Vegan protest at Sussex steakhouse sparks debate over activism

Readers have shared their views after an animal rights group played audio of animals being slaughtered in a steakhouse last weekend.

Wednesday, 28th November 2018, 5:04 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th January 2019, 2:49 am
Animal rights activists outside Touro steakhouse in Brighton (Credit: DxE Brighton)

Activists from Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), an international animal rights network, descended on Brazilian restaurant Touro Steakhouse on West Street, Brighton on Saturday evening (November 24).

They played audio of animal slaughter, telling diners to 'listen to their screams' before a protest outside the restaurant.

On Facebook, hundreds of our readers across Sussex shared their views on the protest.

Rick Politz said: “As a vegan, whilst I absolutely agree with the message, I find this kind of action really unhelpful. What does going into a restaurant and shouting at people while they have their dinner achieve? Were any conversations had? Was there any debate? No, instead just lots of negative press that does absolutely nothing but further the stereotype that vegan’s are pushy, unreasonable know-it-all’s.”

Jay Thurley said: “Yes I think that is taking it too far...some people choose to eat meat... choose to be Vegan or vegetarian...or whatever...freedom of choice....would meat eaters storm a vegan cafe NO!!!!!!”

Harriette Fulford said: “I am a strict veggie but that is my choice and I would never force my view on anyone! These people are doing themselves no good at all!”

But others agreed with the protest.

Clare Verity Lothian McIvor added: “Veganism is the only sustainable route to save our planet, save our animals, save our health, and feed everyone in the world - vegans are full of compassion for everyone and every thing - just research it and stop being so self centred and ignorant and greedy about what you eat.”

And Teresa Joan Cavan said: “It’s quite difficult though - particularly if you care about animals and understand that they are sentient creatures who feel pain, experience loss, feel terror to see meat eaters oblivious to the horrors of slaughter on the basis of ‘liking it’...”

The group Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), also held a protest in the meat aisle at a Tesco store in Brighton last month.

After the protest at Touro Steakhouse, a spokesperson for the group said: "In a time where we are experiencing mass environmental destruction, largely due to our unsustainable and unethical food choices, it is paramount that we put our egos and selfishness aside and accept that we are all connected, we are all animals.

"We can no longer ignore the suffering and pain we cause. We are not the only sentient beings that inhabit this planet. We all have a responsibility to protect the vulnerable and fight for the oppressed.

"Over 70 billion farm animals are reared for food globally every year, most of these intensively. We put them there. What animals are facing now is without a shadow of a doubt a great injustice.

"Animal exploitation has become so normalised it goes virtually unnoticed but we are paying attention. People and businesses should not be able to enjoy the product or profit of animal suffering."