Vegan trespasser‘s bid to stop ‘immense suffering’
A part-time vegan cook who was fined for his part in taking three live sheep from a Queensland abattoir during a disruptive protest says people would be appalled if they saw footage from inside facility.
The protest was part of a nationwide disruption in cities and farms in which more than 50 activists were arrested.
Heggie, who works part time as a cook at a Brisbane vegan cafe and also collects Centrelink payments, today pleaded guilty to one charge of trespass.
Police Prosecutor Sergeant Scott Pearson said when the abattoir workers arrived for their shift shortly after 3am, they found Heggie and the activists on the property and work had to be delayed for several hours.
"(The activists) said they would leave peacefully if (the abattoir) would supply them with three live sheep they could save," Sgt Pearson said.
"The manager … provided a statement to police saying he did not want to give the group the stock but did so under duress …"
Magistrates Suzette Coates fined Heggie $350 for his offending, noting he received an average of $250 a week from his part time work as a cook and also received government benefits.
Outside court today Heggie said the three sheep the group had taken were being taken care of.
"The sheep are healthy and alive and happy as I think all animals should be," he said.
"I think we've had animal rights movement for the past 30 years and unfortunately I've spent most of my time signing petitions and participating in legal marches yet animals are still being slaughtered and our environment is being destroyed at an alarming rate.
"I believe that if people saw the footage of what transpired in that slaughterhouse, if these were dogs or cats we'd be outraged as a nation and unfortunately we've just been conditioned that because they're sheep, cows, pigs, chickens, goats that it's OK to cause immense suffering to these innocent beings."