On 3rd June 2024, activists of the animal rights group Animal Rising staged a protest at a Tesco supermarket in Ashford, Kent, UK. Footage recorded of the event shows shoppers clashing with the six activists who blocked a meat aisle by sitting on the floor holding placards. Police were called to the Crooksfoot branch, but no arrests were made.

The protest not only focused on the wrongs of animal agriculture but also on the animal welfare charity RSPCA, which is 200 years old this year. The charity, through its RSPCA Assured scheme, often rubber stamps animal farms, several of which have been exposed for being cruel to animals

The activists wore white overalls with the message “RSPCA 200 Years of Excuses” and held placards with messages such as “Animal farming is ruining the planet”, “RSPCA Approved = Animal Abuse” and “Tesco: Tell the Truth”.

The footage shows a customer pushing one of the activists in the head as she steps over him. Rob Smith, one of the activists, said to Kent Online, “Britain is a nation of animal lovers, which is why I was there because I know that other people care for animals just like I do. Instead, the best way to care for animals is to eat plant-based food – something accessible and cheap, and good for you too.”

Caitlin Brown, another protestor, said, “We all love animals, which is why we need to find a way to live that is kinder. We know that a plant-based diet is accessible to all people, according to modern medical research. And plant-based food is better for you, whilst not harming animals, so it seems like a no-brainer. Britons love animals, so we need to act on that love, and stop paying for them to be killed and eaten.” The RSPCA has become a common target of animal rights protestors these days. On 2nd March 2024, vegan activists staged a protest in front of its headquarters in Horsham, West Sussex, accusing the animal welfare charity of supporting the use of CO2 gas chambers to kill pigs.

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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’.