- Management at Montreal's Manitoba Restaurant found what they call an anonymous "warning" left at the restaurant by an animal rights activist.
- The restaurant's door was also glued shut.
- See the restaurant management's response below.
An animal-rights activist allegedly left a menacing note at Montreal's Manitoba Restaurant on Tuesday evening. The activist also allegedly glued the locks, preventing the staff from entering the establishment. The Mile-End foodie hangout is known for its focus on farm-fresh, local ingredients, sourced from the Quebec countryside. The note accuses Manitoba Restaurant's staff and head chef Simon Mathys of having "blood on [their] hands" because the restaurant serves duck and game birds.
It states that "thousands of geese and ducks unjustly pay with their lives for simple gastronomic pleasures."
Manitoba's management defended the restaurant in a Facebook post, writing, "many of us want to express ourselves on this issue. Others use more aggressive means. Despite the differences of opinion and manners, we are ready for things to change."
"We take advantage of this 'warning' to speak out publicly and respond to our detractors. We defend omnivorism, provided that it is provided with environmental and social awareness."
"The problem is not what we eat. It's who we buy from. Industrial production is destroying our world, and we think that what will save it is the adoption of a holistic vision of food and respect between a living being and its immediate environment," retorts Manitoba Restaurant.
Manitoba Restaurant further rejected the notion that it creates food for simple pleasure.
The criticism directed at Manitoba Restaurant concerns its partnership with Petit Abattoir, a cooperative project between Quebec poultry farmers and producers.
According to its website, Petit Abattoir aims "to facilitate the emergence of ecological, local agriculture" that allows poultry to experience a humane and stress-free production process.
As the staff at Manitoba Restaurant argues, the partnership with Petit Abattoir "avoids the atrocious hours of transport and the distressing and murderous practices found in most industrial slaughterhouses."
Last week, another locavore restaurant, Joe Beef, was stormed by local animal-rights group Direct Action Everywhere, whose spokesperson, Jade Boss, confirmed to MTL Blog that the group is not responsible for the incident at Manitoba Restaurant.
"We don't hide our direct, non-violent action," she says.
The comments under the restaurant's Facebook post are overwhelmingly supportive, largely condemning the authors of the note and wondering why activists would target a small, local restaurant.
According to CTV News, Manitoba Restaurant has filed a police report.
Despite the incident, the restaurant's owners hope that they can work together with these activists to "fight together for the return of balanced agri-food practices."
So far, no animal-rights group or individual has stepped forward to claim the note as their own.
"We will think about your criticism, we will evolve, but we would like to see your militant energy unfold with disconnected megaproducers rather than with restaurateurs," writes Manitoba.