In an effort to bridge the divide that exists between animal rights activists and slaughterhouse workers, the two factions decided to host a vegan Christmas dinner together in Bristol, England. The activists hoped that the event would adhere to the beliefs that “only light can dispel darkness” and “only love can dispel hate.”
“We are not there to have a fight with slaughterhouse workers or drivers,” the group added. “We are there for the animals and the planet. If the demand stops, the slaughterhouse will stop.”
The activists, members of the Friends Not Food movement, usually show up at the Tulip Slaughterhouse in Bristol on Mondays and Tuesdays to “show love, kindness, comfort and compassion to the pigs” before the animals are taken to be slaughtered. The group works to raise awareness of animal rights and veganism, hoping that others will choose a meatless diet. The activists say they are moved by compassion and kindness.
According to The Vegan Society, a charity founded in the UK in 1944 by Donald Watson and Elsie Shrigley, among others, the demand for meat-free food increased by 987% last year and going vegan has been the biggest food trend in 2018. The society added that the vegan trend has quadrupled in the past five years. They also believe that if the world went vegan, 8 million human lives would be saved, greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by two thirds and climate damages would be decreased by $1.5 trillion by 2050.
View this post on Instagram
Have you managed to get your hands on the brand new @Naturli mince and burgers yet? We're hearing rave reviews! Find these beauties in the meat aisle of Sainsbury's stores. They're perfect for winning non-vegans round and they're registered with our @VeganTrademark too! Happy grilling 🔥🔥 . . . #vegan #veganuk #plantbased #veganfood #veganfoodie
While it’s unlikely that the entire world will adopt veganism as a lifestyle, many have already started reducing their meat intake through trends like Meatless Mondays, an international campaign that asks people to avoid meat on Mondays for the sake of their personal wellbeing and the welfare of the planet. The campaign was started at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for a Livable Future in 2003 by marketing professional Sid Lerner.
Friends Not Food hosts outreach events in Bristol to spread their message of compassion. The discussion during the holiday season centers around why the public should avoid eating turkey. Before Thanksgiving, Babe actor and vegan activist James Cromwell reached an agreement with a US farmer to release 100 live turkeys.
The rescue has been described by Wayne Hsiung, the founder of Direct Action Everywhere, an international network of animal rights activists founded in 2013 in San Francisco, as “the result of an unlikely friendship” and the embodiment of “Thanksgiving mercy.”