A protest was held recently, Saturday February 2nd, outside O’Flynn’s butchers on George’s Street in Waterford.
The pro-vegan protest was organised by animal rights activist group, Oppressed and unheard, and participating activists carried pictures depicting scenes and video footage of killings taking place. There was a small group protesting, but a spokesperson for O’Flynn’s Butchers has now hit back against the protest, calling it unfair.
“I was very saddened and frustrated to see a vegan protest outside our shop yesterday. We are not a corporation, we are a small independent business, run by a father and son, with one other employee.” Said the spokesperson.
The spokesperson continued by speaking of the excellent care provided by them to their animals, with animals given priority over their own care.
“We care for and respect all our animals to the highest standards possible. Using zero hormones, antibiotics or additives, and striving to keep all animals in great, natural health.” They posted.
“Early each morning, before our work in the shop begins, and before we have had our own breakfast, we are on the farm.”
“After the shop closes, the farm is revisited and again for the same reasons. This leads to long hours 7 days a week and work on the farm 365 days a year, regardless of public holidays etc.
The spokesperson said the care they provide for the animals is not a chore, but rather a way of life and all they have ever known.
“Treating animals with respect and caring for them is a way of life for our family for generations. It goes beyond work or a job. I couldn't really imagine any other kind of life for me personally.”
The butcher then explained the slaughter process in place, which was developed over the years to ensure the animals are as comfortable as possible.
“When the time comes, our animals are brought 1 mile from our farm to our family run abattoir.” They posted.
“Their final journey is carried out using state of the art equipment, by highly trained and specialized staff. Our shop is then located 1 mile from the abattoir, giving the lowest distance to travel possible.”
The spokesperson said that although they agree with everyone having the right to protest, they feel it was unfair for their staff to be outnumbered 4-1 on the day in question, with the shop owner approaching seventy years of age.
“I do think we are a very easy and unfair target for this though. With masked protestors outnumbering our total staff about 4:1, and the owner of the shop being almost 70, it is very unfair and unjust, and quite frankly, intimidating to our elderly customers, whom a number of had to be reassured by me personally.” They posted.
“There are plenty of large-scale international retailers that buy imported and untraceable meat within Waterford.”
The spokesperson concluded by urging protesters to put their efforts into more worthwhile ventures that would benefit the locality, such as a 24/7 cardiac care unit.
“I would ask that all protestors involved would also put their time and resources into some of the other causes that benefit Waterford. Such as the 24/7 cardiac care or Noah's wish to walk.”
Following the recent post from O’Flynn’s butchers on Facebook, which has been shared over 240 times, the activist group ‘Oppressed and Unheard’ have replied to the post, saying that they were not protesting, rather educating the public.
Pictures - Opressed and Unheard Facebook page.