Australian Vegan Woman Charged 22 Times For Breaking Into Farms Won’t Stop Saving Animals

by : Emily Brown on : 17 Feb 2020 07:54
Australian Vegan Woman Charged 22 Times For Breaking Into Farms Won't Stop Saving AnimalsLeah Doellinger/Instagram

A vegan activist is determined to keep saving animals, despite being charged 22 times for illegally breaking into farms. 

Australian animal-lover Leah Doellinger is on a mission to expose factory farms for keeping animals in what she believes are inhumane conditions.


As part of her efforts, the activist leads large groups on to Australian farms, where she records footage to share online and occasionally rescues animals she believes are in harm’s way.

Though the social media posts aim to raise awareness, they have also been known to land Doellinger in trouble. Following one venture in November 2019, police used GPS coordinates in the metadata of social media posts to determine Doellinger and her friends had trespassed on a Cameron Pastoral Company’s property.

The group was charged with trespassing and stealing six piglets from the establishment.


Doellinger is no stranger to getting in trouble with the law, as she told Yahoo! News Australia she’s been charged for related offences ’22 times since the end of 2017′.

Some of the pig-stealing group pleaded guilty, but the Australian activist is fighting the charges.

The vegan began her activism career in 2016 by attending vigil events, and before long she began doing her ‘own rescues‘.


Leah explained:

We called them open rescues where you don’t wear a balaclava and don’t hide your identity because we don’t consider ourselves criminals.

There is self-gain in most crime, but what we do, there’s no self-gain. We do it for the animals.

Doellinger went on to set up the ‘Meat The Victims’ events, where she leads activists onto farms. The owners of the farms are said to usually be none the wiser, as the groups are only there to capture footage of the conditions.


The activist said:

I take people into these farms to show them exactly what is happening so we can gain the footage and share it with the public.

Most of the time we do this, they’ve got no idea we’ve even been there. It’s only when we do a daylight action, and we purposefully want the attention, that they will know we’re there.

In a recent Instagram post, Doellinger admitted that while the thought of jail ‘scared her’, the consequences of her actions ‘will never be as bad as what is happening to the animals’. In another post, she said that being put behind bars would only ‘bring more attention to the truth of what is happening to animals in secrecy’.


Earlier this month, the activist referred to other people who have been charged for attempting to help animals, and said that while it is ‘unjust and mental’, it means their actions are ‘having an impact’.

She added:

This is the end for [factory farmers] and they can feel it. They can no longer keep their secrets hidden away where no one can see or hear the innocent begging for mercy but we can feel them and that is why we won’t stop.

Doellinger’s fight comes as Australian states look to crack down on animal activists with harsher penalties and the threat of jail time.

Attorney-General Christian Porter has pledged for up to 12-month jail terms under a new offence ‘specifically designed to protect Australian farmers’ from ‘vigilante action’.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Animals, Activism, Australia, Vegan


Yahoo! News Australia and 1 other
  1. Yahoo! News Australia

    'It's for the animals': Vegan activists risking jail to expose farm 'secrets'

  2. Leah Doellinger/Instagram