Peter Hynes, a dairy farmer from Co. Cork, has found himself in battle with animal rights organisation, PETA UK.
The feud between the two parties began after PETA shared a video of Peter’s daughter on their social media platforms.
Reading to calves
The video in question was of his 6-year-old daughter, Georgie, reading a book to two of the calves on the farm. The video was originally sent in response to Minister Simon Harris, who had reached out for ideas that people can do to pass the time at home.
Hynes replied with this video, saying “Does reading stories to your calves count, Simon, education and agriculture combined because farm kids understand #StayAtHomeAndStaySafe Keep up the great work #RisingToTheChallenge”
PETA UK decided to use this video to send their own message. They re-posted the video, saying “How adorable! Cows are social animals, like us, they recognise their friends and grieve when their family members die. Sadly, most cows are slaughtered when they’re 5 or 6. We hope that these babies will be spared the horrors of the abattoir.”
The Hynes family were unimpressed with the use of their video and demanded that the video be taken down and a full apology be issued to the family. They believe that PETA are in breach of GDPR by using the video of a minor without parental consent.
Peter responded in a separate post, saying: “This is a message for @PETAUK, shame on you for exploiting my daughter & using her to promote your views."
"Food production is so important now more than ever to keep supply chains open as the world battles the #coronavirus pandemic. Shame on you @PETAUK for placing undue stress."
The dairy farmer told That's Farming that his children are fully aware of where their food comes from and that they are free to make their own choice on this issue, as is everyone else.
"We've had veterinary students here before, who were vegetarians, and we've never had an issue cooking a vegetarian meal for them. Everyone is entitled to their own choice."
That’s Farming reached out to PETA UK to comment on the situation. PETA’s director of international programmes, Mimi Bekhechi, replied with the following:
“PETA is in full compliance with Twitter's terms of service, but it's ironic that a dairy farmer is expressing concern about consent – something he certainly doesn't have from the cows whose bodies he exploits.”
“The milk they produce is for their babies, whom they love just as much as he does his, and we suspect that his little girl would choose to save the calves she's sitting with, instead of allowing them to be slaughtered, if given the choice.”
If the video is not displayed, click here https://twitter.com/Peterhynes15/status/1244624919847198721
Image source: @PeterHynes15 \ Twitter
This is a message for @PETAUK , shame on you for exploiting my daughter & using her to promote your views.— Peter hynes
Food production is so important now more than ever to keep supply chains open as the world battles the #coronavirus pandemic. Shame on you @PETAUK for placing undue stress pic.twitter.com/XN6zF4vW5N