Vegans jailed for attacking butchers and steak restaurants by smashing windows and trying to start fires

Vendors condemn group’s ‘profoundly violent ideas’

Zamira Rahim
Tuesday 09 April 2019 12:14 BST
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France has seen a number of anti-meat protests in recent months
France has seen a number of anti-meat protests in recent months

Two vegan activists have been jailed after attacking several businesses in northern France for selling meat.

Cyrile, a 23-year-old man, and Mathilde, a 26-year-old woman, admitted in a Lille court to taking part in night-time raids during which they damaged property and daubed words like “assassins” on businesses.

The couple were convicted of criminal damage for carrying out 15 such attacks between December 2018 and February 2019, which involved breaking windows and trying to start fires with cans of petrol.

Cyrile was sentenced to 10 months behind bars, while Mathilde​ received a six-month term.

The court also ordered the activists to pay compensation to the affected businesses.

Two other activists received suspended jail terms for aiding and abetting the attacks.

The local butchers’ federation said the activists had “profoundly violent ideas.”

“We needed an example to be made of them so that these actions by small groups with extremist and profoundly violent ideas come to an end,” Laurent Rigaud, the head of the federation, said in a statement.

The anti-meat movement in the area, which is sometimes known as anti-speciesist, involves several militant groups.

Some militants have reportedly started fires in slaughterhouses, steak restaurants and butchers‘ shops in the area over the last few months.

Anti-speciesist campaigners do not believe that humans are superior to animals and reject the idea that it is acceptable for the former group to consume the latter.

The groups view eating meat as “cruel and unnecessary”.

In June butchers wrote to the interior ministry, requesting protection after businesses were attacked throughout France, sometimes with fake blood, according to The Local.

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