Yo PETA! I got a bone to pick with you (as it were). Why go after a small, sustainable neighborhood butcher shop when you could take on, I DUNNO, Tyson? Hormel? Cargill? You know, pick on somebody your own size!

The consistently assholey (and sexist) animal rights group put up a billboard across the street from Chicago’s Publican Quality Meats. (“You can live without those ribs. I can’t,” the sign reads, with a photo of a pig. “Try vegan.” Image above.) But rather than get ragey (like, say, I just did), Publican responded with grace and intelligence:

We choose to eat meat, but acknowledge that death as respectfully as possible. We deal with farms and purveyors where animals are free-range, uncaged, fed natural diets, are given no antibiotics or steroids and are slaughtered as humanely and painlessly as possible. But they ARE slaughtered. There is a death.

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This is why we do not waste a molecule of these beautiful animals … We feel this honors the life of the animal and is the right way to do this kind of work …

Anyone who … thinks we’re going to mock or belittle PETA will have to go shopping somewhere else. We … admire PETA’s knack for provocation and creative chutzpah. We are, and this might seem odd to say unless you really think about it, also people who are for the ethical treatment of animals with one gigantic difference; we do choose to eat animal flesh. We also choose not to ignore the reality of the choice.

Publican employees went to one of the shop’s suppliers a month ago to witness a slaughter so they’d know how the animals they sell live and die. Publican’s sous chef, Cosmo, has even slaughtered lambs himself.

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Publican is a shining, tasty example of how to do meat right if you don’t happen to be a vegetarian or vegan. PETA should be high-fiving them and spending its money going after the REAL villains: the factory-farming industrial meat companies.