A group of extremist vegans have set their sights on a small butcher shop in Berkley, California. They have been holding weekly protests in an attempt to run it out of business. They show up mostly naked and cover themselves in fake blood and wrap themselves in cellophane.
According to The Berkley Side, the Bay Area chapter of the national non-profit Direct Action Everywhere has targeted The Local Butcher Shop owned by Monica and Aaron Rocchinoto. It is part of
their crusade to make Berkley “Meat Free.”
The shop has been putting up with the shenanigans since April and the finally reached a compromise. The butcher Shop agreed to hang a sign in their window for a year saying, “Attention: Animals’ lives are their right. Killing them is violent and unjust, no matter how it’s done.” It is sort of like the surgeon General’s Warning on a cigarette pack.
The couple decided it was best for theirs and surrounding business to take the compromise and put up the sign, even though it feels like extortion.
“The most palatable option to us was to put that sign up” instead of facing more demonstrations, she said. “The protests impacted the neighbors and local businesses more than it impacted us…so it felt like the most respectful thing to do.”
While they did not seem to deter customers, the demonstrations were anxiety-inducing and embarrassing for the butcher shop staff, Rocchino said.
The activist involved have stated that , any discomfort the butchers have felt is trivial compared to the cruelty experienced by animals.
Direct Action Everywhere has gained some attention since its formation in 2013 for its often eye-catching protests of meat consumption. In September 2016, about 15 of the group’s members disrupted dinner at a local Resteraunt, and in May one of the co-founders was arrested while trying to release a chicken from a live poultry market in San Francisco Chinatown. Direct Action has also taken aim at UC Berkeley research labs, Whole Foods and Costco, as well as politicians ranging from the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue to Bernie Sanders.
Aaron Rocchino’s response to why he thinks they were targeted is especially interesting. He believes that because they practice humane butchering techniques and emphasizes locally sourced and
sustainably raised meat and also encourages the use and consumption of the whole animal. In other words they are doing it right.
Shops like this are threatening to vegans. They prove that meat can be humanely raised and slaughtered. Factory farms and slaughter houses are the animal rights activists go to argument for
saying we should not eat meat. When you take those two arguments out of the equation they have nothing left to stand on.
On a side note you never really hear of groups like these protesting outside of a shop that sells leather jackets to bikers. I wonder why?
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To read the article from the Berkley Side CLICK HERE