A butcher was filmed aggressively swinging meat in the faces of vegan protesters in a video that’s gone viral on Facebook.
The incident took place on July 28 at Kirkgate Market, Leeds, when a group of vegans came to the market to carry out what they claim was supposed to be a silent protest.
The individuals, who had arrived carrying signs that read messages such as, “Humans do not need to consume animal flesh to survive and thrive,” were met with angry outbursts from the butchers trading on the last Saturday of the month.
One butcher was captured on camera approaching the protesters holding lumps of raw meat and waving them in their faces.
Another butcher then took a pig’s head and placed it on top of the counter at the front of his stall.
Ginette Lindström, who filmed the confrontational interaction live on Facebook, explains to The Independent what occurred on the day.
“I started filming because the verbal abuse started immediately as we (silent protesters) walked around the corner and had become visible to the butchers,” she says.
“I felt that it was important to capture the moment live so that people could see that we remained peaceful at all times and in case of physical assault.
“We were there to raise awareness about the horrendous and hidden abuse that goes on in relation to animal exploitation, mainly for food.”
Ms Lindström explains how the vegan protesters were “assaulted” with animal body parts, with the behaviour of the butchers becoming “violent”.
Several of the people present at the scene have reported the incident to the police, who told Ms Lindström that the group had every right to protest peacefully.
Since posting the video on Facebook, Ms Lindström has received a mixed reaction from supporters and critics alike.
“This post has really highlighted some extremely twisted individuals and promoters for the agricultural industry. We have received physical and sexual threats amongst other things and a lot of abuse in general,” she says.
Ms Lindström, who describes herself as a “vegan warrior”, has also revealed that one of the butchers has posted a message to the protesters on a Facebook thread, stating that “if the vegans wanna come down this Saturday it’ll be beef marrow bones we wrap around there heads [sic].”
He continued, writing: “If you want to be a vegan fine nothing against that but leave us butchers who are finding the game hard anyway alone to try and earn a honest living [sic].”
The protesters have also received numerous messages of support on social media according to Ms Lindström, with many people choosing to message them privately.
In June this year, a letter was sent to the French government on behalf of 18,000 butchers in regard to the “violence” that they’d experienced from vegan campaigners.
The letter was written by the president of the French Confederation of Butchery and Charcuterie (CFBCT) Jean-François Guihard and sent to the Interior Minister Gérard Collomb.