Vegan activism: Can it do more harm than good?

In Worcestershire, England a lorry overturned after a group of vegan activists protested against the driver transporting 640 turkeys to slaughter. This is such a sad tale. In this case, the activists likely made the situation worse and I didn’t think that was possible.

Imagine being transported in a lorry in a small container unsure of where you are going, but knowing it’s nowhere good, and suddenly the vehicle you are in begins to swerve. You’ve never been in a moving vehicle never mind one moving like this. The other passengers are screaming some are hurt you look around and there is chaos, the noise is deafening. Suddenly there is a loud bang and you feel it in your bones – the lorry has overturned. Your cage is now the wrong way up. You feel the wind on your face as you realise you are outside – Possibly for the first ever time, but, you are hurt. You can’t run you look around as the bloodied bodies of others are grabbed back to their cages, while others die slowly on the road, all the while listening to people chanting and screaming about how you deserve better and that you shouldn’t be going to slaughter. The noise would be deafening, the fear so intense, never have you seen so many humans, feet are banging voices getting louder. Then you are grabbed and placed back in your cage sitting for what seems like forever till eventually you are hoisted up and you are back on your journey again – your final journey and you are so afraid and you’re still in pain.

Did the activists believe that the driver had the power to say “Ok take all the turkeys and I’ll just explain later”? Did they even consider that this is the driver’s job? Of course, this is not a nice job to be doing and I’m sure he wishes for any other job instead but this is what he has got to do to pay the bills. Do you think he went home and thought “you know what I’d like to be like those people who forced me to overturn my lorry today?” No. Did any non-vegans who read the story feel sympathy for the protesters? I’d say very few. Did any roll their eyes and think “Stupid hippies” you bet they did.

I’m all for vegan activism and fighting for the rights of animals. I do it every day by choosing to live my life as a vegan. I speak to people open to the ideals of veganism. I do my absolute best to not fuel the stereotype that vegans are “crazy hippies” so capable of compassion yet incapable of empathy for other humans. I carefully chose my battles. By the time a lorry is carrying a load of turkeys to slaughter it is sadly too late. Every time a similar lorry passes me I shed a tear, I wish I could help but I cannot help them now. What I can do is try and make the other lorry be carrying less and less each journey it makes. I can promote the benefits of veganism and tell people the horrors of the agriculture industry. I can buy more vegan products and participate in vegan events all around the country. I can follow the definition of veganism and not cause harm to animals in any way. I hate to say it but on that day in England, vegans caused more harm than what was inevitably and sadly already sealed in those innocent turkeys fate.




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