Publican Quality Meats Dishes Up Classy Response To PETA Billboard

By Lisa White in Food on Jan 13, 2014 4:40PM

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Photo courtesy of Publican Quality Meats Facebook page

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) recently went after one of the most ethical meat purveyors in Chicago, prompting one of the most classy and educational responses to the animal rights group we’ve seen in recent years. It actually makes us want to head over to PQM and buy some pork right now.

DNAinfo Chicago first reported the news that Publican Quality Meats posted a detailed response to PETA after a billboard was erected across the street from the business that showcased an adorable suckling pig with the text “You can live without those ribs. I can’t.”

PQM posted on their Facebook page a note titled “We Eat Meat. Notes on Humanely Raised, Ethically Slaughtered Heritage Breed Animals” that detailed in honest and passionate terms how and why what PQM offers to customers is important when it comes to food education and responsibility. They get the facts out of the way early by stating “We eat meat. This means, no matter how you finesse it, there must be a moment when a living animal is killed.”

PQM goes on to say that they “acknowledge that death as respectfully as possible” by “dealing with farms and purveyors where animals are free range, uncaged, fed natural diets, are given no antibiotics or steroids and are slaughtered as humanely and painlessly as possible.” The meat PQM (and all of Paul Kahan’s establishments) deals with is no house of horrors drug infused overcrowded nightmare treated meat but comes from people who truly care. Meet any of the farmers they work with and you’ll see these people truly care about the welfare of the animals they raise. And PQM cares as well, pointing out they do not “waste a molecule of these beautiful animals,” utilizing all the parts because they “feel this honors the life of the animal and is the right way to do this kind of work.” PQM goes on to discuss their recent local trip to one of the farms they purchase meat from, the respectful ritual of slaughtering meat (which many of their chefs have done) and the importance of being a smart consumer when purchase ethical meat.

PQM never lashes out at PETA for the billboard and instead brings up this interesting but at its core completely honest fact:

“We are, and this might seem odd to say unless you really think about it, also people who are for the ethical treatment of animals with one gigantic difference; We do choose to eat animal flesh. We also choose not to ignore the reality of the choice.”
No matter what PETA does, the meat industry will not cease to exist, so perhaps targeting those trying to make it more ethical isn’t the best avenue of attack? If PETA wanted actual education and change, not just strict reform by forcing people into a vegan lifestyle based on shock value, they would be partnering up with people like PQM. The cost of ethical meat can be high, which means if more people purchased their meat based on ethics perhaps they would also consume less meat and add more plant based meals into their diet, something one would assume PETA would encourage. This all-or-nothing tactic at this point seems uneducated and lazy on PETA’s part. PETA themselves are familiar with causing upset within their own community, after coming under fire regarding their stance on euthanizing domesticated animals, a view that isn't shared by others in their field. Although their views aren't in line with each other, at the core PQM and PETA care about the welfare of animals. Perhaps instead they could work with merchants like PQM to further education of supporting small farms, which would in theory at least cut down on meat consumption? PQM isn’t some big business factory farmed meat provider, the people PETA should be spending their time pestering to gain reform. PQM summed it up perfectly:


“If you go to the freezer at PQM and buy some of our packaged Publican hamburger patties...those are from ONE COW. If you get a burger at McDonald’s there is meat from over 1000 cows in it. Dramatize that in your head.”