Butchers are ‘murderers’, say French vegan activists

Tensions erupted in Paris this weekend as vegan activists mounted protests outside of butcher shops

Vegans in France have mounted further protests in a national day of “anti-speciesist” action, denouncing butchers as “murderers” and “food terrorists”.

The day of protests was called by vegan activist group Boucherie Abolition, and focused on demonstrations outside of butchers’ shops in Paris on Saturday September 22.

The group describes itself as “anti-speciesist”, which means it is opposed to the idea that human beings are superior to other animals on Earth.

They have branded butchers as “murderers” and “food terrorists”, calling for “zoo-icide” to be criminalised and “shops of the zoo-locaust” to be closed. Some said that "being a butcher is not a job", and attempted to take meat out of the butcher shops, with one activist taking a small pig and cradling it like a baby.

One activist said: “We will finally be able to show the real victims. Speciesism is similar to white supremacy and other oppression such as racism. We will leave shops in peace when they leave animals in peace."

In response, one shop customer said: “They are idiots, these vegans. It is ridiculous to want to force people to stop eating meat.”

One butcher was filmed coming out of his shop to tell the activists to move on.

The protests come following months of tensions between vegan activists and butchers in France, especially in the Nord (Hauts-de-France).

In August, butcher shop windows were smashed amid other protests, while some butchers planned to fight back with a barbecue outside a vegan festival in Calais, which was later cancelled.

Protesters in Paris this weekend were unapologetic about the damage to shops.

One said: “The only damage is that done against the bodies of the people that are hanging in these shop windows. Because yes, animals are people too.”

Another activist added: “There is a campaign of victimisation against butchers [but] I do not want to hurt other humans. I am not afraid of going to jail, though.

“That was a reality for anti-racist and feminist campaigns [so] if we have to take it that far, then we will.”

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