A group of animal rights activists marched into prominent Plateau restaurant Au Pied de Cochon on Saturday evening (November 20) to stage a protest denouncing the mistreatment of animals at Quebec farms. Protesters seem to have targeted the restaurant for its meat-heavy menu, rather than for any direct involvement in, or knowledge of, animal exploitation taking place at one of its supplying farms.
The Montreal chapter of animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere, whose promise is to engage in non-violent protest “until every animal is free,” posted a video to Facebook on Sunday documenting the attention-grabbing stunt.
In it, a small group of perhaps 10 people (it’s difficult to tell from the video) entered the restaurant (presumably without scanning their vaccine passports), blared a siren, held up posters, and called for justice for all animals. The video shows a dining room packed with onlooking diners and some visibly unamused employees. The group’s Facebook post singles out the local animal agriculture industry, saying that “being a Quebec company is not an ethical bypass.” The restaurant did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the incident.
Located on Duluth, twenty-year-old Au Pied de Cochon has cemented its reputation for working with local farmers and suppliers to churn out decadent — and, yes, very meaty — Québécois fare, with dishes laden in foie gras, lesser-seen cuts of meat, cans of duck, and of course its namesake pig trotters.
This isn’t the first time the Direct Action Everywhere Montreal chapter has targeted a local restaurant to stage a protest against meat consumption. After protesting big-box retailer Costco and a pig farm in Saint-Hyacinthe, the group seemingly skipped over international fast food outlets known to depend on factory farming and began staging protests at sit-down restaurants, like Little Burgundy’s Joe Beef in January 2020 and Plateau neighbourhood restaurant Chez Victoire in August 2021. Between those two incidents, two other restaurants — Manitoba and Mon Lapin — received menacing notes from animal rights activists. However, these were anonymous and did not claim affiliation with the group.
In this case, protesters presumably saw an opportunity to piggyback on the spotlight being shined on Au Pied de Cochon since news — and widespread criticism — circulated last week about its low-wage job posting.