Blessing of the Animals feast far crueler to animals than you’d think

For Catholics, today is the feast day of St. Anthony the Abbot, patron saint of animals. You might think that a St. Anthony’s feast would celebrate such animals–and you’d be correct, but only if by “celebrate” you mean “kill”.

Animal-lovers in New Orleans are advised to avoid the St. Anthony’s feast being served today at a restaurant run by chefs John Besh and Aaron Sanchez. Check out the last sentence quoted here for some mind-blowing leaps in logic:

The five-course menu celebrates the feast day of St. Anthony the Abbot, said to be the guardian and protector of animals. In Mexico, the tradition includes bringing your favorite animal to Mass for an annual blessing and asking for protection and blessing of livestock.

Executive Chef Miles Landrem’s menu includes a crispy pig ear salad with winter greens, garlic-citrus vinaigrette and a chili-cured egg yolk; a lamb tartare tostada with adobo, charred onion aioli and shaved foie gras; duck carnitas with masa dumplings, truffle butter, manchego and duck skin chicharron; mole-crusted New York strip steak with roasted root vegetables, jalapeno, gremolata and marrow jus; and “pan de chango” or Mexican monkey bread.

“We want to bring this age-old Mexican tradition to the restaurant by offering a Blessings of the Animals Feast,” Landrem said in a prepared statement. “I think it’s important for us to represent the history and customs of Mexico at our restaurant and we chose to do so by honoring the animals we will serve during this dinner and paying our respects to nature.”

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