Edinburgh Waitrose Animal Rebellion protesters pour milk onto shop floor in call for plant-based future
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The Animal Rebellion campaigners targeted Waitrose in Morningside on Saturday (October 15), taking milk from the shelves and pouring it away. As she emptied a bottle of semi-skimmed, one protester said the dairy industry is “responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than oil giants”.
She said: "The top four dairy companies are responsible for the majority of methane emissions. Milk is not suitable for human consumption. When baby calves are taken from their mothers, when mothers are forcibly impregnated...”
When a member of staff tried to intervene, the woman said it was a non-violent protest. A second protester said: “We’ve tried other democratic means, they don’t work.”
The video of the incident was posted on Twitter where it has more than six million views. Reacting to the stunt, Edinburgh Labour councillor Scott Arthur wrote: “There's a serious debate to be had about the environmental impact of the food we eat, but this isn't it. Well done to the staff that were left to clean up this mess.”
It comes as part of Animal Rebellion coordinated action up and down the UK, targeting stores like Waitrose, Whole Foods, and Marks and Spencer in London, Manchester, Norwich, and Edinburgh at around lunchtime on Saturday.
Footage shows several protesters pouring milk, taken from the shelves, on to display cabinets in Harrods' food hall in Knightsbridge. Another group was filmed emptying milk bottles on to the floor and across a table laden with cheeses in Fortnum and Mason in Piccadilly.
Animal Rebellion said it is calling for a plant-based future and highlighting the need to support farmers in transitioning to a sustainable plant-based food system.
Lou Hadden, a charity worker from Herefordshire who joined the action at Fortnum and Mason, said: "This is not how I imagined spending my weekend. Unfortunately, this disruption is necessary to get those in power to listen to the academics at Oxford, Harvard and the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change).
"The world's best climate and land scientists are calling for the transition to a plant-based food system. We need bold and decisive politics at this time, not the horror show we currently see."
Skylar Sharples, an international development graduate from Bristol and one of the protesters at Harrods, said: "Supporters of Animal Rebellion are back acting because Liz Truss and Ranil Jayawardena [Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs] are again deciding to ignore calls to start building a better future.
"A plant-based future would see a beautiful world for us all, thriving with nature and life. The steps to properly support farmers in this transition need to begin now.”
Additional reporting by PA.