Just in time for the holidays, IKEA in Britain offers reindeer salami


It's a good time of year to get attention for the plight of the poor reindeer, which is not treated with reverence by today's herders, according to animal rights activists. A group in England is taking this holiday season to call attention to the way these animals are treated by protesting IKEA's sales of reindeer salami.

The group, Viva!, says that most reindeer are herded in Sweden by helicopter and snowmobile, which terrifies them and stresses them out, and that most are slaughtered as calves, which means they never even see snow. So banish all thoughts of cuddly little reindeer frolicking at the North Pole as they prepare to help Santa fly his sleigh. These are animals raised in harsh conditions to be ground up and served as sausage.

The group wants IKEA to ban the products. Is a campaign in the U.S. next? IKEA has been expanding rapidly across the country, but a call to IKEA's headquarters here has not yet been returned. A fellow blogger on the Around Town blog for NBC Washington called the Brooklyn IKEA location and got a worker who didn't quite know the answer, but the exchange is worth noting for its quintessential Red Hook-ness.

If reindeer salami does make it to the stores here, you can bet a publicity campaign against it would work. The TV networks are about to launch into their holiday specials, and it would be about as bad PR as you could get to 'dis good old Rudolph this time of year.