Mother-of-four Louise Kirby was doing her weekly shop in Sainsbury’s in Bolton last Saturday when she was confronted by 12 vegan protesters silently standing in front of the meat fridges.
The 38-year-old said it was upsetting her two young daughters so much she asked security to make them leave.
When the group was being escorted from the store, one activist turned and declared ‘we’re only here to save the babies and children’ while pointing at Louise’s children.
A spokesman for Bolton Chicken Save denied any intention to intimidate and said the activist was talking about saving the six-week-old chickens who are killed near the supermarket.
Louise also claims the group from Bolton Chicken Save filmed her two children at the shop and later put the footage online.
Sainsbury’s described the incident as ‘clearly distressing’ and praised the staff member who ‘stepped in’.
Louise said she had her ‘head in the shelves’ talking about bargains when her daughter suddenly said ‘I’m vegetarian, I don’t eat anything here’.
She said: ‘I laughed and said, “don’t be silly, since when?”
‘I looked up and at that point, I felt the atmosphere change – you could cut it with a knife – it was really scary.’
The group was dressed in regular clothes and silently held placards with animals and slogans plastered across them.
Office manager Louise said: ‘They were stood there really staring at me while holding their placards.
‘I’m a carnivore, that’s my choice, if my children wanted to be vegetarian I would support them as it’s their choice.
‘But it’s wrong for people to try and force beliefs on to me and my children – they upset my two-year-old daughter Elsie and scared Sophie so much that she randomly shouted she was vegetarian.
‘They also videoed me and my children and put it online, until my husband asked them to take it down, which is unacceptable.’
Louise added: ‘I felt really awful about the whole thing so ended up going to the security guard and explaining how I felt a bit intimidated.
‘I told them not to bring my children into their protest as they have nothing to do with this. It’s out of order.’
A spokesman for Bolton Chicken Save said: ‘Occasionally we visit Sainsbury’s with placards showing a tiny fraction of the animals we have witnessed bound for slaughter in Bolton.
‘We stand quietly and peacefully for a few minutes inside the store and then leave.
‘Sadly on Saturday a lady became quite angry at us being there.
‘One of our activists told her “we are trying to save babies” referring to the six-week-old chickens who are slaughtered around the corner.
‘No malice or animosity was meant from this comment.
‘We are sorry the lady felt we were there to intimidate her, we can assure her that was not our intention, we were just trying to raise awareness.’
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