‘Dispatches: The Truth About Vegans’ revealed death threats against farmers, antisemitism and extremism from animal rights activists
Presenter Morland Sanders investigated extreme activist groups and spoke to farmers targeted by activists as he considered going vegan.
Dispatches: The Truth About Vegans, shown on Channel 4 on January 2, revealed protesters breaking into farms, antisemitism and ‘liberating’ livestock.
It discovered Counter-Terror police were now focusing on the threat from extreme activists.
And it also showed footage of a vegan protest in central London with one of the protesters talking about burning livestock farms to the ground.
Mr Sanders spoke to vegans who believed they were living in a ‘speciest’ society, with one stating she equated eating lamb chops with eating a human child.
#TheTruthAboutVegans so vegans are getting upset about this documentary only picturing the bad. We do know it’s only a small percent. But this is how we feel when you see 1 bad farm and you feel like every farm is exactly the same. The power of media hey.— Billy Moulton-Day (@billymoultonday)
#TheTruthAboutVegans so vegans are getting upset about this documentary only picturing the bad. We do know it's only a small percent. But this is how we feel when you see 1 bad farm and you feel like every farm is exactly the same. The power of media hey.— Billy Moulton-Day (@billymoultonday) January 2, 2019
Brian Hobill, a pig farmer from Hogwood Farm, Oxhill, told the programme he has been frequently targeted by animal rights activists, and his farm had been broken into and filmed secretly by Viva!
Activists accused the farm of forcing cannibalism and failure to dispose of dead pigs ‘in varying states of decay’. But farm inspections have not found any evidence of unnecessary suffering or animal welfare breaches.
Following the release of the footage, Mr Hobill had received death threats and protests on farm and at Tesco, who he supplies. He had had to spend £50,000 to protect his farm from those trying to break into buildings.
Viva! also claimed Sainsbury’s had dropped Hogwood Farms because of their protests. But Sainsbury’s told the programme Hogwood Farm was not a direct supplier and they had had no contact with the group.
Mr Sanders also spoke to people in the Jewish community, where slaughterhouses had been targeted with antisemitic messaging and the offence caused by comparing animal agriculture with the Holocaust.
Shimon Cohen, Kedassia Abattoir, said: "People started to spray antisemitic graffiti on the walls of our building and started chanting, using Holocaust imagery, as though we had been performing a Holocaust of the chicken."
I respect that people choose to be vegan but I really disagree with some vegan activists comparing people eating animals to the Jewish holocaust, I’m 10 mins into this program and I can’t bare to watch these quinoa worshiping weirdos #Thetruthaboutvegans— Bee Green (@BeeGreen_x)
NFU dairy board chairman Michael Oakes also appeared in the programme who was asked if what he did was cruel.
"I do not think you could be a dairy farmer unless you actually liked cows, you could not work the livestock on a daily basis because sometimes the returns are pretty poor,” he said.
“Sometimes it is wet, it is often long hours."