In a coordinated mass action, individuals from the climate and animal group Animal Rebellion occupied the supermarket egg aisle of Sainsbury’s in Fallowfield.

Several similar actions have also taken place in Sainsbury’s supermarkets in Exeter, London, Nottingham and Bristol with more planned in Sheffield, Southampton, and Liverpool.

Sainsbury’s stores specifically are being targeted nationwide as Sainsbury’s sell more than 50% of all RSPCA-assured products in the UK – a scheme that is allowing horrific abuses to happen to animals while leading us to believe that they are well cared for in ‘high-welfare’ farms.

They held placards calling for the UK to adopt a ‘safer, sustainable’ plant-based food system free from the spread of zoonotic diseases, animal suffering, climate breakdown, and food shortages.

Yves Tchapda, chef, 27, from Manchester said:

“We’re a nation of animal lovers, none of us like to think of animals suffering for our food. But this is the reality for millions of chickens, and other animals, in the UK. Labels like ‘free range’ and ‘RSPCA Assured’ are deliberately misleading consumers into thinking we are buying in line with our values, but free-range egg laying hens have been housed indoors for 4 months now! Egg industry RSPCA-accepted practices include gassing or grinding up day-old male chicks just because they don’t lay eggs! [2]. There is a kinder alternative, a plant-based food system.”

Leanne, full-time mum, 28, from Burnage said:

“We sat down in front of the egg aisle in Sainsbury’s today to demonstrate that customers are being lied to; there’s no such thing as free-range as all birds have been kept in barns since November 2022 because of bird flu. However, this is not for their good as they are often crammed in, and it’s common to see dead, sick and injured birds scattered about. We aimed to emphasise it doesn’t have to be this way. We can choose to adopt a plant-based food system which is based on love, and not based on exploiting and killing animals. We could free up more land and reduce our emissions by 54%.”

The actions followed images earlier in the week showing empty supermarket shelves owing to climate-induced food shortages

Earlier this month supporters of the same group put up posters around Manchester asking people to put their love for animals into action on Valentines Day by choosing a plant-based future.

In 2018, comprehensive research from the University of Oxford showed that 76% of the land currently used for food production would be freed-up by a global transition to plant-based production

This land could be rewilded and begin carbon drawdown, mitigating the worst impacts of climate breakdown. A 2019 Harvard University report on UK farmland and food production from Helen Harwatt and Matthew N. Hayek also concluded that the UK would be carbon-negative if it completely transitioned to a plant-based food system.

Animal Rebellion is urging wholesale governmental and societal support for farmers and fishing communities to transition to a plant-based food system and programme of rewilding that will secure a future for generations to come.


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