Nine members of a militant vegan group were arrested after targeting the dairy, fish and meat aisle in Waitrose in their latest protest.
Some 40 demonstrators from Brighton’s Direct Action Everywhere animal rights group stormed the shop, lining up in front of the meat aisles and butcher.
They held placards saying, ‘Meat Is Murder’ while others wearing pig masks lay down on the floor as the police arrived.
The protesters jostled with police and one screamed as officers put her in handcuffs, with the group claiming they were assaulted.
Others went limp as police hauled them off to van’s waiting to cart them away from the Western Road store.
A spokeswoman for Direct Action Everywhere said: ‘We are targeting Waitrose because they use humane-washing messaging in order to sell their animal products. Treating animals nicely does not justify killing them and using their bodies for your own gain. They are individuals.’
One of their speakers inside the supermarket shouted: ‘We live by an assumption of human superiority. The assumption that because we are human, we can take someone’s life who does not want to die, simply because they are not human.’
The group claim those who kill animals are guilty of ‘speciesism,’ which they say perpetrates a social inequality upon animals.
They believe it is equatable to racism and sexism.
After thirty minutes inside the supermarket, activists marched outside and continued the demonstration.
Sussex Police were forced to take some of them away and struggled with others as they flopped weakly in their arms.
But the activists say the police response was disproportionate and shows a level of ‘aggression and violence that was totally over the top.’