderer”? If you’re Michael Hunter, you chop up a deer in the front window.
That’s what the Toronto restaurateur did Friday after animal-rights demonstrators kept showing up outside his game-themed Antler Kitchen & Bar, which the Globe and Mail says serves “every part of the animal” (and those animals include boar, rabbit, deer, and bison, per the restaurant’s website).
His menu selections have spurred a slew of recent protests, and one last Friday ended up with the cops arriving to “keep the peace,” a police rep tells the Toronto Star.
Hunter’s window-butchering came after he first ignored the protesters at past demonstrations, then tried to promote his eatery’s vegan offerings on a sandwich board to appease them.
“I just felt helpless. … I hoped it would fizzle out and go away,” he tells the Globe, noting walk-in traffic fell during the protests.
But his efforts weren’t enough for Marni Ugar, who has run the protests. “The goal always is for a restaurant to go fully vegan,” she says. “To reduce the animals they kill … isn’t good enough.”
That no-compromises stance pushed Hunter over the edge. “They’re offending us; I’m going to offend them,” he recalls thinking Friday. “So I went and got a deer leg.”
Ugar tells CTV, “We were in shock” upon seeing the stunt.
Hunter now says he regrets it, and he and Ugar are conversing on a resolution, with Hunter offering to do a vegan tasting menu and host a foraging trip for her group. Ugar says she’s considering it, saying, “I’d always rather have dialogue. … I’m not targeting him. I’m there to defend animals.”