SAFETY FIRST: Southern Downs snake catcher Drew Godfrey has not eaten meat since he was 14.
SAFETY FIRST: Southern Downs snake catcher Drew Godfrey has not eaten meat since he was 14. Drew Godfrey

Animal lover says 'extreme' vegan activists got it wrong

VEGAN activists with 'extreme' views are an 'embarrassment to the cause', animal rights advocate Drew Godfrey said as he slammed a group of protesters that swarmed a Southern Downs abattoir on Monday.

Mr Godfrey, 30, hasn't touched meat since he was fourteen, but said the militant group had taken their views too far.

"You can't just go up and say to anyone that they are totally wrong and they are a bad person for doing what they do," Mr Godfrey said.

"It just doesn't work. It is a very immature way to go about it."

Mr Godfrey accused activists involved in the farm and abattoir invasions of being driven by selfishness.

"I think they are just doing it to feed their own egos," he said.

"What they are doing it very self-centred rather than actually being an activity for the cause."

He said the response to nationwide protests proved that militant methods used by animal rights protesters simply "made people angry" and got the wider community offside.

It was leaked footage of factory farming - similar to that captured by a camera hidden at Carey Bros Abattoir - that led Mr Godfrey to stop eating meat sixteen years ago.

Since then, his attitude and approach to the cause has changed.

 

Police begin to remove and arrest Vegan protesters  that have shut down a major Melbourne intersection, Flinders St and Swanston St, causing peak-hour traffic havoc for commuters in the CBD. Pictures: Tony Gough
Police begin to remove and arrest Vegan protesters that have shut down a major Melbourne intersection, Flinders St and Swanston St, causing peak-hour traffic havoc for commuters in the CBD. Pictures: Tony Gough Tony Gough

"I was working in construction at the time. It wasn't until I shut up that people actually started asking why I was vegetarian," he said.

Mr Godfrey remembers ordering McDonalds burgers without the meat and explaining the philosophy behind his diet to colleagues.

"I actually had three or four mates turn vegetarian," he said.

"That happened because I led by example instead of shoving it down their throats."

Mr Godfrey said the problem wasn't meat itself.

Instead, he blamed capitalism and mass production for animal cruelty.

"Humans are omnivores. We are meant to eat meat," he said.

"But we should be producing it on a smaller scale. Every town should have their own little community abattoir and everyone should have a vegetable garden in their backyard."