The President of the French Federation of Butchers, Jean-François Guihard, has written to the French interior ministry asking for government protection from animal rights activists.
The request comes after a number of butchers' shops were vandalised across the country, often with the slogan “no to speciesism” sprayed across windows. Similar attacks have taken place in neighbouring Switzerland.
Anti-speciesism is a movement that opposes the consumption of meat primarily based on the belief that all species are inherently equal. It equates speciesism to racism and sexism.
In the letter, the French butchers describe the attacks as a form of terrorism driven by a desire to impose an ideology on the majority of the population. They also blame the media for giving “overexposure to the vegan way of life.”
Has the political polarity of our times emboldened this new wave of attacks? How will these attacks affect how veganism is perceived? Are cultural and social norms around diets changing and if so, how will businesses in the meat industry adapt? Is it fair to equate animal rights with human rights campaigns? And what does this mean for rights-movements in general?