Vegan activists vow to keep up the fight
DESPITE new laws, tougher penalties and constant threats, Darling Downs animal liberationists will continue their fight in 2020.
The past year was a busy one for the activists who captured national attention with a series of high-profile protests calling for an end to the livestock industry.
Toowoomba vegan Mo Orr was one of 20 who entered the Carey Bros Yangan Abattoir on April 8, chaining herself to kill-floor machinery and demanding the release of several lambs.
The protest was to promote Dominion, a documentary critical of meat producers.
She said the protest captured attention like no other.
"I was absolutely horrified to have so many police at my door, so many death threats. I was sent animal body parts in the mail, my phone number and address was shared on social media and that was before the protest," she said.
Mrs Orr expected a fine for trespassing but not police raids seizing her computers, camera and hard drives.
State and federal governments increased penalties and introduced new laws to further criminalise the brazen protest methods environmental activists favour.
"Every activist has to ask themselves if they can afford the consequences," Mrs Orr said.
Despite the reaction, Mrs Orr said the vegan movement had expanded.
She pointed to corporate giants like Coles, Woolworths and Domino's offering more vegan products.
Activists are looking at increased community outreach and engagement to complement footage documenting what they see as an inhumane industry.
It is a direct threat to farmers' livelihoods, but she wants them to transition from meat for their benefit and for the wider ecosystem.
"I get that farmers think they love their animals," she said.
"Before I was a vegan, I thought I loved animals.
"You think you love them, but then you eat them."
While protesting and documenting practices inside abattoirs might slowly alter consumer attitudes, Mrs Orr said climate change would be a bigger motivator.
"There are 750 billion land animals, seven billion humans and one finite planet," she said.
"What did we think was going to happen when we clear the land to grow crops to feed animals - all for a minimal amount of protein?"
"We are a clever species, we should be able to find a way to transition away from animal agriculture."
Originally published as Vegan activists vow to keep up the fight