Unless you're completely out of touch with what's going on around you - perhaps because you've been living under a rock in a very remote and entirely deserted area - you'll be aware of just how popular veganism has become in the last few years. Yes, the number of people turning vegan has truly soared in a very short amount of time.
In fact, in the US, there has been at least a 600% increase in people identifying as vegans in the last three years. This stat comes from a report by research firm GlobalData, which found that only 1% of American consumers claimed to be vegan back in 2014. And in 2017, that demographic rose to 6%.
More and more of us are refusing to eat anything produced as a result of factory farming, an industry that some have likened to chattel slavery. I think it's fair to say that many vegans - whether they're involved in activism or not - have very strong beliefs about the consumption of animal products.
And because the vast majority of the population are still carnivores, quite a bit of tension and animosity has coincided with the rise of veganism. So, just as there has been an increase in veganism, there has also been an increase in the number of non-vegans speaking out for their right to eat meat.
In fact, some of these non-vegan protestors have been known to be just as militant with their protests. Just last week, in fact, a butcher was filmed aggressively swinging raw meat at vegan activists who carried out a "silent protest" in front of his market stall. But it gets much more extreme than that.
One particular meat-eating YouTuber found fame recently after a video of him attending a vegan festival in Amsterdam went viral:
It has currently been viewed over 825,643 times. The man, who did not reveal his name, wore a black tank top with the words, "Go Vegan And Die". But even that wasn't quite offensive enough for the vlogger. So the meat-loving critic decided to dig into a big, bloodied up piece of raw meat as vegans walked by.
He was filmed chewing on the big chunk of raw steak while being questioned by police officers for his unusual behavior. Police made the decision to confront the man after they received complaints from attendees of the Vegan Food Festival, which, according to some reports, was the first vegan food festival ever to be held in the Dutch capital.
A woman can be heard saying, “He is just eating it” in the video, which was filmed on a smartphone.
The man stayed at the front of the festival grounds with an assistant and cameraman and left after an hour.
"It’s ruin[ing] our health," sv3rige says at one point during his protest. "I was vegan, I almost died."
"OK, that’s good for you! Then don’t be a vegan," a non-vegan passerby responded.
A spokesperson for the festival opened up about their feelings about the provocative and deeply unnecessary counter-protest, explaining that it was supposed to be a family event.
"While it is of course not forbidden to eat raw meat, it was, of course, a shocking sight because there was a puddle of blood and fat," the spokesperson told local media. "Besides, there were lots of elderly people and children. At that time a special children’s program was going on."
"It was a weird protest by the gentleman," the spokesperson added. "This festival is about having fun and sharing new experiences."
They also clarified that the attendees of this particular festival are "not extreme vegans".
The man was reportedly reluctant to leave the festival at first, as there was no rule stating he couldn't stand in front of the festival grounds. Eventually, however, he gave in and the police later confirmed they did not need to make any arrests.