Animal rights activist protested outside of Lisa Vanderpump restaurants in West Hollywood Thursday evening demanding that the animal rights activists stop the sale of chicken at her restaurants, specifically Jidori chicken, and replace it with a plant-based chicken. The group was part of Slaughter Free Network, which is a network of activists around the world campaigning for a slaughter free, plant-based food system.
A group of about ten protesters stood outside Sur Restaurant, located at 606 N Robertson Blvd at around 6pm. The group was small, but effectively loud, holding up sign with photos of tortured chickens and yelling into bullhorns at diners inside Sur. “Lisa Vanderpump, shame, shame, shame on you and what you do!” They chanted. “Hey Lisa Vanderpump, what do you say? How many chickens bled today?”
Nathalie Pouille, the co-owner at Sur tells WEHO TIMES that the group has been harassing her for months demanding that the restaurant remove all chicken from Sur’s menu and replace it with plant-based chicken. “I got to the point where I removed Jidori chicken from the menu and I just have regular chicken because it is my right,” she said. “What they are trying to do is get me to sell their plant-based product, which I don’t know what that is. I respect vegans, I respect vegetarians, but this is not OK.”
When asked why Sur Restaurant was being targeted when there is a Mexican restaurant that just opened next door that also serves chicken, Pouille said she believes Lisa Vanderpump’s celebrity status makes her a target. “Of course, they are targeting Lisa,” she said. “She’s a name and they hope that by targeting her, it will give them publicity. I don’t want to give them attention.”
Leah Goodwin, who describes herself as an animal rights activist and organizer for Slaughter Free Network says she is not harassing, nor does she have a product that she is pushing, but is simply trying to get them to change to a plant-based chicken option. She said she has been reaching out to all the owners of Sur and Pump to let them know of the cruelty that is Jidori and that she’s sent them photos on a bi-weekly basis showing them the bad conditions these animals face. “Nothing is changing despite our claims and evidence,” she said. “Supposedly Jidori is the best of the best chicken, and they say they took it off the menu. They need transition into a plant-based option.”
Jidori Jidori is a Japanese homophone which translates to “from the ground”. Jidori chicken refers to a type of mixed-breed domestic free-range chicken known for what is a described as a robust flavor and it’s high price ranging from $40-$60. The original Jidori chicken began when a precious pure breed of chicken called Hinaidori was crossed with the Rhode Island Red to create Akita Hinai-jidori, with Akita referring to the prefecture of Japan, and Hinai referring to the town. The chickens are said to be fed an all-vegetarian diet, including clover, tomatoes, and apples. They are delivered the same day of slaughter, insuring freshness — so much so that Hinai-jidori chickens are served sashimi-style, meaning raw.
After protesting at Sur Restaurant, the demonstrators rallied at Pump Restaurant located at 8948 Santa Monica Blvd., They called out statements demanding that Lisa Vanderpump care about all animals, not just dogs, referring to Vanderpump’s advocacy through her Vanderpump Dogs Foundation, which focuses on finding homes for dogs.
The reality star is known for her dog rescue efforts. Through Vanderpump Dogs, she also hosts World Dog Day in the City of West Hollywood, which celebrates dogs while raising awareness about global dog abuse, including the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. The Vanderpump Dog Foundation has rescued and adopted more than 2,300 dogs to their forever homes domestically, and hundreds more internationally.
“Why does Lisa have compassion for one animal, but none for other animals?” Goodwin asked. “She should denounce serving chicken completely. I truly believe she’s a hypocrite, but hopefully she will come around.”