Eoghan Dalton Reports
A city centre butcher’s found themselves the target of a vegan protest last weekend. O’Flynn’s Butchers, on George’s Street, were the subject of a demonstration by a local branch of an animal rights group that seeks to highlight the treatment of animals in Ireland’s food system. A small group gathered outside O’Flynn’s on Saturday with placards and laptops showing footage of animals including cattle. However, in a Facebook post, the butchers hit back at the protestors for targeting a “small independent business, run by a father and son, with one other employee”.
“There are plenty of large scale international retailers that buy imported and untraceable meat within Waterford,” it added.
The post said the staff care for and respect all of its animals to the highest standard possible, “using zero hormones, antibiotics or additives, and striving to keep all animals in great, natural health”. “Early each morning, before our work in the shop begins, and before we have had our own breakfast, we are on the farm. Checking all animals are in good condition and every one needs are being met so ensure they are not left hungry and are kept happy and content,” it continued.
“After the shop closes and farm is revisited and again for the same reasons. This leads to long hours seven days a week and work on the farm 365 days a year, regardless of public holidays.“When the time comes our animals are brought one mile from our farm to our family run abattoir. Their final journey is carried out using state of the art equipment, by highly trained and specialized staff. Our shop is then located one mile from the abattoir, giving the lowest distance to travel possible.”
The O’Flynns post acknowledged that the demonstrators had a right to protest but added: “ I also that everyone is free to choose their own diet and what they put into their body. There are plenty of local retailers who supply high quality vegan friendly-food, so I’m happy to see these businesses supported too.”The butcher also advised the protestors to support other causes, such as a 24/7 cardiology service for the region, instead of “trying to close down one of the very few local family businesses left in the main shopping square in the city”.