On 30th June 2023, Australian Vegan activist Tash Peterson and others stormed a restaurant in Perth, Australia, after it controversially banned vegans a few weeks before. The activists were physically removed by staff, so police did not need to attend. Disruptions like this are a common tactic of this activist who has been arrested several times, and prosecuted for similar actions, but this one has been publicised by the mainstream media post due to the anti-vegan statements of the restaurant owner.

During the protest, Paterson shouted statements such as, “The sound you hear now are pigs screaming for their lives inside carbon dioxide gas chambers, you’re responsible for their murder if you are not vegan…You have blood on your hands.”

Peterson told 9 News Perth, “We were met with a lot of resistance and physical assault as well, I was grabbed by the neck, I have bruises on my arms and scratches… I think if a restaurant banned gay people, or Muslims, or women, there would probably be public outrage and disagreement with that, but of course, it’s different when it comes to vegans.”

If the restaurant owner, who is allegedly British, had made his public anti-vegan messages in the UK, banning vegans from his restaurant in the UK if he had one, he would probably have faced legal proceedings against him for breaches of the Equality Act 2010, as since 2020 ethical veganism is a protected philosophical belief in Great Britain and it is unlawful to discriminate against vegans not only in employment but also in the provision of services, both public and private (such as restaurants). However, Australian vegans do not have such protections, so they are targeted by veganphobes and vegan deniers with impunity. 

Jordi Casamitjana
“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’.