You're allowed to have a stance on small business. Whether pro this or con that, entitlement to an opinion is guaranteed as a citizen of these 50 great states. Benefitting from a massive corporation that eats small businesses for breakfast? That's allowed. Taking over a business that your family has run for 75 years? Also allowed. What we have a hard time with, though, is bullying. Picking a fight that you don't need to fight with a company that no one is forcing to you visit grinds our gears.
Recently, the sausage grinding gears were abruptly brought to a halt at a small butcher shop in Berkeley. This California butcher shop was bullied into hanging an animal rights sign in a window by vegans.
Let us start by saying that we don't care what you choose to eat, either. We do, however, think that the fare offered on the bullied butcher shop looks amazing. Next-level, other-worldly stuff. That shop, The Local Butcher Shop, knows how to do meat.
Unfortunately for the Berkeley-based butcher, though, not everyone "does" meat. Vegans, as you know from your vegan coworker's bi-hourly rants, don't even eat animal byproduct. An extreme group of vegans performed what's being described as "ethical extortion" in Berkeley this past week.
Fox News covered the incident. Protestors showed up to The Local Butcher Shop, "nearly naked" and "dripping in fake blood." The organization leading the protests, Direct Action Everywhere (DXE), is notable for being ruthlessly incessant in its efforts.
Matt Johnson, a DXE organizer, feels that places like The Local Butcher Shop are falsely advertising the humane treatment of the animals they use in their dishes. Johnson adamantly feels that no animal being served at a butcher could be possibly treated well if it is eventually slaughtered.
Thus, DXE demanded that The Local Butcher Shop owners Monica and Aaron Rocchino turn their business into a vegan butcher. Until the Rocchinos complied, the fake blood-covered, almost-nude protestors wouldn't let up.
At the end of the day, the Rocchinos were tired of the interruption to their business. The community grew sick of the interruption, too. Luckily, a compromise was made. The Local Butcher Shop agreed to hang a sign stating that killing animals is both violent and unjust in all cases in order to inspire the DXE protestors to move on.
Ethical extortion or not, this act has us worried for meat eaters across the country. Non-violent protests are something that we have a right to organize, but where is the line drawn? (And, further, is that line drawn in fake blood by a nearly naked person?)
Do you want and do what you will. Don't bully someone else, though, if they don't deserve it. Our verdict? This incident of bullying wasn't warranted. We haven't been to Berkeley in a while, but we know where we're going to get our first meal once we get there. Have you seen their Instagram?!