Normally nothing more than a local story, and an event to look forward to for residents of Reykjavik, has turned into an international controversy, made newsworthy only after what many would deem to be unwanted publicity from the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Capitalizing on seasonal folklore and the popularity of Santa and his Reindeer, PETA members have launched a campaign targeted at Western society children, where Icelandic residents are depicted as evil Reindeer eaters. Local restaurateur Sven Hansberg says, "They are an over populated herd here in Iceland, and a local source of low fat protein. I don't understand the uproar, and let me tell you, they taste especially delicious lightly roasted with garlic butter and a pinch of tarragon."
Most Europeans and Americans when asked privately feel the same way about local traditions and sources of food, though when confronted with the same question in front of children, parental responses radically change. "Of course nobody is going to eat Prancer, that's Santa's favorite", one parent was heard saying.
Interest in the story had died down after the hotel removed the special from the menu, until PETA members found out that another cute animal would be featured on the menu during the upcoming migratory marine bird season. "Yes, we will have roasted Puffin available after the winter season, which is most of the year really, but it is a local favorite here".
"Just despicable", says PETA representative Emma Shiayted. "Those cute little multi colored birds deserve protection." Iceland residents disagree. "They are a blight on our shores", says Hansberg, "as overwhelming and as much of a nuisance as pigeons are to New York City, and besides they taste wonderful with grilled asparagus and paired with a Simi or Rutherford Valley Chardonay".