Vegans have targeted a self-proclaimed ‘ethical’ grocery store, calling its claim to sell ‘happy meat’ false advertising.
Activists belonging to Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) stormed HISBE sustainable food shop in Brighton, East Sussex, warning shoppers not to be ‘gullible’.
The store says it works with farms where animals are treated with care and respect, only selling locally sourced and free range produce. Its name stands for ‘How It Should Be’.
But protesters stormed the shop with megaphones to brand the business ‘unethical’, which owner Ruth Anslow said was ‘completely false’.
The activists stood in the aisles of a sustainable food store in Brighton, calling its claim to use ‘happy’ animal products ‘false advertising’
The demonstration also lined the street outside HISBE, which stands for How It Should Be
She says that she even allowed the demonstration to take part in the store, only for protesters to plaster anti-meat messages on her counters.
‘On one hand you have HISBE Food – a social enterprise committed to enabling mainstream supermarket shoppers to buy good quality, real food, locally sourced and seasonal,’ she said.
After being allowed in the store, the group placed anti-meat messages above its counters
The protesters stood in the supermarket with posters demanding an end to the meat industry, which they branded murderous
‘We passionately oppose factory farming and encourage people to consume less, better quality meat. We are committed to ethics-led sourcing and, to us, this means we sell local and high-welfare meat, eggs and dairy products.
‘On the other hand you have these vegan activists, who think that it is morally wrong for HISBE to sell animal products, full stop.
Who were the activists who stormed HISBE? How animal rights protest group with branches across UK was founded in San Francisco
Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) is an animal rights protest group that was originally set up in San Francisco in 2013.
Its mission is to achieve ‘total animal liberation’ and the creation of a law requiring ‘species equality’.
Associated groups then spread throughout the US, protesting against conditions at farms used by Whole Foods and organising sit-ins at Chipotle restaurants against animal violence.
By December 2014 the organisation had spread across the globe, with groups established in 90 cities in 20 countries, and in the present day it has organised protests in 217 cities in 43 countries.
In the UK it has branches in Liverpool, Brighton, Bristol, Coventry, London, Birmingham, Portsmouth, Cambridge, north east England, Belfast and Scotland.
DxE pledge to take non-violent direct action but its disruptive demonstrations have been branded bullying.
Members in the US have previously been charged with burglary and theft after raiding farms and stealing livestock.
‘To the vegan activists, slaughtering an animal for food is the same as murdering a person – it’s irrelevant to them how the animal lived its life if that life is ended prematurely.
‘We thoroughly disagree with this because of the vast difference between the living conditions on factory farms vs small high-welfare farms like ours.’
About 30 protesters lined the isles and stood outside holding signs with messages such as ‘local doesn’t mean ethical.’
A DxE activist at the demonstration said: ‘Don’t be gullible – there’s no such thing as ‘happy’ meat, milk or eggs.
‘These farms aren’t ethical, they are places were animals are bred to be profited from and murdered.
‘Free range and local are labels that make people feel more comfortable about animal exploitation and murder but there is nothing ethical about farming and killing animals.
‘This whole “happy” exploitation movement is not baby steps, they are big steps in a seriously backward direction.’
‘We have the responsibility to be conscious consumers and hold our businesses accountable.
‘Regardless of how you do it using animals in order to profit from their bodies is wrong – their lives are their own.’
The owner says her business also supports high animal, natural farming, reduced waste and plastic and paying their suppliers fairly -according to one of its owners.
‘We allowed them into the store as they assured us the demo would be short and peaceful – we won’t be doing that again because they were shouting through megaphones and some of our staff and customers felt intimidated,’ she said.
‘We believe everyone has the right to demonstrate although we do get frustrated that the vegan activists misrepresent HISBE.
‘Despite repeated clarification from us, they continue to make statements about us, our business, our sourcing and how we describe our animal products – that are completely false.
‘HISBE serves people of every different food persuasion and we believe in everyone’s right to choose.
‘We invite everyone to consider different ideologies, talk about the food issues that matter to you and make conscious choices about what you eat.’