Farm Ireland

Wednesday 21 February 2018

Farmers slam Vegan 'attack on farming' as 'Dairy Takes Babies' billboard vandalised

Image: Go Vegan World.
Image: Go Vegan World.
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Farmers in Northern Ireland have hit out at a Vegan campaign which they say seeks to denigrate farmers to advance the cause of a 'tiny minority' opposed to livestock farming.

The comments come as a group known as Go Vegan World claimed one of their campaign posters has been vandalised.

In an open letter to the people of Northern Ireland, Go Vegan World said it is the organisation that has erected the ‘Dairy Takes Babies’ ad and other posters, as part of its international educational campaign.

“It has come to our attention that people have threatened to paint bomb or remove some of our ads; indeed, as the photo shows, someone has already attempted to do so.

“Go Vegan World is not against farmers or farming or food producers. We are against animal use,” it said.

However, Ulster Farmers’ Union president, Barclay Bell, says he sympathises with the many farmers across Northern Ireland who have criticised an anti-farming campaign being run by Go Vegan World. 

The UFU president says he believes the campaign is dishonest in its message and seeks to mislead consumers.  He has also questioned how a product made from plants can be fairly described as milk.

 “This campaign seeks to denigrate farmers to advance the cause of a tiny minority opposed to livestock farming.  This is a small special interest group that seeks publicity.  Less than one per cent of the UK population is vegan – but those supporting this lifestyle choice are well funded and adept at attracting media attention,” said Mr Bell. 

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The UFU says it would never criticise those who for ethical reasons have adopted a vegan lifestyle, but Mr Bell said it is unacceptable to seek fresh recruits by attacking farming. 

“This time the campaign is about dairy farming, but past campaigns and their publicity has focused on other aspects of livestock farming. 

“This is one-sided and unfair.  Farmers supply the needs of the 99pc of the population happy to eat eggs, meat and dairy products.

"It is unfair to denigrate farming families who do a great job producing affordable food on high welfare, environmentally friendly livestock farms across Northern Ireland,” said Mr Bell.

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