When it comes to Arby’s restaurants, most of us either love them or hate them. Originally erected back in 1964, the original Arby’s was located in eastern Ohio and quickly made a name for themselves by serving only roast beef sandwiches, chips and soft drinks.
The chain currently runs over 3,000 locations around the world, delighting customers beef and cheese sandwich creations.
Earlier this month, the restaurant chain announced plans to bring back the popular venison sandwich, available with either deer or elk meat, depending on location.
Released last year, the sandwiches did experience some success and according to Arby’s; customers asked for their return this year. Timing the return of the venison sandwiches to many hunting seasons nationwide, their release has been met with both applause and apprehension.
While there were some on social media who clamored for the opportunity to consume the sandwich for a second straight season, there are also those who believe the release of a sandwich that utilized farm-raised game animals should be a cause for concern.
One such group is the Montana Wildlife Federation, who earlier this week, released a letter to the Arby’s Corporation voicing their concerns over the release of farm-raised elk sandwiches in three locations across Montana.
Inside the letter, the organization urged Arby’s to reconsider the marketing of wildlife as a commodity, especially in a state that outlawed game farms over 17 years ago.
“There is a real danger in marketing wildlife as a commodity like this,” said Nick Gevock, conservation director for the Montana Wildlife Federation. “This runs counter to Montana’s fair-chase hunting values by encouraging the commercialization of a public wildlife resource.”
Citing the state’s citizens penchant for chasing wild elk on public or private lands, MWF stated that is of their belief that there are better ways of promoting hunting heritage than through the use of commercially-farmed elk. In addition to commercializing a natural resource, the practice of game farming can also act as a dangerous conduit to the spread of diseases such as chronic wasting disease.
“There are much better ways to promote our hunting heritage and we welcome a productive dialogue with the leadership at Arby’s,” said Dave Chadwick, the executive director of Montana Wildlife Federation.
View the letter to Arby’s here.