The vegan lifestyle is a hot topic at the moment, as the annual “veganuary” challenge becomes ever more popular.
A new documentary from Channel 4 is exploring those on the more extreme end of the spectrum, following activists Meat The Victims who use illegal methods to push their message.
Here’s everything you need to know about How to Steal Pigs and Influence People…
What is How to Steal Pigs and Influence People about?
This documentary follows a unique community of vegan and ex-vegan influencers. Some embark on farmyard heists, others are devoted to back-bedroom chicken sanctuaries.
Why is How to Steal Pigs and Influence People controversial?
The farming community has been particularly concerned about the documentary, with the National Pig Association fearing it could be “glamourising” theft of the animals.
Lizzie Wilson, NPA policy services officer, said in a letter to Channel 4: “Our members have been subjected to three ‘Meat the Victims’ protests where large groups of protesters descend on and occupy a pig farm for up to 9 hours, harassing the farmer and their staff and distressing the animals in their care.
“We are extremely concerned therefore that the planned programme could be televising and potentially glamourising acts of criminality, such as the theft of pigs, burglary and the movement of pigs without the necessary licence, therefore inciting others to do the same,” she added.
The NPA are also worried that the activities of these same protesters could spread diseases such as African Swine Flu.
Tom Calvert, head of legal at producers Dragonfly, said in a statement: “We believe that the programme gives a fair and balanced view of the ‘Meat the Victims’ event from both sides, as well as presenting a fair reflection of vegan activism in the UK.
“The programme will… feature other incidents in which vegan activists commit illegal acts. However, I can assure you that these acts are not glamorised, encouraged or condoned in any way. The negative impact of the event on the farmer and her animals is made clear to viewers. The programme also features people who actively oppose the vegan movement.”
What time is it on Channel 4?
How to Steal Pigs and Influence People airs on Tuesday 14th January 2020 at 10pm on Channel 4.