A recently-established Suffolk-based animal rights group has held its first vigil event outside C and K Meats in Eye this morning.
More than 30 activists of Suffolk Animal Save were outside the entrance to the meat suppliers at the Mid Suffolk Business Park, with some travelling from as far as Devon and Coventry to attend.
Formed in the summer, the group’s Facebook page has more than 430 likes, and they intend to stage vigils outside the Eye-based firm once a month.
Organiser Tom Fenner, from Bury St Edmunds, said the group is peaceful and believes in total animal liberation.
“We ask drivers to stop for three minutes, we will bear witness to the animals, give them a bit of compassion, a bit of love, speak to them, give them some water, and also capture their plight as well, so other people can see what they have to go through, even in the transportation process,” he said. “Obviously if they are not prepared to stop we will try to work with them, but we will passively stop the trucks, we will stand in the road and stop them.
“It’s a no-hate approach. It’s peaceful, and there is no hate towards the drivers. We don’t want to stop them from earning a living, it’s not what we are asking. We just want them to stop for three minutes.
Speaking personally I don’t care how nicely you want to kill someone. If they don’t want to die, it is still murderTom Fenner
“C and K Meats have been targeted because they are local and they slaughter animals. They haven’t been found to do anything specifically more cruel than anywhere else other than the slaughter of the innocent.
“Speaking personally I don’t care how nicely you want to kill someone. If they don’t want to die, it is still murder.”
Kevin Burrows, managing director of C and K Meats, said people were free to voice their opinions but expressed concern about people trying to stop lorries from entering the site.
He added it was the first event “of this scale” at the premises, and had told drivers not to allow anyone to give water to pigs over fears of contamination.
“It is a free world and they have free speech,” he said. “As long as it is a respectful protest I have no problems with it.
“They are free to have their opinions and I am free to have mine.
“They are throwing themselves in front of vehicles. Does human safety go beyond everything else?
“To me, yes it is a pig, and when we facilitate the passing of that pig, it becomes a product to me. When you put anything into that animal’s mouth you are potentially contaminating it.”