Vegan activists stormed Brighton branch of Greggs yesterday – demanding the chain stop exploiting animals.
The campaigners, with global grassroots organization Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), wore black clothing and pig masks. They covered themselves in blood in a bid to ‘raise awareness of the prolific animal cruelty and exploitation that is animal agriculture’.
They entered the shop holding signs saying ‘it’s not food, it’s violence’ ‘until every animal is free’ and ‘”humane” murder is a lie’, chanting: “What do we want? Animal liberation! When do we want it? Now!”
Change not products
“We are drawing attention to the speciesism that shapes our society leading to so much suffering and death,” one DxE organizer said in a statement sent to Plant Based News. “We don’t want more vegan options, we want animal liberation. We want their pain to end and their lives to be protected; not a vegan sausage roll.”
According to the campaigners, who are part of the Brighton chapter of global grassroots animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), they have been disrupting businesses that ‘profit from the exploitation of animals’ for eight months now using non-violent methods.
“We are demanding the abolition of humans using animals, we are fighting to end the horrific oppression animals face in this speciesist world,” they say. ” We live in a system that objectifies and commodifies their lives and bodies, that injustice cannot go unchallenged. We are part of the fastest growing social justice movement and we are not slowing down.”
Lions and tigers
The protestors were met with some resistance, with local pensioner Ray Blacksley, 75, from Hove, telling The Argus that the activists were ‘hypocrites’.
“People and animals have been doing it for thousands of years,” he said. “Are they going to go and tell the lions and tigers not to eat meat?
“I’m afraid they’re a bit like the environmental activists, where that famous actress came from California to join them in London. How did she get there? Did she swim?
“They are all hypocrites. One of them is probably wearing leather or fur or at least something that’s affected some animals welfare.”
Greggs’ vegan sausage roll
Greggs has been praised by many vegans in recent months, following the January launch of its hugely prolific vegan sausage roll. The bakery says it was ‘designed to mirror some of the sausage roll’s classic features, has 96 layers of light and crisp puff pastry, but instead is made with a bespoke Quorn filling’.
It was initially launched in half of the chain’s stores, but following overwhelming demand, it spread out to all 1,950 shops, with Roger Whiteside, Chief Executive at Greggs, saying: “It’s taken us by surprise quite how much excitement it has created. We’re not giving out numbers – it’s in the hundreds of thousands – but it is the fastest selling new product we have launched in six years. It’s literally flying off the shelves.
“We launched it in 900 shops. But with all the hype surrounding it, it sold out straight away and we have 900 shops who didn’t get it who are screaming out for it, so we are chasing our tail getting availability running.
“We didn’t know if it would sell or not. Now we know it’s selling out we need to get it out there. We are pulling out all the stops to get it out there as quickly as possible.”
Plant Based News has contacted Greggs for comment.