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Animal rights activists force restaurant closure

David Landes · 25 Jun 2009, 14:16

Published: 25 Jun 2009 14:16 GMT+02:00

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In the two years since Michael Hansen opened his Garaget restaurant, which specializes in Texas-style barbecue, his establishment has been targeted by animal rights groups on numerous occasions, the Västerbottens-Kuriren newspaper reports.

In addition to confessing to breaking windows at Garaget, the Swedish chapter of the Animal Liberation Front (Djurens befrielsefront) admitted in December to spraying glue in the locks of the restaurant’s doors.

Nevertheless, Hansen continued to persevere, doing his best to “create a meeting place” where “everyone can slip in and get a well-prepared meal made from quality ingredients”, according to the restaurant’s website.

But after an incident in mid-May which threatened his family, Hansen has finally decided to call it quits.

“When actions include statements about my family’s safety being threatened, I have no choice,” he told the newspaper.

His comments came following an incident which took place on the morning of May 14th outside of Hansen’s home.

As he approached his doorway, Hansen discovered a bottle filled with a clear liquid and stuffed with a rag.

Near the bottle was a message reading, “Close down Garaget otherwise this bottle will come through your bedroom window.”

Shaken by the Molotov cocktail threat, Hansen reported the matter to police, but no arrests have yet been made.

“Obviously I have to take such threats seriously and I can’t just turn a blind eye to it,” Hansen told Västerbottens-Kuriren.

Police have classified the incident as a case of making aggravated illegal threats and are awaiting the results of a forensic examination of the contents of the bottle.

Hansen is frustrated about having to close down after enduring the earlier vandalism.

“It’s obviously disappointing that those who victimized us with all this are going to win,” he said.

“But everything has a price and now things have gone too far. I’ve already sacrificed way too much time and money which I’m never going to get back.”

Hansen plans to keep Garaget open through the summer before handing the restaurant over to a new owner on September 1st.

Story continues below…

The decision to close has prompted an outpouring of support from residents and local politicians who were saddened to hear of Garaget’s closing.

Many are calling on police to step up efforts to find those behind the threats and vandalism

“What’s happened is shameful for Umeå,” said local Moderate Party politician Andres Ågren, who encouraged citizens to help police in their investigation.

“There are people out there who know who is behind these attacks. They must come forward and tell – even if they do so anonymously. We can’t accept these kinds of anti-democratic groups.”

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:49 June 25, 2009 by Miss Kitten
That really is a shame. I loves me some good old fashioned Texas barbecue.
15:10 June 25, 2009 by Harding00
But why this restaurant in particular. Most restaurants serve meat...so is this group going after all restaurants (and I would assume stores as well) that serve/sell meat? I mean, if they are barbecuing a pig ALIVE, then maybe I understand their point, but common, get real!
19:11 June 25, 2009 by magic1964
Slowly the majority have to obey to the minorities..
21:19 June 25, 2009 by insect
Because they are not targeting other meat serving restaurants here is a thought...... Hansen is a Danish name.......I'm just saying....
22:43 June 25, 2009 by justanotherexpat
So what's this guy done to incur the wrath of Umeåbor? I mean, I know they're a bit.........insular........up there but is it really just about him having a Danish name? Shurely not! What's he done then? I mean, McD serves beefburgers and there's that whole Brazilian rainforest destruction to provide pasture land thing argument historically.........but they're still open (but not in Skellefteå - hilarious!)............so what's this guy done wrong?

Oh and threatening someone's kids. Very mature. Congrats, you total muppets!
23:16 June 25, 2009 by spy
Perhaps they had white rhino on the menu.
00:41 June 26, 2009 by Greg in Canada
I'm a semi-vegetarian, against animal cruelty and for animal rights, but these people in the Animal Liberation Front are just a bunch of pathetic whack jobs.
00:53 June 26, 2009 by 7
cyberfluffy...is that you?
01:33 June 26, 2009 by Kaylo
The vegan/straight edge movement in Umeå is pretty renowned (and violent). When McDs first opened it was repeatedly vandalised and was temporarily shut down, but is still periodically vandalised, as are Systemet shops.

Maccas in the town centre still shuts quite early and has steel roller doors and shutters covering all its windows. So they haven't only been targetting this guy.

Apparently a few years back no-one would dare to wear a leather jacket around town.

The most common form of graffiti I saw around in Umeå was "V is for vegan" or "meat is murder".
02:56 June 26, 2009 by jack sprat
So,where are the protectors of human rights in all this?

The protectors of law and order and decent ppl.trying to make an honest living.

I am of course referring to possibly the most useless organisation in the history of the planet,...The Swedish Police.

Obviously they were fully aware of what was happening and informed of the possible threat to firebomb the restaurant owner and his family.

Obviously aware of criminals openly admitting to similar crimes.

The reaction of the police, as usual, appears to have been Sweet Fanny Adams,Zilch,Nothing.

Is it any wonder that decent ppl.are being forced to take the law into their own hands?

Is it any wonder that the dummies are standing there scratching their heads as to why dead pigs suddenly appear on their doorstep?

Please can someone tell me what is the point of even having a police force in Sweden.

Is the limit of their abilities apart from stuffing their faces with fast food and cream tarts solely to dish out a few traffic tickets?
03:16 June 26, 2009 by dtes
i am absolutely for animal rights, rights to not be exploited by man, just like i dont believe other humans have the right to exploit other humans, we should ALL respect other lifes and their rights to live free and without being fed off tortured, enslaved, used abused etc. with that said, i gotta say i think that all meat serving , and meat eating folks should cease and desist their nasty and cruel ways. i dont believe the alf folks are always making the best publicity for the rest of us radicals, but i dont believe they are the villains either, why dont you corpse chompers ever show any compassion for other beings feelings?
03:27 June 26, 2009 by Gustav- Fælbönnran
Most be very fjucking slowly, because meat is on the menu at 99 percent of the restaurants in the developed world, and featured prominently at all grocery stores.
03:32 June 26, 2009 by jack sprat
Ive heard it said that plants have feelings too.

In any event do you want us all to turn into rabbits,....maybe not....probably still end up in the pot anyway.
03:33 June 26, 2009 by Gustav- Fælbönnran
Jack Sprat:

That was a Class A rant. An Old School, Take No Prisoners, Damn the Torpedos, Never Mind the Bollocks rant.

Sometimes a guy has just got to let it all out. We're here for you.

03:36 June 26, 2009 by jack sprat
Much appreciate that Gus,

Now I shall hit the sack and sleep soundly.
03:41 June 26, 2009 by Gustav- Fælbönnran
A good days work then.

Sleep well, all of you in Localland.
03:48 June 26, 2009 by Muttlestar Galactica
All in a days work at the LOLcal.
03:52 June 26, 2009 by jack sprat
I shall sleep very well, Gus, dreaming of big juicy T-Bone steaks,delicious Tender lamb chops and a fine Suckling Pig roasting on a Spit over an open fire.....and just to please the veggies I shall even stuff an apple in its gob!

Good Night All.
03:59 June 26, 2009 by Muttlestar Galactica
And you had to go mention the suckling pig I've been lusting after for the past few weeks. One of the few things I miss about Spain, was the ability purchase to a lovely shrink wrapped baby peeg from El Corte Inglais...Or however it's spelt.
05:05 June 26, 2009 by GrayRaceCat
Biologically I'm an animal, in nature animals eat animals, I eat animals, why is this a problem?
05:43 June 26, 2009 by Kjell-erik
Now now, there is room on this good earth for all of gods creatures....... right next to the potatismos! If you think other carnivores or omnivores treat each other with respect you need to watch a pack of coyotes attack a deer.
09:48 June 26, 2009 by AnimalFarm
Time to start targeting animal rights activists... in a non violent way of course.
10:00 June 26, 2009 by jack sprat
Maybe on a spit over an open fire.

Well-done of course,....they could be a bit chewy.
10:02 June 26, 2009 by VikingHumpingWitch
These terrorists should be sent to Guantanamo. God I loathe animal rights activists.
10:15 June 26, 2009 by Paulo +fab muscular than Jonnhy
hehehe I'm craving for a huge juicy delicious 10 oz steak right now.

Disclaimer: No halal method is necessary. The only thing I really care is how much protein it contains.
10:53 June 26, 2009 by spy

I love meat and animals can be reared for food in a very humane way but there are also some scandals.

For example, the intensive pig farming that takes place in Sweden that is banned in many other countries in Europe. Sows are kept in small individual pens, they lie on bare concrete for their entire lives. It is a highly stressful environment with high disease rates and incidences of tail biting etc.

This is very, very sad for the animals and a disgrace for the humans. I will never buy Swedish pork.
10:57 June 26, 2009 by jack sprat
I would have thought that this practice is much more common in certain other Scandinavian countries.
11:23 June 26, 2009 by Paulo +fab muscular than Jonnhy
Just give'em some morphine and that's ok.
11:36 June 26, 2009 by Eric Cantona
I'm reminded of the time when a human finger was discovered in the Linda McCartney food range...
13:43 June 26, 2009 by Streja
El Corte Inglés.
18:18 June 26, 2009 by elda
It is a very sad day when terrorists get their way. It teaches them and those that follow that crime is the way to get what you want. It is up to the whole community to stop this or it is the whole community that will pay in the end. This is happening all over the world, those that are narcissistic and want everything their way force it on those that want to just live and let live. It is time for the common man to stand up to the bullies and force them back under their rocks where they belong.
03:19 June 27, 2009 by Slackalak
I don't understand why these hypocritical animal activists don't go after the worst offenders FIRST. Clearly halal restaurants are the prime example of the worst possible cruel treatment of animals. It's absolutely savage. Interesting to learn about the intensive hog farming in Sweden though. Swedish pork is OUT until that gets reformed!
17:46 June 27, 2009 by jack sprat
SWEDEN and the UK were among the first to ban the dry pen system where the pigs are extremely cramped and had to lie on bare concrete.

DENMARK will be the last EU country to enforce this ban,(not of its own free will) and still has very large numbers of pigs kept on this inhumane system and will continue to do so until 2014.

Much of the cheaper imported pigmeat comes from the huge number of Danish farms still using this system.

Swedish farmers developed a much more humane indoor system where the pigs are housed on deep straw bedding.This system has since been adopted in quite a few countries.

In both Sweden and the UK many more outdoor pig systems have been re-introduced in recent years.
18:28 June 27, 2009 by mirability
The sad thing in Sweden is that this restaurant will close and nothing will probably replace it. Vegans have the furor, but Swedish vegans don't have much to offer in the kitchen. I ate at numerous vegetarian restaurants across Swedish and was really disappointed. Swedish vegan cuisine seems to consist of dry unseasoned fake soy meat on corn ships with a side of bland oat milk. Where are the spices? The fresh dark green vegetables? The fat? The only restaurant that served vegan food with flavor was Lao Wai in Stockholm.

Someone needs to bring vegan Sweden out of the Boca burger dark ages...I did my share. Thanks to me there are several Swedes that know that a good salad is NOT bland iceberg lettuce and out of season cukes and tomatoes slathered with low fat mayo.
20:01 June 27, 2009 by kindhearted
Jack: Do plants have similarly developed nervous systems and minds as pigs and cows?

GrayRaceCat: Biologically are your brains the same as those of animals? Or could you manage a little bit better than animals?

VikingHumpingWitch: These guys are fighting their own war on terror, at enourmous risk, and don't care what others think. Sounds familiar doesn't it?

Spy: How humane is it to separate sucklings (calfs) from their mothers and to kill them, while we suck the mothers dry? Have you ever visited an abattoir (killing ground)?

Slackalak: Halal AND Kosher ARE BARBARIC. But at least these guys are doing the best they can - you can't call them hypocritical. As Gus says, "meat is on the menu at 99 percent of the restaurants in the developed world". Glad he didn't say civilised world.

At least Mr. Hansen was given a choice. No such choice even for sucklings (babies).

The Pirate Party stands for something which is illegal. And look how the pirates have been treated by the courts. These guys also stand for something illegal and I guess they have about the same level of support as the Pirates. But would they achieve anything if they played by the rules?

And finally to believers in God, the PERFECT man and woman, Adam and Eve, lived on FRUITS.
20:05 June 27, 2009 by Muttlestar Galactica
I do hope so!
20:17 June 27, 2009 by Harding00
I still don't see why they are attacking this restaurant. If you're against eating meat that's fine, but leave others alone who eat meat. Humans beings evolved to eat meat AND vegetables, hence the reason our teeth are the way they are. If they are against the way the animals are treated prior to being killed, or the way they are being killed, then protest the legal way. There is no reason they can't lobby for changing the way animals are treated. I agree that animals should be treated humanly while waiting to be my next meal.
21:04 June 27, 2009 by CTIDinÅrsta
Do you think suckling pigs or cows have the ability to make rational, decisions based on logic, didactic or dialectic thought? How exactly would they express their choice? Is there a blankett they can fill in in Sweden?

The god of Abraham liked animal sacrifices, especially sheep. Adam's first wife, Lilith, ate her own children in their thousands, hardly a family to bring up as the epitome of good dining habits.

The Guardian had an exposé of the ALF in the UK after the trail of the grave robbing scumbags a while back. Their conclusion was that the ALF consisted mainly of pubescent teenage girls and somewhat older men trying to get in their knickers. The line just stuck with me and I'll never be able to take them seriously again.
21:48 June 27, 2009 by Harding00
Not quite sure where you were going with that.
18:16 June 28, 2009 by kindhearted
Harding00: What about the digestive system? Fruit, vegetables and grains are digested easily, quickly and efficiently whereas meat rots inside. No fruit, vegetables or grains have been linked with cancer or heart disease.

CTIDinÅrsta: Suckling baby calves, piglets, lambs etc don't want to be separated from their mothers. There is no high science or rational decisions made on logic involved there. The point is they are removed forcibly. I mentioned Adam and Eve and their fruit diet. I don't know who or what you are talking about.

If POP is given a proper explanation as to where meat comes from and then given a free choice, POP will almost certainly decide not to eat it.

If liberal and emancipated Sweden is against indoctrination of children, they should be told how meat is obtained and then given a free choice.
19:01 June 28, 2009 by Muttlestar Galactica
In regards to Christianity, her's is an apocryphal story, another one has her as being Adam's 7th wife, Eve (8th) being the "keeper" as she was made of both Adam's rib and clay.
17:19 June 30, 2009 by kindhearted
Liberal and emancipated Sweden is against the indoctrination of children.

Children should therefore be told how meat is obtained and given a guided tour of an abattoir.

Then let children make a free choice on eating meat.

Hope Pop's parents give Pop this choice.
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