Reading Time: 2 minutes AR activists opened a fruit and veg market in Smithfield (Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur | We Animals Media)
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Meat traders have voiced support for Animal Rebellion – with one agreeing that ‘things need to change’, according to reports.

Animal Rebellion occupied the UK’s largest meat market – Smithfield – as part of Extinction Rebellion‘s global two-week protest against the government’s ‘lack of action’ on climate change.

The protests, which started on Monday, saw more than 100 Animal Rebellion members occupy the meat market and set up a fruit and veg stall in a bid to show communicate their ‘vision of a plant-based future…transitioning Smithfield into a vibrant plant-based market’.

Market protest

Animal Rebellion’s market was opened by leading environmental journalist George Monbiot on Monday. In his speech, Mobiot that in order to save the planet, ‘we have to change the destruction animal-eating system we have at the moment for another one’.

According to a report by The Times, while some meat sellers were angered by the action, some agreed that change is necessary, with trader Steven Hall telling the paper: “To be honest, I think good on [the protestors]. I’ve got two kids myself, and I want the world to be safe for them in the future. Most of us here agree that things need to change. We aren’t denying that.”

Defra

After camping at the site overnight on Monday, the activists moved to Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (, saying: “We have chosen to be located near Defra because it is the government department chiefly responsible for upholding the animal farming and fishing industries which are destroying the lives of animals and the health of our planet.

“Defra is key to shaping our society – its policies have a ripple effect throughout the animal agriculture industry. Not only that, but Defra’s actions have wide-ranging implications on a variety of environmental issues that fuel the climate crisis. Defra is in a prime position to instigate the changes we want to see.”

All images are by Jo-Anne McArthur | We Animals Media

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the editor of Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle.