Licensee slams planned protest by ‘aggressive’ animal rights activists outside his pub

By James Wallin contact

- Last updated on GMT

Alvin Michaels has been targeted by animal rights campaigners
Alvin Michaels has been targeted by animal rights campaigners
A pub owner has accused animal rights campaigners of "blackmail" after they announced plans for a protest against his use of foie gras.

Alvin Michaels, of the Bricklayers Arms, said members of Hertfordshire Animal Rights’ campaign had been “threatening” and said he was puzzled as to why his pub had been targeted.  

He told the PMA: “Over the past three weeks we have been bombarded with their calls, emails and antagonistic remarks - some quite abusive to my staff - with an aggressive social media campaign being one of their tools to persuade the public to avoid us.

“They are entitled to their opinions but so are we.

“Whilst foie gras is readily available in many of our local butchers, restaurants, and supermarkets we too have right to offer menu choices, to our diners.”

He said he had been serving the dish for 11 years without controversy and urged campaigners to target their efforts on lobbying the Government for a change in legislation.

He added: “if one bows to the pressure of blackmail - and there are many cases of convictions of animal rights activists for similar offences - what will the next campaign be about?  Chicken? Beef? Lamb? Seafood?”

The animal rights group announced its protest earlier this week saying the pub had ignored its concerns and that this was the only option left to highlight “the cruelty they are complicit in”.

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Fowl or foul?

Posted by david,

The campaigners state that Mr Michaels has removed foie gras from his website menus (there is no mention of it now on the menus, but lunch & dinner menus offer chicken & duck liver parfait at £6.95).

Now, it would seem to me that removing foie gras from the website menus while continuing to offer and serve it, is a deeply cynical move. Perhaps Mr Michaels was hoping no-one would find out.

It seems to me the whole sordid practice is more to do with snob appeal and appealing to those who get a kick out of being controversial rather than it being anything to do with gastronomy or a dining experience.

If controversy is courted in homage to snobbery, Mr Michaels can hardly moan at what the controversy generates.

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Why Sell It

Posted by RFM,

Perhaps there is customer demand. I agree totally the process of rearing is barbaric.

Unfortunately whilst we can indeed ban the method, under EU law we cannot stop it's free movement from other countries.

So a letter to your MEP would seem to be the way forward. Good luck with that, it's probably served in Brussels.

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Moral bankruptcy

Posted by david,

Well said Phoebe. I absolutely despair at anyone looking at those videos who would want to defend this outrage.

Words such as "democracy, freedom, rights, choices, trying to make a living" have been used on this thread.

Moral bankruptcy!

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