Animal rights activists were left in a state of shock after the co-owner of a restaurant they were protesting against staged his own counter-protest of sorts.
The Toronto-based Antler restaurant is known for serving a variety of seasonal meats native to Canada, including deer, duck, bison, boar and rabbit.
Perhaps most controversially of all, the restaurant is known for serving foie gras, which is made by force-feeding birds corn boiled with fat which prompts indigestion and the development of large amounts of fat in the liver.
According to BlogTO, a group of local activists therefore decided to take action, having enjoyed some previous success.
“Last week was the first vegan menu board that they’ve had thanks to activists taking a stand for animals,” the protest event’s description read.
“It’s a great start, but only a start. Antler serves the cruel foie gras, they also farm animals meant to run in the wild like deer.”
However, roughly an hour into their protest, the restaurant’s co-owner and chef Michael Hunter decided to respond in kind.
In a move viewed by the activists on hand as an attempt at taunting, Hunter brough out an entire animal leg and began cutting up right in the window of the restaurant.
Which might have been purely coincidental, were it not for the fact that the area is a table usually reserved for diners.
Event organizer Marni Jill Ugar was unimpressed and took to Facebook to express her disappointment.
“Once the deer was cooked Michael Hunter, owner of Antler, sat back down at the window to eat the dead deer,” she wrote.
“Look in the window. Look at Michael Hunter. That deer was treated like a joke. That deer was an innocent animal who did not want to die.”
At one point during the protest, police officers did arrive on the scene. They spoke to Hunter, who eventually packed up his tools and meat, but it’s unclear whether the two things were connected.
Hunter later responded to an email from BlogTO on the subject.
“While we would much rather not be the focus of these protests, we are not at all surprised,” he said.
“We simply want to carry on running a restaurant and have a peaceful environment where our guests can enjoy their food.”