Diners at Touro restaurant in Brighton, UK, had an evening they weren’t expecting on Saturday night when a group of activists entered the steakhouse to protest meat eating.
The protesting group, called Direct Action Everywhere (DAE), was founded in the US in 2013 but with growing popularity have now formed multiple groups in the UK also. This is not their first publicity stunt, having protested at a number of restaurants serving meat as well as supermarkets but on this occasion they did not expect the reaction.
Shortly after storming in whilst playing sounds of cows being slaughtered, a stag party who was there enjoying a steak meal started to shout back. Many even started to sing back ‘stand up if you love meat’. Talk about starting beef…
Members of the stag party, including a £250 ‘Oompa Loompa impersonator’ who was present, continued to chant back at the protesters and even persuaded fellow diners to join in. Just as one of the activists begins to start her speech about veganism, the diners can be heard jeering and making cow mooing noises. I doubt this is what DAE expected.
In fact, apart from the vocal stag party, the majority of diners ignored the commotion and continued to eat and talk amongst themselves despite being surrounding by shouts of ‘it’s not meat, it’s violence’.
Dan Holmes, 30, who was part of the stag party, said of the events:
‘We felt they had said what they wanted to say and now it was time for them to go away and let people eat. We came up with some fun chants and the whole restaurant stood up when we sang ‘Stand up if you love meat’. A protest is fine, but they overstayed their welcome and were becoming annoying. If they had just had signs then that’s one thing, but playing sounds of animals being killed was going over the top. One of them was going round this table filming people eating and getting in their faces.’
It wasn’t all bad for the stag party however as once the protesters left, the restaurant manager apparently gave them all free shots – cheers!
For DAE, this is obviously an issue they feel passionately about and we are not one to say their opinion is wrong, but there is certainly a time and place for such protests. A Brighton steakhouse on a Saturday night might not be best placed. A spokeswoman for the group said:
‘In a time where we are experiencing mass environmental destruction, largely due to our unsustainable and unethical food choices, it is paramount that we put our egos and selfishness aside and accept that we are all connected, we are all animals. We can no longer ignore the suffering and pain we cause. We are not the only sentient beings that inhabit this planet.’
A range of footage can be found from the evening, from both diners and activists filming. You watch the video footage below for the full action: