Berkeley Butcher Shop hangs animal-rights sign under duress to stop protests

Berkeley Butcher Shop hangs animal-rights sign under duress to stop protests, by Natalie Orenstein.

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 most palatable option to us was to put that sign up” instead of facing more demonstrations, she said. “The protests impacted the neighbors and local businesses more than it impacted us…so it felt like the most respectful thing to do.”

hat-tip Pierce