Shoppers can be heard hitting back at vegan protesters in a video which shows activists infiltrating a supermarket to stop people buying meat.
The group lined up in the meat aisle of St Lukes Countdown supermarket in Auckland, New Zealand, this weekend with signs reading ‘stop eating animals’ and ‘it’s not food, it’s violence’.
Event organiser Amanda Rippon said it was a ‘peaceful’ protest as the vegans stood silently with tape over their mouths, however shoppers were still getting frustrated at the takeover.
Watch the video below:
Though the protesters were stood in front of the meat aisle, many customers ignored their efforts and continued to browse the produce.
Some lashed out at the activists, with one telling them to ‘get out of [his] face’.
In the video, the customer can be heard shouting:
I’m disgusted you guys are even here in my supermarket when I’m buying my food. You disgust me.
Another shopper swore at the group, saying:
Take your camera off me, I’m doing my fucking shopping. I’m doing my shopping, unless you’re going to pay for my shopping you can fuck off.
Rippon said the vegans were protesting ‘for the victims who don’t get seen or heard behind closed doors’, though when confronted by an employee she admitted the activists didn’t have permission to be in the store.
According to the New Zealand Herald, the police had to be called when the protesters refused to leave.
In a statement, a Countdown spokesperson said:
As a supermarket we work hard to provide our vegan and vegetarian customers with good quality and affordable options in our stores, and we are also deeply committed to good animal welfare practices throughout our supply chain.
We reserve the right to ask anyone undertaking protest action to leave our stores, however on this occasion this request was ignored several times.
The police were called to support our team and the protesters left shortly afterwards.
A police spokesperson told the Herald the authorities were notified about the incident, however it was understood the group left the premises so the police were not required to attend.
The group were eventually escorted out by security and footage showed them chanting ‘it’s not food, it’s violence’ as they left the store. They later continued their protest by marching through Westfield mall.
Another protest organiser, Deno Stock, argued those who sell meat are more extreme than those who protest for the animals.
I think that the way those animal parts have been put in the supermarket is far more extreme than what we’re doing, we’re not doing any damage to anything, we’re just standing with a sign.
In an interview after the protest, Stock explained the group wanted customers to ‘think about what happens before that little pack of meat comes to the supermarket’, the Herald report.
There is a lot that goes on before that which isn’t the nicest thing to know.
For instance, when [the animals] leave the farm they don’t get fed or watered because they want their stomachs to be empty when they slaughter them.
Stock said he and Rippon had received abuse online in the aftermath of their stunt at the supermarket but he added it was worth it because it ‘got everyone talking’.
The pair claimed to have a similar event planned ‘very soon’, though they did not disclose details.
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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.