Animal rights protesters demonstrated in front of the business until the owner agreed to post their poster on the shop window.
Animal rights activists in Berkeley, California, regard themselves as the overlords of the town who have the authority to punish people who don’t comply with their wishes. Meanwhile, taxpaying businesses find the sidewalks are used for people that hate them and want them to close. The owners of a business thus “protested” against, did not say they lost customers, but they worried about neighboring businesses that were affected.
Berkeleyside reports, “Local Butcher Shop hangs animal-rights sign under duress to stop protests.”
Reminiscent of the “smoking kills” labels on packs of cigarettes, a sign denouncing the killing of animals now hangs, counterintuitively, in the window of a North Berkeley butcher shop.
The owners of The Local Butcher Shop on Cedar Street agreed, under duress, to put the sign up in exchange for a promise by animal-rights activists to stop holding weekly demonstrations in front of the store.
The Bay Area chapter of the national non-profit Direct Action Everywhere has protested — sometimes half-naked and covered in fake blood — while butchery classes are in session every Sunday since April. The group, which is also known as DXE, says it will only hold two more protests if the new sign, which says, “Attention: Animals’ lives are their right. Killing them is violent and unjust, no matter how it’s done,” stays up for the next year.
Monica Rocchino, who owns The Local Butcher Shop with her husband and former Chez Panisse chef Aaron Rocchino, said she considers the deal extortion.
The couple first met with the activists in May to try to come up with a situation that would work for both parties. At first, said Rocchino, Direct Action Everywhere members said they would not stop protesting until Berkeley was meat-free and The Local Butcher Shop was out of business, but they all agreed to consider a compromise.
The irony is that the butcher shop has a mission to offer locally-sourced meat, use the whole animal, and educate customers. It is the opposite of a meat-factory slaughterhouse and insists on humane treatment of animals.
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