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A sheep farmer has been granted a restraining order against a vegan activist.
According to reports, John Wood set up a Facebook group called Meat & Greet British Farming in March 2018, aimed at ‘educating the public in farming practices’ and ‘counteracting vegan propaganda’.
Following the launch of the page, Emma Christoforakis – who has described herself as a ‘militant vegan’ – reportedly confronted Wood at farming events in Bournemouth. She then traveled to his farm and shouted: “How many sheep die? You are murderers.”
As a result, Christoforakis was charged with harassment, and despite denying any wrongdoing, was found guilty of harassing Wood between February and October 2018, at Poole magistrates’ court last week.
Christoforakis was given an 18-month conditional discharge. She was also ordered to pay £400 compensation to the victim and £620 court costs. In addition, she is barred from contacting the Woods or going within 200 yards of their farmland, for two years.
“It’s not been an easy 18 months. When you have counter terror police warning you what could happen and what has happened in the past, it’s scary. In 2019, it should not be happening,” Farmer John Wood told The Daily Telegraph.
“When you’re looking under your tractors in the morning for bombs, nobody should be living like that. I don’t say to anybody, ‘If you don’t eat meat, you’re scum’. If I did that I’d be branded a lunatic – these people go out regularly and do the opposite, it’s not acceptable.”
It is important to note that Christoforakis did not make any bomb or death threats towards Wood.
‘Peacefully and positively’
The Vegan Society told Plant Based News that it ‘does not support any threats or insults towards anyone’ and urges activists to ‘share their message peacefully and positively’, adding that most are already campaigning in this way.
“The negative publicity generated by this incident harms the vegan movement and therefore the animals, because it plays into the tired, old stereotype of ‘vegan extremists’ which puts non-vegans off our lifestyle,” Vegan Society spokesperson Dominika Piasecka said.
“It is important that vegan activists focus on our target audience – the consumers who support the meat, dairy and egg industries by eating animals – in order to campaign in the most effective way to reduce as much animal suffering as we can in the short time we all have in this world.
“Harassing and fighting farmers will not bring us closer to a vegan world; inspiring as many people as we can to live a vegan lifestyle will.”
According to reports, Emma Christoforakis has said she will not contact Wood.