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French butchers ask for police protection following attacks by vegans - and they blame the media

Butchers in France are pushing back against animal-rights activists after a spate of attacks. (PATRICK HERTZOG/AFP/Getty Images)

Following a spate of attacks, butchers in France are equating anti-meat activists to terrorists — and pleading for protection from law enforcement.

The French Federation of Butchers wrote a letter the country's Interior Ministry after a number of shops over the past few months were vandalized: some strewn with graffiti, others had windows broken out, and more still were splattered with tell-tale fake blood.

What's going on?

In the letter, Federation chief Jean-Francois Guihard said of the attacks from vegan groups: "It's terror that these people are seeking to sow, in their aim of making a whole section of French culture disappear." He accused activists of wanting to "impose on the immense majority of people their lifestyle, or even their ideology."

Guihard further asserted that the "physical, verbal, and moral violence" being imposed on the butchers of France was "neither more nor less than a form of terrorism."

Really? In France?

It's no secret that the French people love their cuisine. And they're not putting up with this food-activist riff-raff in their country. No sir, no ma'am.

A columnist in the French news magazine Le Point wrote on Tuesday: "The enemies of a meat-based diet want to consign humanity to grains. Down with totalitarianism. Long live blanquette."

The attacks on butchers have been throughout the country, but have also expanded to fishmongers, restaurants and other unexpected targets.

In their plea to interior minister Gerard Collomb, the butchers implore him to intervene, saying, "We are counting on your services and on the support of the entire government to stop as swiftly as possible" these attacks, adding that they're "worried about media overexposure of the vegan way of life."

University of Toulouse veterinary professor Pierre Sans, who studies food consumption said, "Attacks like this, acts of violence against businesses are new in France. We have seen it against slaughterhouses and laboratories, but towards a business that is selling legal foodstuffs, it's rather shocking."


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