On 15th October 2022, a vegan activist from the direct-action group Animal Rebellion Barcelona interrupted an event on healthy eating in Barcelona, Catalonia, where the mayor of the city Ada Colau, and the ministers of Labour and Consumption of the Catalan Government, Yolanda Díaz and Alberto Garzón, were speaking. The activist glued herself to the lectern, which had to be removed. 

The activist, wearing a black top with the Animal Rebellion Barcelona logo, took the stage after Garzón and Colau gave her speech and before a round table was about to begin. She then said that she was there to ask the Catalan Government for measures to promote a vegan diet and to stop subsidising animal agriculture. She was heard saying “Lots of talking, but nothing is being done.” Once the lectern was dismantled, the activist was forcibly removed from the room, shouting: “Climate justice now! Animal justice now! We don’t have planet B!”

In the event, titled “Live healthy, live better”, the Catalan politicians wanted to promote a more sustainable and healthy diet through regulation and defended the regulations approved by the Government. Mayor Colau criticised the menus in hospitals and nursing homes for being unhealthy, and assured that a change in food in these facilities would be “an opportunity to strengthen relations with local producers.” She highlighted the co-responsibility of the municipalities in the execution of a sustainable diet and valued projects of the consistory such as the promotion of seasonal, local and organic products. However, all such measures fall well short of promoting vegan food and shifting the food system from animal food to plant-based food, which explains why vegan organisations found the government’s projects insufficient. 

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.