Activism

New Zealand Awareness War of Anti-Meat Stickers Appearing on Supermarket Shelves

Vegan Activists Refusing to Back Down on what the Meat Industry is Calling Illegal

“Anti-meat” stickers have been appearing on packaging in some supermarkets across New Zealand recently. The meat industry is not amused and says that by trying to deter people from buying meat products, the vegan activists are behaving illegally.

The vegan movement is dynamic in New Zealand. This campaign of stickers on meat products by vegan activists is viewed by them to be an ‘awareness’ war.

One sticker on a pack of sausages proclaims in bold letters: “Warning: This Package Contains the Body of Someone who did Not Want to Die.

The stickers are small, of different colours, with various messages discouraging possible consumers from buying and consuming the products. The whole action is based on the notion that even if the assumption is that humans are on the top of the food chain, the animals still have the right to live and do not want to die, nor be treated cruelly before being slaughtered.

According to the activist, Deno Stock the stickers are being applied in different stores, however, the reach of this initiative is unknown. It is believed that it is on a relatively small scale.

“These animals didn’t want to die,” said Stock who is refusing to back down on this issue. “These animals were cruelly killed, cut up, put in little packs, pretty pictures on them, and sold.”

This initiative raises sympathy amongst NZ vegans however a spokesperson for the Vegan Society of NZ suggested their members are not encouraged to participate.

Illegal activity deemed to be theft?

One of the reasons might be that the meat industry deems this action illegal and disruptive of business operations. A Beef and Lamb New Zealand representative stated that this action is illegal, disturbing legally operating businesses and possibly making the products unsuitable for sale.

The reason is that it is advised that labelled products should be taken away for safety reasons as they might, as a result, be unsafe to sell for health reasons.

Store chains affected by the sticker action are not commenting or giving exact figures. However, security measures such as CCTV and patrols, are to be stepped up.

So far there is no fear of significant loss for the meat industry due to such actions. The industry may in future, however, press legal charges, as the action could be considered as theft by the supermarkets.

Consumption of vegetable products has been on a rapid increase for the past 5 years in New Zealand. According to reports by IBISWorld, the business information and market research provider, the possible reasons for this are increasing demand for vegetable-based food, health consciousness and increasing prices for meat products.

The large increase in vegan lifestyles in New Zealand is matched by an ever-improving quality of vegan products, which provide excellent alternatives for meat-based and dairy products.

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Jacobus Lavooij

Jacobus is an experienced editor and writer whose interest vegan issues began with understanding the environmental consequences of the food industry. He loves vegan food and is a passionate communicator of its benefits. He is a Dutch national and lives in Copenhagen, Denmark. Contact: jacobus@vegansbethechange.com
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