Reindeer Meat Sold for Christmas Season

As a Christmas holiday tie-in, Lidl grocery stores in the UK are selling reindeer meat as luxury produce. 

Here are some issues I have with this. 

The spirit of Christmas is wrapped in the mythical narrative of Santa Claus using flying reindeer to transport gifts. This is at the core of the holiday’s culture of giving. Selling reindeer — the animals who are part of the holiday’s foundational story — to eat is a direct contradiction, if not an outright exploitation.

If Christmas is a celebration of the magic of unconditional generosity, eating the animals who mythically guide Saint Nicholas might literally be interpreted as sort of sacriligious. Chef Eric Paxman who recently opened a restaurant in a town where one of the grocery stores is selling reindeer meat said, “I’ve never cooked reindeer meat before and I don’t really think it’s a good thing. It’s similar to Bambi and I don’t think it’s appropriate at all.” (Source: Huddlesfield Examiner)

The animal advocacy group, Viva!, says reindeer are herded using snowmobiles and helicopters, which cause the animals unnecessary stress when they are rounded up for slaughter. Lidl has said they don’t sell reindeer managed in this manner, and only use free-range reindeer. 
A spokesperson for PETA has condemned the selling of reindeer steaks, saying, “The idea of Rudolph being slaughtered and sliced into steaks for a novelty Christmas dinner is revolting. Christmas is supposed to remind us of peace and goodwill – and the rest of the animal kingdom could do with a taste of it, rather than being tasted.” (Source:

While PETA is sometimes viewed as taking extreme positons, they seem to be very in tune with what Christmas is about — or supposed to be about — and correct in their assessment. Many meat-eaters and vegetarians would probably agree with the general sentiment that Christmas has become, in some ways, too commercialized, with an emphasis on self-indulgence and materialism, exactly the opposite of what it is supposed to be.

During the Christmas season, Jesus is both the central figure and model. In the United States, the What Would Jesus Drive? meme circulated online, questioning excessive materialism, which invoked the name of Jesus and the restraint associated with him. It was a response to the boom in gas-guzzling, overly large SUVs. So the next questions is: Would Jesus have eaten reindeer steaks during Christmas?

Perhaps the answer lies in his own words, “If you are guided by the Spirit you will not fulfill the desires of your lower nature. That nature sets its desires against the Spirit, while the Spirit fights against it. They are in conflict with one another so that what you will to do you cannot do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.” Gal. 5.16-18 (Source:

Author Disclosure: I am not a Christian, nor have I ever been one, but the culture of Christmas must be meaningless if it is practiced as over-indulgence and self-centeredness, because it was intended to be about the opposite attitude and behavior.

Image Credit: Sydpolen


colleen p.
colleen p6 years ago

maybe we can teach 'em to grow soybeans all year around! or Monsanto can make them fur bearing soybeans. better than killing right?

colleen p.
colleen p6 years ago

in some parts of the world, Santa had horses to pull him. And what of "Black Pete?"

so how do we errativate a cultrual tradition of people who rely on reindeer? even if the Sami "treat them with care"

Christmas is/was about Jesus, not reindeer. before 1939 there was no rudolf.

Reka B.
reka b7 years ago

thank you

Penelope Bassett-Scarfe

Hi Clare
The benevolent beings from other planets have been watching and assisting our planet, and do things to help whenever needed such as a solar flare we had last month from the sun it could have been dangerous for us on earth, but they stepped in and helped out. But this year coming they will be disclosed more and more, by much more sightings of their triangular ships, and crop circles that will be noted as not doable by earthlings technology. So maybe they have been looking after the ozone too. But in regard to meat eating, even the top climatologist at NASA Dr James Hansen, has said that the single most effective thing we can do as individuals to help save the planet is to adopt the vegetarian diet, because then we are not waiting for our leaders who by the way have left things till the last minute as we have something like 700 days before we pass a tipping point that will be irreversible, then life on this planet will not be the same.

Nathalie Martel
Nathalie Martel7 years ago

Aside from the (obvious for me) issue of killing an animal for meet, I agree with the author's sentiment that this practice goes against Christmas. Try telling little kids what happens to Rudolph and see how the news is received. Why is this so hard to comprehend?

Kha Bliss
Past Member 7 years ago

I say if you want to eat flesh, let everyoone kill their own animal, hmmm bet there would be alot of gardners!

clara H.
Clara Hamill7 years ago

penolope If that was true then why didn't the ozone layer come apart years ago? The factory farming is to blame not all meat eating it's two are different things. Try reading something from the other pov not the brain washing of the pro vegan sites.

Sheri P.
Sheri P7 years ago


Penelope Bassett-Scarfe

All the meat eaters that have responded is amazing, it is animal agriculture that is creating the hottest green house gases in our atmsophere, these are real live feeling beings, just like we have many flowers, or just like we have different species of trees, we also have many sentient beings, humans, animals, fish, birds, insects and we think it is okay to kill whatever is around us, like reindeer and in China they eat dog and cat and monkeys etc. Its time to stop all the killing, Thou Shalt Not Kill - it says so in the Bible. We slaughter 60 billion animals every year, and add the fish we kill to that total brings the total up to 140 billion, that is a lot of killing, we are a very violent race of people in this Universe - just kill whatever is there. If we want to save the Planet, and create harmony and peace, we first of all have to stop killing. The Planet will start to repair itself if we stop producing methane from animal agriculture, nitrous oxide from animal waste products, and hydrogen sulfide, ammonia and Co2. The hottest green house gases being methane 72 times hotter over 20 years than Co2, nitrous oxide about 300 times more potent than all the cars trucks and all the transport in the world put together (UN Report 2006 - Livestocks Long Shadow). Let the peace on your plate reflect the Love in your Soul. We should not kill anything.

Teresa T.
7 years ago

Putting all other issues aside the blatant truth is this is just another way of making money, why dress it up in any other way.