Farm owners traumatised by vicious online abuse from vegan activists
PUBLISHED: 16:02 02 February 2018 | UPDATED: 16:02 02 February 2018
Archant © 2018
The owner of a dairy farm in Bungay has spoken of his family's trauma after becoming the victim of online abuse from hundreds of vegan activists.
Jonny Crickmore, owner of Fen Farm Dairy on Flixton Road, has been subjected to a number of vicious attacks over Facebook and Twitter, including “five solid days of death threats”.
The activists even targeted the pair’s children, Arthur and Ottilie.
However an outpouring of support from Facebook users has meant the farm has seen its ratings recover and sales rise.
Mr Crickmore said: “We have had some really horrible comments. It kicked off from a post we put on Facebook and Twitter when we had calf triplets born. We put a message out and some vegans found it and posted it onto these activist groups in America, and within a few hours on Thursday it escalated. They sent loads of questions across to us but we didn’t reply to any of them. It just got worse and worse.”
The farm was forced to block “hundreds of vegans” and reported the abuse to police, prompting an officer visit.
Mr Crickmore added: “I’m quite thick-skinned but my wife really didn’t like it. We have been careful to lock doors etc. We have never had nasty things like this said about us before. A few of the customers got abuse back as well. We chose to delete the post and write a new post explaining to everyone who had seen this what we do at our farm and off the back of that this post got shared over 400 times.”
Thanks to social media exposure, the positive response was overwhelming.
“We went from 30 five-star reviews to over 850,” Mr Crickmore said. “Our sales are up and people have found us through all this nasty stuff.”
A spokesman for The Vegan Society commented: “Veganism rejects violence and encourages compassion towards living beings and this incident is not representative of the vegan movement as a whole. We certainly condemn any threats of violence and encourage vegan activists to share their messages peacefully and positively. Vegans rely on farmers for food. We are not against them, but we do want to see an end to animal agriculture as a whole and a transition to a more sustainable, healthier and compassionate farming system.”