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Vegan VS Dairy Farmer (Live BBC Debate)

September 10, 2019


And I get a torrent of abuse from farmers as well, like I get death threats sent to me, I have farmers saying they’re going to turn up to events where I’m at and they’re going to hurt me, and stuff like that. But most worryingly I have farmers who message me saying they’re going to abuse an animal, they’re gonna go shoot a calf, they’re gonna go hurt their pigs, because I’ve irritated them. Now, I don’t believe that you know this is acceptable from any side at all, but what I think is really important to note is perspective, and in this situation it’s neither Paul or myself who are the victims. The only victim in this situation is the animal because they’re the one that’s going to have the knife pulled across their throat. They’re the ones who suffer and ultimately die and although words are not very nice, the actions of what we do to animals are significantly worse than any words that can be said to either of us. You have, as far as I understand and correct me if I’m wrong Ed, you’ve openly trespassed on properties as part of your activism, which is not breaking criminal law, it is breaking civil law. Why don’t you do what other people do when they object to something, which is write to your MP, write to the environment secretary, get a debate going, and try to get the law changed using the normal democratic process. Well, if you look at any social justice movement throughout history laws have always been far behind and laws always kind of struggling to catch up with the activism of it’s time. Granted. Now as you say trespasses is a civil offense, it’s not a criminal offense, I think this whole idea that farmers are using fear of trespass is a distraction and they’re not scared of the trespass, what is scared of is what the footage and the information is showing. And because of trespass, a civil offence, we’re showing a whole hidden industry that, I mean Paul said that farming is transparent, it’s anything but transparent. The things that we do to animal in terms of the mutilations are not transparent, what happens in slaughterhouses is not transparent, and even on a dairy farm things like the male calves and female calves being separated from their mothers, many people don’t know that. Ok. Yeah. Respond to that. Well back on my farm Ed, we are transparent. You know I enjoy using social media to show people exactly what we do. Many farmers also engage in events such as open farm Sunday, which is a time of the year we can open our gates and invite the local community to come round and have a real look at what we’re doing. Yeah. What I would suggest is that activism is perhaps discouraging farmers from doing this so although you may ask for an open transparent way of looking at farming, when we do provide this, the counter effects that we receive is, is the things, the distressing incidents I’ve just told you about. I mean do you show the people that come to your farm things like the the artificial insemination? Do you show them what happens to the calves? Do you show them the pens they’re kept in for up to eight weeks at a time where they’re not allowed to see their mums, they are not allowed to nurture, they’re not allowed to socialize? Do you take them to the slaughterhouse as well and show the knife being pulled across their throat? Or do you keep that bit hidden and just show them cows grazing and being fed? I like to think that we show everyone the full spectrum of… Well do you, dou you? You either do or you don’t. Well I like to think that we do, yeah. So do you show the people that come to your farm what happens to the dairy calves that are taken from their mother? Yes. And do you show the fact that they suckle on people’s fingers because they want to suckle from their mother to obtain the milk that we take that is rightfully for them? Well, the arguments that Ed’s portraying are some of the management practices that we use on the farm everyday. And I guess one of the things that we can agree on, although we’ve highlighted a lot that we don’t, is that what we really should be looking at is educating everyone. Look at the consumer that enjoys spreading a melted butter, or delicious cheeses across their toast exactly how that is produced and I think that’s one thing that we can both agree on. What we need to do is show everyone how we produce food in our country because I guess what we sometimes forget is that we all need a farmer three times a day. And the truth is that 98% of people enjoy consuming cheeses and butters and yogurts, so let’s get out and and show them really how that is properly done. Ed coming back to you, I mean this footage is online, if people want to see it they can see it. But people don’t want to see it because they know that what’s in the footage is upsetting. Right and that’s their choice, and then they can carry on eating meat without waking up at night. If it’s not good enough your eyes, why is it good enough for your stomach? If you can’t face the reality, how can you morally justify pay for it to continue? It’s their choice. What about the choice of the animals who have a preference to live thier life? You see we can eat other things, it’s not a necessity for us to eat animal products, we can survive and thrive on a plant-based diet so in effect it’s unnecessary. So these animals should be given their preference, which is to live their life without our exploitation of them. What is your ultimate goal? So the world that we want is ideally a vegan world so that’s a world where people understand that the exploitation of animals is unnecessary and has no place in contemporary society. What we have to ask ourselves is, are our taste preferences worth more than the life of an animal? Because you know a meal to us lasts a matter of minutes, but death for an animal is eternal. They have one chance of life, what right do we have to take it from them just because we enjoy the taste of their flesh and sandwich? Farmers are here to produce what the consumer wants. We’re a demand led industry and we’ll continue to provide great nutritious food.

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