Vegans form human chain in Waitrose to try to stop people buying turkeys

Vegan activists formed a human chain around the meat aisle of a branch of Waitrose supermarket in a protest at the number of turkeys being slaughtered for Christmas.

The group implored shoppers in Brighton’s Waitrose to shun animal products – holding up plates covered in blood and placards saying: “Humane murder is a lie".

The Direct Action Everywhere group walked into the store with placards saying ‘It’s not food, it’s violence’ and ‘Their bodies, not ours’ before laying flowers in the freezer for the dead animals being sold there.

They stood in an line trying to prevent shoppers from reaching packs of steak, mince, chicken, turkey and other meats at the supermarket in East Sussex, yesterday.

A protester with a loud speaker then began a speech, saying: “This Christmas time you might be worried about what presents to buy and how to organise family get togethers, but the animals are facing carnage.

“Around ten million turkeys are slaughtered this time of year so they can end up on your Christmas table in the United Kingdom.

“Catching and transporting birds can cause considerable pain and distress.

“Many birds may be injured whilst being removed from sheds and put into crates. Poor handling frequently results in bruising, skin grazing and broken blood vessels.

“Loaded into trucks, piled next to their friends and not knowing where they are headed, no chance of escape.

“Transport to slaughter can be long with birds experiencing extremes of temperature, stress suffocation and shock.”

She then goes on to scream that birds are killed between nine and 21 weeks old when their natural life span is ten years.

Eventually the police turn up, with an officer saying: "I am still going to ask you all to leave as you are not allowed to be in here.

"I will advise you that if you don’t you will be liable to arrest.

"I am just being polite and respectful. You obviously have a cause you are quite passionate about but you can do it outside."

Leaving the store, the group then set up a protest outside the store.

DxE is an international movement with several UK subgroups. It says its actions are done to "denormalise activities that involve animal exploitation through non-violent disruption".

The Brighton group made headlines last month when they stormed the Touro steakhouse, playing the sounds of animals being slaughtered to shocked diners.

They eventually left to jeers from customers who included a stag do where the groom was chained to a dwarf.

David Elvin was inside the restaurant handcuffed to the dwarf dressed as an Oompa Loompa and led retaliation chants after jumping on a table.

He and his hired dwarf encouraged his fellow revellers and other diners to chant "stand up if you love meat" and "you’re not singing any more".

A spokesman for Waitrose said: "We pride ourselves on exceptional animal welfare, with our turkeys farmed to high standards at farms we know and trust."

He added that Waitrose was Compassion in World Farming’s retailer of the year and is also in the top tier of the Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare.

Sussex Police has been contacted for comment.

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