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Climate Change

11th Aug 2021

Farmer drop kicks vegan protestor for invading his property

Kieran Galpin


Vegan activist assaulted by farmer

Disdain for veganism, and by extension hate crimes and prejudice against vegans, have risen in recent years.  There have been 172 crimes relating to veganism over the past five years, with just nine in 2015 and four years later rising to 55 annually. The latest to hit the headlines includes one irate farmer assaulting a vegan activist for invading his property.

Meat the Victims

A group of protestors attached to the ‘Meat The Victims’ group entered the Hall Green Farm in Yorkshire at the end of July. The group was hoping to expose the ‘disgusting and inhumane’ conditions of the farm, though the group leader tells JOE that they don’t target farms specifically because they are bad.

“Contrary to propaganda spread by farmers, we do not pick on bad farms.” Marie Smith, the leader of the group, told JOE.

“We often choose farms that adhere to welfare tags like Red Tractor and RSPCA assured to prove to the public that these tags are only there to make the good consumer feel better about their choices but, in reality, does nothing for the animals,” she added.

While the activists record the farm they had been investigating for six months, a farmer is seen to be running in from the right and seemingly kicks them into a nearby wall.

“The assault was unfortunate but luckily the activists targeted were mainly ok, apart from a few injuries but we have learned from that and have put measures in place to better protect my team in future,” Smith said.

Get out now, every single one of you, I don’t give a f**K,” he can be heard saying. “All of you get out, otherwise I will wrap this f**king bar round your f**king heads.”

But Smith touches on something she finds more distressing: “If he treats peaceful humans like that who were not retaliating, how does he treat those pigs that are in his care?”

“So many of the locals have been campaigning to get this particular farm shut down for years due to the horrific smell and sounds on their doorstep but were even more horrified when they saw our footage of what actually goes on in there.”

West Yorkshire Police have since arrested the man on four counts of alleged assault.

“Officers attended at the address and found several people present nearby. Following enquiries a man was arrested on suspicion of four offences of assault,” they said in a statement.

“The arrested man was later released under investigation and enquiries remain ongoing.”

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs reportedly said the conditions at Hall Green Farm are ‘no worse than any other farm.’

The rise of veganism

Between 2014 and 2020, the numbers of vegans in the UK have quadrupled. With roughly 600,000 vegans currently in the UK and a further 1.2 million vegetarians, the intersection of the climate crisis and our diets is an increasingly poignant topic.

People are vegetarian/vegan for several reasons, including animal welfare, health, fitness, accessibility, and climate change. The Guardian reports that meat and dairy provide just 18 per cent of calories and 37 per cent of protein. However, it takes up 83 per cent of farmland and produces over 60 per cent of the agricultural industries greenhouse gas emissions.

In another piece, the Guardian reports that the average US and UK citizen must consume 90 per cent less beef and 60 per cent less dairy to combat the climate crisis. They estimate that this could include cutting animal products from breakfast and lunch.

Though often criticised, activist groups like Meat the Victims say they are pushing for their version of a better tomorrow.

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