Article by Joanna Sarah-Freedman
Vegan protestors have sparked an online discussion after gathering to protest in front of several egg aisles in UK supermarkets.
Activist group, Animal Rebellion, disrupted five branches of Sainsbury’s to protest the ethics of the egg industry.
This weekend, some amazing supporters of Animal Rebellion disrupted egg aisles in Sainsbury’s in 5 different cities across the UK! They stood together in action to demand a different future and a different food system. There is an alternative. pic.twitter.com/6CXvBAvK5O
— Animal Rising (@AnimalRising) February 27, 2023
A statement from Animal Rebellion read: “In a coordinated mass action, individuals from the climate and animal group Animal Rebellion have occupied the supermarket egg aisle of Sainsbury’s in multiple cities, including London, Bristol, Manchester, and Nottingham.”
Protestors argued there needed to be a “safer, sustainable” plant-based food system where animals didn’t suffer and the climate impacts of animal by-products weren’t ignored.
It also comes after several eggs that were once labelled ‘free range’ due to the fact they were raised outside are now being reared inside, due to avian flu.
Companies had been given a grace period where they were still allowed to call their eggs ‘free range,’ before being forced to describe them as ‘barn eggs’.
Daniel Juniper, 27, who was one of the participants, said: “As a nation of animal lovers, we do not like to think of animals suffering for our food. But this is the reality for millions of chickens, and other animals, in the UK.
“Labels like ‘free range’ and ‘RSPCA Assured’ are deliberately misleading the consumer into thinking we are buying in line with our values, but in the egg industry RSPCA-accepted practices include gassing or grinding up day-old chicks whilst they are still alive.
“There is a kinder alternative, a plant-based food system.”
Sainsbury’s said of the protests: “We are aware of some activity at our stores and are monitoring the situation. We have a range of security measures in place to ensure our customers can shop with us safely.”
After Animal Rebellion shared news of the protests online, they received a mixture of praise and cynicism.
“Great job. Thank you for taking direct action. Until every cage is empty!,” said one supporter.
Whilst another wrote: “Good for you guys – you’ve got opposing comments but keep at it. You never know when a person will decide against cruelty to animals for their meal plus you’re bringing awareness.”
Others let their distain be known.
“Wish you did that when I was shopping. Because it really wouldn’t stop me from getting what I wanted,” said a third.
As a fourth penned: “If you don’t wish to eat eggs, don’t eat eggs! No one will make you eat eggs you don’t want to eat. Kindly reciprocate!”