There’s been an uproar in Britain this holiday season—and not only because LeBron James broke protocol by putting his commoner arm around the Duchess of Cambridge. No, this is a firestorm of the culinary variety: In the leadup to Christmas, the supermarket chain Lidl began selling reindeer steaks in some of its locations in England. Among the offerings are smoked reindeer steaks and thinly sliced reindeer carpaccio.
Lidl defended itself, according to the Daily Mail, by saying that its reindeer meat comes from producers who adhere to the strict animal welfare standards of the European Union. By that they must mean Siberia, which is where young Prancer (Prancerovich?) roamed before being packaged and sold by a Finnish company, the Mail reported.
Regardless of reindeer's cuteness and their importance to Santa’s operation, there’s something to be said for eating these antlered critters without guilt. Reindeer is genetically identical to caribou and strikingly similar to regular deer. It’s a diet staple for various peoples who live in and around the Arctic Circle, where as even PETA points out, the creatures live in much better conditions than many other factory-farmed animals do elsewhere. The average Norwegian eats about 300 grams of it annually.