Lidl is selling Siberian Reindeer leg steaks under its deluxe luxury brand at £7.99 for 350g – four or five frozen steaks, promoting them glossy promotional material as “tasty steaks, exceptionally lean low-fat meal with a lovely natural flavour”.
But parents have accused the German-based supermarket, which has more than 500 shops in the UK, of “destroying the magic of Christmas” as it risks excitable children spotting the frozen steaks and thinking the reindeer won’t be bringing gifts.
Father Andrew Stevens, 47, criticised the chain, which also sells oven-ready partridges – which children will know from the carol Twelve Days of Christmas.
He said: “If my little girl sees this she’ll be worried the reindeer won’t be able to bring her presents this year because they’ve got no legs. It risks a lot of upset if children were to see the reindeer steaks. It’s not the type of thing you want when your kids are getting excited for Christmas and singing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.”
A spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said: “The idea of ‘Rudolph’ being slaughtered and cut up for dinner makes a mockery of the Christmas spirit of peace and good will to all.
“If left in peace, Siberian reindeer live to be about 15-years-old, but the ones being slaughtered for their flesh will just be young calves, forced to endure the terrifying ordeal of being herded by helicopter or snowmobiles, lassoed, and then dragged into trucks before being killed.”