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Independent.ie

Friday 20 April 2018

Vegans now accuse dairy farmer of teaching his children to 'abuse animals'

Peter and Paula Hynes on the family farm in Aherla, Co Cork. Photo: Claire Keogh
Peter and Paula Hynes on the family farm in Aherla, Co Cork. Photo: Claire Keogh
Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

One of Ireland's leading farmers has been accused of teaching his child to abuse animal by vegan activists.

Peter Hynes who was recently subjected to online abuse by vegan activists after posting videos of his working farm, has now been accused of teaching his children to abuse animals by vegan activists.

Peter, who won the Zurich/Farming Independent Farmer of the Year title in 2017, found that a post he put on Twitter of his five-year-old daughter Georgie on the farm has been described as 'teaching her to abuse animals' by vegan activists.

"Myself and my wife Paula are very proud of what we do as dairy farmers and extremely proud of our children.

"I have nothing to hide and have no shame in my job." He said that he has respect for anyone to make a choice on being vegan or not, but to say he was teaching his children to abuse animals was unacceptable.

Earlier this week, Peter and his family were subjected to online abuse by vegan activists, with some calling him a rapist and a Nazi.

Dairy farmer Peter Hynes, who farms with his wife Paula and young family, was crowned the Zurich/Farming Independent 2017 Farmer of the Year last May.

He was called a rapist for using Artificial Insemination (AI) on his farm and a Nazi.

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"I've been accused of being a rapist and a Nazi and stabbing animals in the neck," he said.

"I was told we should take our children to a slaughter house to show them their pet calves being slaughtered and stabbed in the neck.

"As farmers we have great respect for our animals and our children live on a working dairy farm. We post pictures of the children enjoying life with the animals on the farm.

"But, the abuse that I've got since last May from the vegan activists quite frightening.

"We artificially inseminate the herd, it's the most efficient way to get a cow in calf and its a lot kinder on the cow. I'm being called a rapist because of that. I find it disgusting. Rape is a crime that is punishable and unfortunately an awful lot of women have suffered and it's not right that that term is used."

Peter and Paula have used social media to showcase their working farm, including the Twitter campaign Febudairy - to promote dairy farming during the month of February.

As part of that Peter has posted live videos on his Twitter account from the farm, including showing a cow having a calf. However, he says, the negative online reaction from some vegan activists has led him to block hundreds of abusive posts.

Last week, he said, he blocked about 30 lobby groups that constantly bombard him with stuff online.

Speaking about the video he posted of a cow calving, he said he and his family have been targeted by animal activists, trying to promote vegan as a way of ife. "I have no problem with vegans. I'm a dairy farmer and am very proud of it. But it got to the stage where I wanted to tell my story as a farmer, through Febudairy.

"I posted a cow giving birth live on Twitter, so everyone could see what happens. It was a very nice easy calving and I wanted to show people how little stress the animal is under and how she acquaints herself with her calf.

"I have nothing to hide and have no shame in my job. I have great respect for anyone to make a choice."

In recent days, he has posted videos every day on how he manages the dairy herd and "to tell the real story and show people that there is misleading information out there.

"Those billboards are far from the truth on a dairy farm, the cows are allowed to spend time with their calves. We feed the calf as well as it must get colostrum and we can't guarantee it gets the amount of colostrum it needs."


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