A butcher has told how animal rights protesters left him placards wishing cancer on his family.
Nick Rapps was targeted by campaigners telling him to ‘rot in hell’ and wishing ‘cancer on you and your family.’
The offensive signs were found outside Molesworths Family Butchers in Frampton Cotterell, Gloucestershire, last Friday night – the evening before a big animal rights protest in nearby Bristol.
But dad-of-one Nick, who has run the butchers store for three years, said that he refuses to give the protestors what they want by getting upset over the signs. And he says he remains ‘sympathetic’ and ‘understanding’ to the vegan lifestyle.
The 35-year-old said:
I’ve got quite thick skin, I can take criticism. You’ve kind of got to expect it in our trade.
I take the approach of I can’t get upset, because that is exactly what they want.
The funny thing is, out of all the people they could have targeted, I’m probably the one person who is most sympathetic to that lifestyle.
I’ve always worked in places where the meat has been ethically-sourced – it’s not at all massproduced.
If these people want to have a conversation with me about that side of things, I’m actually a very understanding person.
But Nick, who has a three-year-old son, added:
What did turn my stomach a bit was the cancer sign. I’ve got quite a young family, so that was a bit much.
Two members of my family also died quite young from cancer. It’s really offensive to cancer survivors.
The thought process just isn’t there. They’ve obviously just written the most offensive thing they could, just to get a reaction.
But whatever it was intended to do, it has done the opposite.
Nick said the ‘odd’ attack also overshadowed his 35th birthday on Sunday.
The Vegan Society said it did not support insults, and encouraged vegans to share a peaceful message.
The society told the BBC that ‘veganism is based on kindness and compassion’, and that ‘any extremists are not representative of the movement.’
As much as we sympathise with the activists who allegedly put up the signs, we do not consider this approach to be an effective way to promote veganism as an ethics-driven lifestyle.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the LADbible Group team in 2017.