Reading Time: < 1 minute Dr. Toni Shephard represented animal liberation organization Animal Equality on the program (Photo: Facebook)
Reading Time: < 1 minute

Fans of UK
television program Countryfile were outraged by a segment highlighting animal
activism that aired during last weekend’s episode.


The show’s
host, Tom Heape, was featured speaking with animal rights activist and Animal
Executive Director Dr. Toni Shephard – who did not mix messages about
vegan advocacy.

Speaking to
the organization’s goal, Dr. Shephard said: “Ultimately, the
best way to spare animals from suffering is simply not to eat them.”

The program
also showed select footage of said suffering.


The pair
discussed activist demonstrations such as sit-ins, protests, and other farm
visits – many of which are designed to help consumers make ‘informed choices’
about what they eat.

Shephard explained that Animal Equality’s work is about
exposing the truth and that it’s often as simple as ‘just opening the door and
filming what is happening there’.

She added: “Most consumers really don’t know that most pigs are fattened indoors on barren
slatted floors with very little enrichment.”


viewers took to Twitter to express their issues with the segment.

commenter wrote: “Don’t have any issues with people choosing to be a vegan ….
so long as they don’t try and abuse and bully others who choose differently

wrote: “Bloody hell tonight’s #countryfile is WILD. Vegan terrorists followed
by a woman making sporrans from road kill and now Jack Munroe.”


When vegans
and animal rights advocates joined the conversation, in defence of the segment, a lively debate ensued.

One user
wrote: “Don’t just threaten to ‘switch off’, stop eating all animal products
and stop this cruelty. Countryfile showed the truth for a change. #Vegan
#RickyGervais #countryfile”

added: “So many people are threatened by veganism that the only way they can
deal with it is too attack vegans. #KeyboardWarriors”

Emily Court

Emily Court is a writer and content creator published in Plant Based News, Raise Vegan, Living Vegan and The Financial Diet. A self-described "recovering vegan hothead," she is now a pragmatic member of Vancouver's vibrant and growing plant-powered community. Hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, she holds a BA in Spanish and certificate in Intercultural Communication from Dalhousie University, where her thesis focused on topics of cultural and gender-based discrimination. She aims to apply a privilege-conscious and culturally sensitive approach to her work in all fields.