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September 24, 2021

Restaurant Owner Calls Mother an 'Animal' after Kicking Her Out for Breastfeeding Baby

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When a mother breastfed her baby in a restaurant, she was told she wasn't welcome back because of these actions. Now she wants to raise awareness so other moms don't have to face the same treatment. 

This month, a restaurant in Anacortes, Washington, came under fire after the owner left a rude message for a couple who had been dining in the establishment.

The drama began when Ruby Meeden and her husband Aaron visited the Greek Islands Restaurant with their 4-day-old baby Rhett. The family planned to meet up with other relatives with the hopes of enjoying a meal together.

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THEY WERE TOLD TO LEAVE 

However, their experience in the restaurant was unpleasant. Aaron shared that the owner appeared to be busy with telephone orders, and after 30 minutes, he finally addressed them.

The owner instructed the family to leave the restaurant. When they asked what was wrong, the only reply they got was to "never come back." They were shocked and decided to leave an online review. 

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THE OWNER'S COMMENT

Their service review stated: "Terrible service nowadays" while rating them a 1 star. The restaurant owner was quick to respond to their comment.

Aaron used Google Translate to understand the owner's Greek comment. When he read the words, he was upset. The owner called the family's children "brats." The statement also referred to Ruby as an animal for breastfeeding her child in public. 

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DISCRIMINATORY ACTIONS 

According to state law, women are allowed to breastfeed their children in any public space, including places of public resort and accommodation. If an establishment does not adhere to this, it is considered discrimination.

Ruby shared that she went out of her way to be considerate when breastfeeding in the restaurant. Her baby was hungry, so she tended to him but made sure she was covered up and even faced a wall.

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THE EXPERIENCE SUCKED 

The mother said the experience sucked, and she added: “My choice to breastfeed my child in that restaurant was the reason my entire family was thrown out." 

The Meeden family has plans to involve the state Human Rights Commission in an investigation into the matter. A group of mothers also rallied in support of Ruby. 

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MOTHERS SHOW THEIR SUPPORT

They held up posters outside the restaurant, one of which read: "Babies need to eat too!" The restaurant purportedly changed to take-out only on the day of the demonstrations and eventually closed its doors early. 

Megan Stevens, who was part of the group rallying against the restaurant, called the actions illegal and added: “He's going to have to answer for it one way or another." 

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THE ONLINE REACTION 

Netizens also had a lot to say. Aaron shared the story on Facebook, and in the comment section, there were many messages of support.

One user wrote: "Your story has been shared to local breastfeeding groups. Action is going to be taken, we promise!" The outcry from the community was overwhelming and raised awareness about the issue just as the Meeden family had hoped. 

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