Friday, 12 February 2016

Threats of violence and death are serious even if they're from a vegan

My meatloaf. Not a vegan dish.
Let's be clear. I think veganism is stupid. I've no problem with people who want to adopt the habit, I can put up with them going on about it all the time but I do not consider that vegans have any moral superiority and take the view that their diet is very likely to be unhealthy.

But if you want to be a vegan that's fine. Or rather it's fine until to decide to use violence to try and force your moral prejudices onto others:

The takeaway and couple have received considerable numbers of negative comments on social media – including its Facebook page ‒ such as being called “psychopaths” by user Robert Smith, and Denise Bottall, who said Sam Deeson was “evil”, and that she should “let me at him with a pair of scissors.” Facebook user Janet Tomsen called the practice “disgusting and murder”.

Again, I guess it's just about OK to use this sort of language - the 'let me at them with scissors' comment is getting pretty close to the line though. And that was just one example of organised mobs of vegans trying to destroy a business because they've decided that their supposed (and false) moral superiority justifies that action.

Sadly this isn't a one-off and, because the targeting of restaurants by vegans is not dealt with by the police, the problem is escalating:

"As soon as the activists got hold of it we got around 200 death threats in hours. We have had between 4-5,000 messages, calls, texts and emails.

"It got to the point where staff were in tears and were scared to answer the phone when I thought, 'enough is enough' and pulled the Foie Gras from the menu.

"People coming to eat with us over the weekend are disappointed and I suppose in a way we've let the trolls win but I can't risk the safety of the staff."

You need to understand that there's a distinction between free speech - those vegan activists are entitled to criticise the pub's decision to serve foie gras - and actual harm. And a death threat that results in staff crying and undermines a business that employs people and contributes to the economy is demonstrably harm.

It is time that these mobs of vegan activists were dealt with in the same way we'd deal with a mob trying to prevent a mosque opening or a rampage of activists using threats of violence or rape to close down a feminist blog. Sadly, Norfolk police don't seem to share this view:

A spokesman for Norfolk Police said they were aware but would not investigate further as no direct threats had been made.


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