A vegan activist says he had to go hungry while behind bars as there were no vegan options on the prison menu.
James Warden, 25, an animal rights activist and a member of animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), is accused of the theft of a calf valued at $1500 (1070 USD), as well as a dead piglet, which were taken from two different farms in Western Australia.
As a result, Warden was charged with two counts each of theft and aggravated burglary, as well as three counts of trespassing.
When the unemployed vegan activist couldn’t come up with the funds required for bail, he was sent to Canning Vale’s Hakea Prison, where he says he had to go hungry due to a lack of vegan food.
“Some of them just said ‘go and eat some meat’ and that kind of thing,” he told Seven News.
“The experience I had was nowhere near as bad as what animals are going through. They are suffering daily, and I only had to put up with 48 hours in custody.”
Warden, who was able to make bail after two days in the slammer, is under a court order to stay away from livestock farms and points of departure out of the country.
There have been growing tensions between vegan activists and livestock farmers in Australia, especially over the past several months.
Late last year, about 70 animal rights activists stormed a goat farm in Eastern Victoria, where three goats and a lamb were taken, according to authorities.
Just weeks later, another animal was taken from the farm, which ultimately closed this month due to the owners fearing for their safety after allegedly receiving repeated violent threats from militant vegans.
“We have personally been subjected to an appalling stream of threats of extreme violence against ourselves, our family, our staff and even their families,” said the Gippy Goat farm owner.
Similar incidents occurring throughout the country have led the government to take measures to crack down on activists who break the law.
Politicians are now urging farmers to film the invasion of their farms by vegan activists in order to provide evidence to police that can help prosecute them for trespassing and other crimes.