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France, the land of boeuf bourguignon, faces wrath of ‘veganistan’ activists

French consumers are finally waking up, decades after everybody else. A new generation of activists is making people realize that even in the land of meat, there is very little that makes the case for having it.

ANGELINE BENOIT: ‘In the land of boeuf bourguignon and steak-frites, eating meat is turning controversial. Even selling it is becoming dangerous. The vegan and animal welfare wave hasn’t spared France, where butchers and slaughterhouses are increasingly coming under attack. The French butchers’ lobby has sought police protection after vegan activists stoned a butcher’s shop. This followed incidents in April when some meat-selling shops were doused in fake blood… Animal rights activists were fined near Paris for storming a local slaughterhouse in April, trying to block operations and taking pictures in a protest staged by the group 269 Liberation animale. Members of another group, L214, have already been fined for getting into the same slaughterhouse and filming the gassing of pigs in 2016.

The treatment of animals at some abattoirs in the country has made headlines from time to time. But with the animal-products industry generating $30 billion in annual revenue and employing thousands of people across the country, these concerns have often been soon forgotten. Organizations such as L214, created in 2008, seek to change that, with spectacular actions, including video-taping and releasing on social media evidence of animal mistreatment to create awareness. The group now employs over 40 people and is regularly joined by hundreds of supporters to implement actions…

“French consumers are finally waking up, decades after everybody else,” said Geoffroy Le Guilcher, author of a book on slaughterhouses and the publisher of another on animal rights activism. “A new generation of activists is making people realize that even in the land of meat, there is very little that makes the case for having it”… The number of French consumers seeking to cut back on meat has reached 30 percent and will continue to rise, according to a study by research institute Xerfi published last year. Vegetable protein is becoming an unavoidable substitute after supermarket sales surged by 82 percent to about 30 million euros in 2016, and are set to grow by another 25 percent a year through 2020, it said’. SOURCE…

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