Vegan activists brought Melbourne to a standstill on Monday in an action which was part of a coordinated nationwide protest against the treatment of animals.
The Australia-wide day of action saw campaigners stopping traffic in city centers as well as blockading slaughterhouses around the country, in Corio, Pakenham, Toowoomba, and Bacchus Marsh among other locations.
The action marks the one-year anniversary of the release of Dominion – an Australian documentary by Aussie Farms which exposed the horrors of animal agriculture through hidden camera and drone footage.
Demonstrators holding placards saying ‘you have been lied to; watch Dominion‘ and ‘this is a peaceful protest’ blocked off one of the biggest intersections in Melbourne – with more than 100 people taking part – effectively bringing the city to a standstill, according to media reports. Nearly 40 arrests were made.
One of the organizers – Kristen Lee – spoke to Australia’s Today show about the action, saying: “We’re here today to draw attention to the film Dominion…That film shows the truth about what’s happening to animals in this country and around the world.
“We believe people are making choices that go against their core values, so we want to draw attention to the truth, so we can encourage people to make change. We also want to show that we’re just regular people who have had enough. We are killing the planet and we are killing animals at rates that are unacceptable.”
Dominion exposes the horror of animal agriculture
Speaking on television about the protests, Dominion director Chris Delforce said: “I’d urge anyone who felt angered or inconvenienced today to watch the film Dominion or at least watch just two minutes of gas chamber footage from inside pig slaughterhouses. That’s how most pigs in Australia are killed.
“If you watch that footage you will understand why we had to be there today. The simple fact is that what’s happening to animals on farms and in slaughterhouses is intentionally hidden from consumers, but we believe they have the right to know.
“We believe this industry needs to be more transparent so consumers can make informed choices about what they want to support because we think most consumers are opposed to animal cruelty.”
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison blasted the protests as ‘shameful’ and ‘un-Australian’ during an interview on 2GB radio.
“This is just another form of activism that I think runs against the national interest, and the national interest is being able to farm their own land,” he added.
Australia’s Department of Agriculture is set to form a taskforce with police to try and prevent activists ‘attacking’ farms, with Queensland State Agriculture Minister Mark Furner saying regulations are being drafted so activists can be issued with on-the-spot fines.
You can watch Dominion here