Let’s be brutally honest – those Vegan protestors are right and why confrontational protests are the future

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‘Let me at them’: World reacts to vegan vigilantes who stormed Auckland supermarket

On Sunday a group of vegan protesters caused a national debate after storming St Lukes Countdown and blocking shoppers from the meat section.

During a tense standoff, vegan activists held up signs which said “stop eating animals” and “it’s not food, it’s violence”.

The news made international headlines and has since caused a stir across the globe.

Media from around the world including Australia, the UK and the US weighed in on the incident, with many questioning the hostility of the protesters.

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Across the ditch, one Today host on Nine News slammed the protesters as “vegan vigilantes” and said he wouldn’t have been so patient as the customers in Countdown.

“I’ll give those cameramen something to aim their cameras at. If a vegan came between me and a lamb roast I would open him like a tin of beans. It would be on for young and old,” he said on Today.

“I choose to eat the beasts. Let me at them. Vegans are very passionate, and I understand why but really they must have eaten so much tofu to get the energy up to protest.”

For the most part, Vegans have focused on the cruelty our love affair with meat causes the animals themselves, but a far, far, far stronger argument of self interest can now be made for a vegan diet to combat the climate emergency.

The amount of extra resource used to grow a pound of flesh compared to plants is enormous and with synthetic meat around the corner, the ethical, moral, economic and environmental argument eclipse any ‘but it tastes better’ arguments.

The protest we saw last week was confrontational, and that’s the point. People need to be confronted.

The problem for meat eaters is that the the climate emergency is only going to get far worse and it is getting far worse far faster.

We will see more of these types of confrontational protests the same way we will start seeing a rapid rise in Extinction Rebellion type mass arrest events.

Many refuse to accept the climate emergency is happening, but with every day that passes, more realise the enormity of what is coming and the need to confront those too apathetic to change.

Last week was a glimpse of the future. It only gets far more confrontational from here.

37 COMMENTS

  1. Woke posturing, like that entitled, white child going around the globe whinging that ‘her’ future is at risk. Really, blocking community access to one of the few places people can buy a variety of food cheaply? Push protesting is getting as putrid as push marketing or push media. Is the Facebook page not working? Why don’t these people protest at source, the farms and abattoirs? They will find understanding and kinship there.

        • Y’know even if I have to grow my own animal protein I’ll always be able to enjoy me a lovely steak. That’s me acknowledging that the days of 250g meat motions with every meal are totally numbered.

          Having said that The Extinction Rebellion are under no obligations to make sense to anyone.

        • Well it’s a lot closer to the traditional kaimoana of Aotearoa, before they brought in those cloven hoofed beasties to churn up the topsoil and guzzle and foul up the waterways. (Happy munching 🙂 )

          • Kheala: “Well it’s a lot closer to the traditional kaimoana of Aotearoa, before they brought in those cloven hoofed beasties…”

            Lest we forget: by the time of first European contact, Maori were beginning to run low on food sources. This was because they had eaten to extinction all of the large flightless birds here. They were increasingly reliant upon smaller birds, eels, fish and seafood of various sorts, kumara, fern roots and the like. It appears that they’d either lost the knowledge or lacked suitable resources to construct the large ocean-going waka in which the first Polynesian settlers had arrived. So they were unable to return to the islands whence they’d come, to bring back pigs and chickens. Pressure over diminished supplies of food very likely led to increased conflict between tribes. See this:

            https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rsos.160258

            In the 18th century, the early European explorers gave Maori the potato, the carrot and the cabbage. On his second visit, Cook brought pigs (the Captain Cooker, remember?), goats and chickens. Without these easily-grown vegetables and sources of protein, and if there’d been no further contact with Europeans, it’s very likely that there’d have been a large scale population crash, such that eventually, there’d have been few or no people left. Many years ago, I read an academic paper on this topic; I can’t now locate it.

    • We had a chance to sort this at the 2001 Coppenhaggen Climate Conference and we blew it. The tragedy is all this was avoidable.

      When people are trying to shut close down the Extinction rebellion, it IS time to be alarmed, moreso when this problem will NOT go away, and will cause the biggest problems mankind has ever faced.

      And we’re STILL denying it.

      And of course, you’re doing your part to enable climate change deniers.

  2. Veganism and the bridges to it–Vegetarianism and Flexitarianism–are the future; whether fat gutted bully boy BBQ’ers like it or not! Flexitarianism is where a lot of people are at, eating less meat and dairy for several reasons, and not feeling bad when they do have a snack or meal including animal products.

    But really ‘Meat is Murder’ is as true as ever. Animal cruelty and exploitation will diminish, and land use become more efficient as production and consumption moves away from Meat and Dairy.

    • “land use become more efficient as production and consumption moves away from Meat and Dairy.”

      Ideally the government would be providing incentives to encourage farmers of those livestock to transition, parts of their farms at least, to growing more orchards for example. This could be in the form of low-interest loans or even grants to those making such changes, as well as removing the GST from NZ-grown fruit and veggies. Such moves would benefit all Kiwis.

    • Many areas used for animal farming would not be suitable for any plants . City folk seem to not know vast amount of fertilizer is used growing vegetables economically it is not just an extension of the back garden. Cruelty is not condoned but generally farmers know a well cared for animal is worth more to them so it in their interest to look after their stock. Vegan have a right to be vegan but this does not give them any right to stop me do somethnk that is legal

  3. Yuck.
    Good luck with this approach, the backlash is going to put the climate change cause back 100 years.
    “Meat is murder” yet a bunch of you woke hypocrites support slow cruel death by aerial poison of thousands of creatures.
    I don’t see a great future in denying humans omnivorous nature we evolved this way and yelling at the meat in aisle 16 wont change that.

    • Cough. The irony in your comment is too rich to ignore.

      We don’t have 100 years left Comrade, the climate emergency is now, unfolding in real time and it is far more dangerous than we anticipated. As the climate emergency dominates the news agenda day in and day out, defending meat consumption will become less and less possible. The age of denial is over, the age of civil disobedience is upon us.

      • I think time and money are best spent on cleaning up our water for security of our own food supply, and a massive increase in defense spending.
        Reality is, long before millions or billions die from the actual climate change, war for resources will be our biggest danger.
        Angry vegans are unlikely to make good shock troops but I could be wrong, perhaps fortified with a few vitamins and some iron tablets. Can have a constipating effect I understand.
        Yelling at each other next to the frozen chicken is going to save no one.

  4. Thanks, Martin, for getting it. For those carnist snowflakes whining about how being exposed to another point of view hurt their feelings and restricted their choice, perhaps you would consider how much choice the animals have. None. Nobody has a right to force their views down the throats of others. Quite literally in the case of foie gras, and almost literally in the case of the 100 million animals that are mutilated, raped, dismembered, and crippled every year in New Zealand alone.

    The animals are the major victims of course, but consumers have also been lied to. The meat industry have been making metaphorical foie gras with our brains. Ramming their outdated and untrue views on the benefits of a meat diet to an incredulous public. Spending millions on targeting advertising. Getting in our faces with their intrusive TVE ads. And using lobby groups like Saunders and Unsworth to gain access to the politician’s ears. I used to work for the public service in New Zealand, and I know that while nothing as vulgar as money ever changes hands, the special interest groups have a way of making sure theirs is the only view that gets considered.

    We need to stop eating meat for the sake of the environment, as you state. More importantly, we need to stop the ritualised torture, which, in numbers and severity, torments more sentient beings each year than every war, every genocide, every holocaust and every gulag in human history.

  5. I must, respectfully, disagree. This sort of confrontational protest is guaranteed to beget a backlash of particularly ugly proportions. A backlash that will only end when the huge preponderance of meat-eaters over non-meat-eaters have utilised their economic, political and cultural power to silence vegans and veganism completely. For that reason, among many others, it constitutes an extremely misguided style of politics. If you want to know from whence right-wing populism draws its strength – then look no further.

    • Comrade – the terribly smug beauty of my statement is that the climate emergency, with its wildfires, its droughts, its extreme weather events, its geopolitical wars, its total encompassing horror will add a weight to the ethical, moral, economic and environmental righteousness of veganism in a way that con only get more and more militant.

      The age of climate denial and the ability for the individual to divorce themselves from the consequences of their individual choices is over. In the words of Greta Thunberg today “If you belong to that small group of people who feel threatened by us, then we have some very bad news for you. Because this is only the beginning.”

    • I agree that such activity may give rise to a backlash, but how is this different from protesting outside abortion clinics, or, for that matter, the protests against the springbok rugby tour in 1981?

  6. New Zealand has a long proud history of Protestant wowserism and moral wankerism going back to the original miserable clergy we got from the Brits.

    Christianity is out since “science”, but science now tells us climate change.
    So we have our new Puritan acolytes to preach moral servitude and what it is unholy to eat and who are the virtuous ones.
    Independent thought or deed is filthy meater separatism and must be shouted down.
    We are DOOMED and must be saved.
    Repent and eat your veges.

  7. The only long-term solution is population control – regardless of how much you hate meat eaters. Advocating otherwise will result in the entire planet being converted to arable land to feed a trillion+ people with humans literally the only animal still alive.
    My take is that animals eat other animals and that is perfectly natural – look at lions, hawks, sharks, spiders or whatever. There is nothing wrong with the notion of humans eating animals (like all carnivores have to do) despite us being omnivores and having a choice. Farming animals is 100% fine if done sustainably and humanly. The issue that TDB so far refuses to address is that humans themselves are ultimately irrefutably unsustainable at any level of population growth above 0% regardless if we all become vegan or not.

  8. What would a confrontation protest against immigration look like? Too many Muslims, for instance. And what if the protester happened to be a body armoured Australian?

    And who are we fucking with? Do we know what shit are people going through in their personal lives before we blindside them with our cause? In a supermarket?

    Then everyone takes up the confrontation protest principle. A Jew at the entrance tells me that there is almost nothing Kosher in the supermarket and tries to block my entry. Maybe I can buy some salt, but nothing else. Another group tell me that the produce is imported and doesn’t support local jobs. Others stop me because of the pesticides and the links to cancer. Yet another group, because of the damage to the environment due to the clearance of natural forest for farming.

    Ahhh, the alcohol section. But it is full of family violence advocates. Skip the meat section, I read about those guys in the paper.

    Can’t get to the magazines either. Lizzie Marvelly and Ali Mau are there. Women are unfairly represented to please the patriarchy. Outdoor, automotive and sport titles only reinforce toxic masculinity.

    I make for the tinned fish. John West is sexist and racist. Two minute noodles are cultural appropriation. Don’t even think about buying an Eskimo pie. Coffee equals slave labour. Bread is rubbing it in the face of celiacs. Rabbits have been tortured for my shampoo product…

    Is confrontation the best recruitment technique?

    • The dilemma we face when we embrace veganism in the name of health, environment and in particular the cruelty aspect
      Dilemma 1, What will happen to the millions of cows and sheep when our enlightened farmers throw open the gates on there farms or should I say death camps and set there livestock free?
      Dilemma 2, After these liberations of our farms happen will the right and woke full turn there attention to those of us who have a captive pet and we then have to set them free to do what comes naturally to our faithful pets yep that’s right slay and munch out on a furry bunny or a bird or 2
      Dilemma 3, This is a major one What will happen when I lift the hangi at our next Whanau gathering and instead of a juicy bit of wild poaka, chicken and mutton to accompany the usual spud,kumera,pumpkin,cabbage and stuffing They will have to make do with a soggy piece of soy protein or similar

      • Dilemma 1 – as the market rapidly changes towards synthetic meat and milk production, the cost of rising livestock will create its own incentives for stock depletion.

        Dilemma 2 – No.

        Dilemma 3 – I think your whanau will be a tad more concerned with the rapidly rising temperatures, erratic weather patterns, global wars and sudden interruption of the food production cycle than your hangi.

  9. The industrialised meat industry is a horror show, particularly for pigs, an intelligent sensitive creature in a par with dogs and cats. It’s fucken cruel full stop, and we only carry on eating meat because we don’t dare face the reality. This is different from a peasant harvesting chickens and sheep and cows etc

    There is something demonic about the greedy modern meat industry, and also from the view of climate change as Martyn says

    • How about those Chinese skinning cats and dogs alive.
      That’s an actual horror show. Improves the flavour apparently?
      I think animal rights warriors should spread their message first to those nations with horrendous treatment of animals before they sit in soft western countries with actual welfare laws and preach.
      Animal welfare is a rich western luxury, unfortunately.
      Let us know how you get on in Saudi lecturing them on halal slaughter, or lecture the Chinese government on treatment of dogs for meat, or the Indonesians on treatment of cattle.
      Ever worked on a farm or in a meat works?

      • “How about those Chinese skinning cats and dogs alive.
        That’s an actual horror show. Improves the flavour apparently?”

        Interesting how Westerners come up with all these little supposed nuggets of chinese culture, that Chinese have no idea of themselves. Never met a Chinese who is even aware of such a thing —but plenty of idiots like yourself swallow any urban legend or meme so long as it negatively reflects on non-white people.

        You are right in a sense though. Animal welfare is a rich western luxury, and as Westerners consume the most meat by far per capita, and have caused most of the damage to the world environment, particularly in a cumulative sense, and as they have that luxury and time to do so, they do have a duty to bring this matter first and foremost to those people who eat the most meat in the world- –that is common sense

        • Bullshit.
          I won’t link it because it’s horrific but google Yulin dog eating festival (as if you don’t know)

          Chinese lecturing on western pollution? Yeah ok, while you exercise your google finger, have a squizz where China ranks on all sorts of criteria.

          Then come back and whine some more about mean western farmers and nasty westerners and their filthy pollution.

          • Yulin dog eating festival…
            that has nothing about skinning animals alive to improve the tast as you claim? Or did that arise from your fevered racist imaginings.

            “Chinese lecturing on western pollution? Yeah ok, while you exercise your google finger, have a squizz where China ranks on all sorts of criteria.”

            Look at this link ( https://bit.ly/2yVDAFR ) called Cumulative CO2 emissions by region.

            You can see that as of 2017 China, India, the rest of Asia are only responsible for about 25% of cumulative emissions to date.

            Whereas Europe and the United States are responsible for around 77% of cumulative carbon emissions to date.

            And if you were to look at it on a per capita basis, the imbalance is even more skewed.

            So is the West primarily responsible for climate change? YES.

            So does the West have a moral duty to do the heavy lifting in
            cleaning up the mess and fucking it up for developing countries and Pacific countries threatened by sea level rise? YES.

            Westerners should come down in living standards so Africans and Asians etc can come up. Westerners have enjoyed more than their fair share of the world’s resources, pilfering from Africa, China, India, Middle East etc.

            • China: worlds second largest cumulative emitter according to your link.
              And the dog thing, I get different cultures having different ideals and ideas of what is food I don’t have a problem with that per se. we eat pigs and they are smarter than dogs after all.

              It is the humane treatment of the animals that is lacking in countries with no welfare laws.
              Glasshouses/stones

              • You obviously can’t read charts. Go to:
                Cumulative CO₂ emissions by world region.

                In spite of being about 1/4 the world’s population for a long time is only responsible for 13% of cumulative emissions.

                The United states and Europe together (with about China’s population) has contributed to about 60% of global emissions to date.

                Here is the important chart. The West, including Australia and New Zealand have far higher per capita emissions, even now, than China:
                https://tinyurl.com/y6abgbfw

                Glasshouses/stones

                So the average Westerner should reduce his standard of living so the average third worlder can improve his.

  10. @ keepcalmcarryon.
    “Ever worked on a farm or in a meat works?”
    Yes. Yes I have.
    I’ve herded sheep into the yards, drove them, one at a time into the killing shed, cut their throats/broke their necks, hoisted them up by the heels while they bled out then skinned and gutted them then chopped them up into various ‘cuts’ then dropped some of their flesh into the deep freeze and ate some of the rest and the next day I’d wipe my arse clean of them.
    Anyone who’s done odious things will, in the fullness of time, come to regret what they did. The price one must pay for enlightenment is a terrible high price indeed. The moment awareness hits? It’s like suddenly becoming haunted. From that moment on, we must learn to keep the company of ghosts.
    A word of sincere advice to the young and still innocent. Don’t. What ever miserable, selfish thing you’re planning? Don’t. You might think it funny? Ironic? Clever? Cool? Shits and Giggles? If it’s cruel and it may hurt others, including wee beasties? Then you too, will become haunted eventually. Your minds may become over run with ghosts for ever.
    If you do? Then forgiveness is a gift that one can only give oneself and in that regard, one can never be too generous.
    Eating our fellow sentient beings is a hangover from more desperate and barbaric times. Those times have ended.
    Making money from supplying beasties to be killed to be eaten by the ghastly masses is a special kind of abhorrence to me now that I can barely think about those times without a large glass of wine at the ready. But oh! O, for opium! ?
    One must now be a special kind of dumb to not see that we’re fucked. Most of us humans? We’re soooooooo fucked. And we’re so fucked on so many levels.
    What German artist described most humans as “mere sacks that eat in the front then shit out the back. Nothing more than that?” That German artist was closer than not so in describing us. The dreaded Masses.
    I was in Cambodia years ago. Way before dirty USA, Russian and Chinese money.
    I wandered through a vast, ramshackle market teeming with people and in there, I saw pups, spiders, beetles and birds of all kinds being sold to eat. There were snakes and big fat domesticated rats too. All yum-yum…
    It’s a great pity, that those of you who rejoice in eating flesh are unlikely to start on your own kind first.

    • Made your money, sold the farm, moved to town now turning on “those of you who rejoice in eating flesh”.
      Hmkay.

    • Ok so other than me brushing you off with sarcasm let’s elaborate on your arguments.
      You seem to be conflating 3 reasons for your position
      1)morality or not of eating a sentient creature
      2)animal welfare
      3)environmental sustainability

      In response then I’d say
      1) it is perfectly ok for an animal to eat another, we are no different to other omnivores in that respect.
      As part of my job I am payed to kill (euthanase) pet animals. That is acceptable to most of society.
      Killing to eat is surely a more pure motive, it is natural for a predatory species.
      Life and death are real, sheltering from this by decrying killing animals for food is decrying nature.

      2) animal welfare on a well run farm is just fine, it’s in the farmers interest to have healthy livestock. It’s better than a wild deer torn apart by wolves or dying of starvation in a bad year.
      I never enjoyed having to cut throats either, it’s one reason I don’t farm sheep.
      I love my beef breeding cows which I bottle raised, they were too nice to fatten and send to the works so I put a bull over them and sell their calves store for someone to finish.
      My girls get a good long life, their calves are well treated and will have shorter but good lives also.
      3) environmentally, not all NZ is able to be cropped, but we are in a position where it’s quite possible to be carbon neutral if we wanted and still produce milk and meat as well.
      In the big picture, 80 percent of wildlife is already gone and habitat modified , their emissions (bison herds in their millions, water buffalo)are in a sense replaced by livestock -in many places(but not all) too many.
      The answer is not to force a change to no meat, that won’t happen. The answer is balance and less intensive livestock farming economically that means for high end products.

      New Zealand will have to stop importing more problem though if we want carbon neutrality. Last year we imported 63 000 units which produce 20 tonnes of c02 every year. What am I talking about? People.
      How many is enough? 5 million?

      Cambodia, a beautiful place still with an ugly recent history.
      You can still buy the bugs to eat, it’s an attraction for the rich white tourists.
      The locals don’t eat bugs because of environmental or welfare motives, they eat them because they are poor the poor can’t afford ethics welfare or environmentalism: for $120 US you can fire an RPG at a cow.

    • “the future is state violence, war and barbarism…”

      Not if we as a nation choose to transition peacefully to a more equitable and more sustainable way of living, which we now have the opportunity to do.

      (We also need to re-claim our own sovereignty from O/S landlords, O/S banks and financiers, and O/S big-money influencers of our local media.)

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