Vegan activists today formed a human shield in a Waitrose meat aisle to protest at the number of turkeys being slaughtered for Christmas.
The 18-strong group held plates covered in blood and held placards saying: ‘Humane murder is a lie’ in the supermarket’s Brighton store where they told shoppers: ‘You can’t shop in peace when you’re buying death’.
The Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) group walked into the store with placards saying ‘It’s not food, it’s violence’ while carrying flowers for the dead animals being sold there.
Sussex Police were called at around 2.45pm yesterday but there were no arrests.
The group, whose leading members include the daughter of a millionaire meat merchant, stormed a steak-house in Brighton to play animal slaughter noises to diners at the start of December.
Yesterday they stood in an impenetrable line trying to prevent shoppers from reaching packs of steak, mince, chicken, turkey and other meats at the Waitrose in East Sussex.
18 vegan activists formed a human guard in the meat aisle of a Waitrose store in Brighton in protest at killing turkeys at Christmas
The group held placards saying: ‘Humane murder is a lie’ and ‘It’s not food it’s violence’, while one protester had a neck scarf made to look like it was covered in blood
Police were called to the protest carried out by members of the The Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) group – but no arrests were made yesterday
A protester with a loud speaker appealed to shoppers, shouting: ‘Animals are not things. Lives are not commodities. It’s time to end these cruel and bloody traditions. Take the death off your plate this Christmas.’
Shoppers in the meat aisle admitted it was all kicking off when they tried to get some food with one angry customer calling the group: ‘Intellectually barren’
‘This Christmas time you might be worried about what presents to buy and how to organise family get togethers, but the animals are facing carnage.
‘Around ten million turkeys are slaughtered this time of year so they can end up on your Christmas table in the United Kingdom.
‘Catching and transporting birds can cause considerable pain and distress.
‘Many birds may be injured whilst being removed from sheds and put into crates. Poor handling frequently results in bruising, skin grazing and broken blood vessels.
‘Loaded into trucks, piled next to their friends and not knowing where they are headed, no chance of escape.
‘Transport to slaughter can be long with birds experiencing extremes of temperature, stress suffocation and shock.’
The protester then goes on to scream that birds are killed between nine and 21 weeks old when their natural life span is ten years.
She describes how the birds are dragged headfirst through an electrically charged water bath to make them unconscious before having their necks cut.
Before long, the store security staff turn up and one appears to say: ‘Outside the store is different, inside the store it’s people’s business and livelihoods.’
In footage of the protest the group don’t move as a man attempts to access meat on a shelf behind them.
Another shopper gets into an argument with them, calling them ‘intellectually barren.’
But many shoppers simply ignore them and continue shopping.
Morgan Kayleigh Giampaolo raided the Touro steak house in Brighton to play animal slaughter noises to diners last week, but is the daughter of a wealthy meat seller
After the group started shouting an anti-meat chant, a stag party stood up and sang back ‘Stand up if you love meat’ as members danced around, pictured left and right
A month ago the group were also out in force at a Tesco in Sussex where they occupied the meat aisle, this time a silent demo
Eventually the police arrived with an officer telling the group: ‘I am still going to ask you all to leave as you are not allowed to be in here.
Who were the activists who stormed Waitose and a steak house? 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.
‘I will advise you that if you don’t you will be liable to arrest.
‘I am just being polite and respectful. You obviously have a cause you are quite passionate about but you can do it outside.’
Leaving the store, the group chant: ‘It’s not food, it’s violence.’
They then stand outside the store screaming at those entering: ‘What do we want? Animal liberation. When do we want it? Now!’
A spokesman for Waitrose said: ‘We pride ourselves on exceptional animal welfare, with our turkeys farmed to high standards at farms we know and trust.’
He added that Waitrose was Compassion in World Farming’s retailer of the year and is also in the top tier of the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare.
Sussex Police said in a statement: At 2.45pm on Sunday police were called to the Waitrose store in Western Road, Brighton, where 18 people demonstrating against the consumption of meat products were present.
‘After commencing their action inside the store, the group moved outside. There were no arrests’.
DxE is an international movement with several UK subgroups.
They say their actions are done to ‘denormalise activities that involve animal exploitation through non violent disruption.’
Member Morgan Kayleigh Giampaolo is the daughter of American businessman David Giampaolo, who runs Pi Capital and is Chairman of Gousto, where customers can buy steak, sausage and lamb.
Morgan was among those who stormed the Touro steakhouse, playing the sounds of animals being slaughtered to shocked diners in early December.
David Elvin was inside the restaurant handcuffed to the dwarf dressed as an Oompa Loompa and led retaliation chants after jumping on a table.
He and his hired dwarf encouraged his fellow revellers and other diners to chant ‘stand up if you love meat’ and ‘you’re not singing any more’.