Vegan war shot down during heated debate

Zach RelphCountryman
Pastoralists and Graziers Association of WA president and York farmer Tony Seabrook.
Camera IconPastoralists and Graziers Association of WA president and York farmer Tony Seabrook. Credit: Countryman

A staunch Tony Seabrook has shot down animal rights activist James Warden’s promise to “bring the (animal agriculture) industry to its demise”, warning the controversial vegan’s views are vilifying the State’s farmers.

The Pastoralists and Graziers of WA president rubbished Mr Warden’s pledge, while the duo were panellists on Monday night’s episode of Flashpoint, The West Australian and 7Perth’s new current affairs show.

Speaking on the show, Mr Seabrook — a York-based sheep producer and grain grower — stood firm after Mr Warden vowed to bring Australian livestock production “to its demise”.

“You’re painting a picture (about farmers) which is not accurate,” Mr Seabrook said.

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“People are very caring of their animals and it is in our best interest to be so.

“To be vilifying every producer as being cruel, heartless and horrible is unfair.”

Mr Seabrook and Mr Warden were joined on the latest Flashpoint, hosted by Tim McMillan, by Animal Justice Party vice-resident Katrina Love and well-known Perth butcher Vince Garreffa.

Well-known butcher Vince Garreffa.
Camera IconWell-known butcher Vince Garreffa. Credit: Danella Bevis

During the debate, Mr Garreffa criticised Mr Warden, the leader of animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere’s Perth branch, for trespassing on farmers’ properties.

The renowned red meat personality said Mr Warden’s invasion of farms and piggeries to record footage as part of spruiking his pro-vegan message had hurt farming families.

“Don’t go around being so malicious, it’s not fair, it’s not right,” Mr Garreffa said.

“Those poor families that you’ve singled out, they’re hurting more than ever when you’ve had a little win.”

Mr Warden, dubbed a “calfwit” and “meathead” by media after allegedly stealing a calf from a Brunswick dairy farm, claimed to have dropped 33kg on a vegan diet.

The animal activist conceded he might change part of his animal activism approach.

Vegan activist James Warden.
Camera IconVegan activist James Warden. Credit: The West Australian

Mr Warden also said more animal rights protests were “in the pipeline”, but remained non-committal on the details.

“We’ll continue to investigate, and we’ll continue to reveal the atrocities,” he said.

“We’re going to bring the industry to its demise. Undoubtedly.”

Ms Love, who spearheads the annual Stop Live Exports campaign on Stirling Bridge in East Fremantle, said she shared similar views on veganism with Mr Warden.

However, she noted some DxE protesting had attracted negative attention.

Animal Justice Party vice-resident Katrina Love.
Camera IconAnimal Justice Party vice-resident Katrina Love. Credit: Bob Garnant

“We now have a very negative connotation about vegans and animal activists,” she said.

“Certainly not all activists are on the side of James.”

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