MEAT-loving Australians took to social media yesterday in a show of support for farmers as vegan activists disrupted city traffic, chained themselves to abattoir equipment and cut livestock fences at a series of coordinated protests across eastern Australia yesterday.
The protests and the disruptions they caused triggered a wave of social media anger with activist feeds inundated with comments opposing the vegan protests and supporting the farmers they targeted.
A common theme of Facebook and twitter posts was that the activist’s actions would only turn people away from their cause and encourage more people to eat meat.
Some openly mocked the protesters, with one claiming they would eat a Big Mac burger for every day they were delayed by ongoing animal protests.
Ugh… I was supposed to start my vegetarian detox but now I want a steak…#wewillrisetogether
— BiaK (@BiaKing93) April 7, 2019
INCIDENT: CBD – A protest currently underway in the CBD has the Flinders Street Swanston Street intersection blocked. @VictoriaPolice are currently on-site. Allow extra time. #victraffic pic.twitter.com/fegQOalKX3
— VicTraffic (@VicTraffic) April 7, 2019
‘“It’s mung beans and almond ‘milk’ for me from now on,” said absolutely no one who watched today’s national disruptions,’ freelance journalist and former vegetarian Alex Carlton wrote on news.com.au.
“Congratulations vegans. You were slowly winning Australia over but today, you’ve ensured your self-righteous brand of terrorism will never win,” she wrote.
Meanwhile Victorian police said 40 people have now been charged with more than 120 offences following yesterday’s vegan protest which disrupted peak hour traffic in Melbourne’s CBD for more than two hours.
One person who was charged with obstructing an emergency worker faces a possible five-year jail term.
Charges include obstructing a road, obstructing the path of a driver as a pedestrian and possessing a drug of dependence.
All adults were bailed to appear at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on June 5 and three teens, aged 17, 17 and 15, were bailed to appear a children’s court on June 6.
Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals Leader Michael McCormack condemned the activists who raided farms and trespassed on properties as “a disgrace”.
“These people are nuts. They just don’t understand the fact farmers should be allowed to continue growing the world’s best food and fibre.
“They already do it in a way that is conscious of animal welfare standards, while looking after the environment, using water and soil to the best of their ability.
“These animal rights activists just want to stop farming as we know it and the full force of the law should come down upon them – State and Federal.
“They should be locked up and federally they’re breaking the Privacy Act and I know how strong and strident we’ve been to make sure we’ve tightened up the rules to make sure they can’t continue to release peoples’ details, to invade peoples’ privacy.
“These people (farmers) have young children and families but all of a sudden they’re being invaded by these animal activists.
“How would they like it if the farmers went and trespassed on their homes and did house break-and-enters, because that’s essentially what it is, and then they put their nonsense out on social media?”
Mr McCormack said he was concerned the animal rights activists are exposing these farms and facilities to potential biosecurity risks.
KAP Leader and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter said he was working up legislation which would make invasive and aggressive vegan activism illegal and punishable with jail time.
“Every Australian has the right to put forward his or her point of view – and Heaven only knows I have been removed by the police in demonstrations against the coal seam gas, along with Alan Jones – but you have no right to impose your viewpoint upon other Australians and invade their privacy.
“If the Government can’t protect a person’s right to privacy, their right to food, their right to private property, then you are not a government and you are taking your wages under false pretences.”
Mr Katter’s said his office had been in touch with local beef producers and processors who said vegan activists were adding further threat to their already struggling livelihoods and even terrifying children on farms.