You really can’t escape veganism these days.
I’m not a vegan but I find myself writing about them a lot, usually under controversial circumstances when they storm into steakhouses in protest or feed their cats vegan-only diets (which apparently isn’t very good for them).
This piece is another one of those ‘unusual’ vegan articles, because like it says in the headline, a group of vegans held a candle-lit vigil to mourn nine turkeys that had been slaughtered for Christmas dinners.
You really did read that correctly.
Offering vegan mince pies to passers-by, the group stood in silence at the gate of St Werburgh’s City Farm in Bristol next to a sign that read ‘They wanted to live’.
The ‘Saint Werburgh’s nine‘ – that’s the turkeys not the vegans – sparked outrage among some vegans last week after St. Werburgh’s City Farm charity said it would be raffling off two turkeys and auctioning the rest for Christmas.
The farm, which is a charity that aims to educate the public about animal welfare, apparently cancelled the raffle after public outcry, but the birds were still killed yesterday at an abbatoir ahead of being eaten for Christmas.
As the vegans mourned the ‘loss’, they handed out a tribute book for the turkey containing messages including “what a waste”, “rest in peace” and “we tried”.
Organiser and vegan activist Sarah Nicol said:
“There’s a lot of anger that the turkeys are dead, but we just want people to have a peaceful outlet for their grief.”
She said their aims were to stop animals getting killed at any city farms, adding: “We’re hopeful that Bristol’s city farms can move towards being sanctuaries.
“Their goals aren’t based in slaughtering their animals, they’re based in helping and educating the public.
“So it’s a logical step to move towards becoming a sanctuary.
“The turkeys caught people’s attention because they could see them, felt that they knew them.
“They were nine individuals, rather than countless, nameless animals in a slaughterhouse.“
St Werburgh’s City farm, which sees 60,000 visitors and works with 3,500 disadvantaged people, said they would not be changing to a sanctuary.
It said in a statement:
“Recent discussion has taken place concerning the Farm’s turkeys.
“We are aware that raising animals for meat is an emotive issue, and having listened to the views of a small section of our community, we decided not to hold our annual public turkey auction.
“However, the aims and objectives of the Farm remain unchanged and our turkeys have been sold for Christmas.
“We feel that we have an important role to play in educating people about where their food comes from so they can make an informed decision about their food choices.”
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I think this is a bit of an overreaction for a few turkeys BUT if these people want to peacefully pay their respects to some dead turkeys (or anything else for that matter) and they aren’t hurting anyone, can we really get mad at them?
I suppose it’s quite nice in a way, really.
Wait…am I becoming a vegan?
Nah, must just be the festive period putting me in a good mood.
Merry Crimbo yah filthy animals!
Images via SWNS/Getty