While food fights always sound like fun and games, anyone who’s seen Hook can testify that – like our good friend Rufio – there’s always someone who takes it too far.
In a clash between butchers and vegans, I know who my money’s on. No offence to the vegans, I’m very partial to a chick pea curry myself, but I’m not sure falafels are going to cut it against a t-bone when it comes to a fight.
A group of vegan protestors found themselves up against some volatile butchers, who weren’t going to take their protests lying down, in a recent incident in Leeds Kirkgate Market.
Footage filmed at the market shows a group of vegans, who were there to raise awareness and highlight abuse within the agricultural industry, being hounded out of the shopping area by traders after being asked to leave by security.
In the footage, shot by vegan protestor Ginette Lindstrom, a butcher is seen taking some meat from his counter and swinging it into the faces of protesters, reportedly covering them in blood.
The clash continued outside where one of the traders apparently tried to wrestle a camera from one of the protesters.
The abuse started immediately as we had turned the corner and became visible to the butchers.
Instantly we were shouted at to ‘Get out’ and ‘F*ck off’ etc along with other slurs as we remained silently walking down the shop.
The group had intended it to be a silent protest, using non-graphical placards to highlight their campaign.
I felt it was important to start recording live to capture the moment and so that people could see that we remained peaceful at all times and in case of physical assault or further verbal abuse.
The butcher physically assaulted me with the animal body parts. He pushed them in my face and into the face of two others and forced it to the mouth of another who got animal blood on her cheek.
Ginette has reported the incident to the police, and as such cannot comment on the repercussions either group are facing over the incident.
I had water thrown at me along with the other protesters from the guys who owned the vegetable stall opposite the butchers. My phone got soaked among other things.
Everyone was attacked verbally – progressing onto very violent verbal threats, we were told we were going to receive physical abuse if we did not move or stop recording and that our equipment would be smashed.
Since the video has been released, Ginette has received both praise and abuse on social media.
The reaction has been mixed as we expected but this post has really highlighted some extremely twisted and disturbed individuals and promoters for the agricultural industry.
However we have also received a lot of positive support especially via inbox from people who haven’t wanted to comment on the posts due to the behaviour and language of those promoting and in favour of eating animals.
Police are currently investigating the incident.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.