Russians Raise the Steaks By Demanding Blood

On April 23, 2012, the sun dawned on an act of revolution. In the night, someone had hung 240 banners along the Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge, gateway to Red Square and the Kremlin. Each was printed with a familiar Soviet image — an upraised fist — and the slogan: “We demand blood! … with steak, salt, pepper, and [a] glass of good wine!”

It was a publicity stunt for Goodman Steakhouse, a restaurant chain that has been trying to whet the Russian appetite for beef since 2004. While demand has slowly been growing in the last few years, back then, they had their work cut out for them. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, when cattle populations plummeted, per capita beef consumption had decreased by nearly 50 percent. But by 2012, Russia’s economy was improving, herds of beef cattle were growing (see A First-Generation Russian Bull Comes of Age), and Goodman believed it could jolt the Russian people from their meatless coma.

Read more: National Geographic, The Plate

Ryan Bell is traveling through Russia and Kazakhstan for his project#ComradeCowboys. Follow his adventure on Twitter, Instagram, andFacebook. Get updates about his work at Storify.