On both sides

A pro-meat demonstrator, identifying himself as “Steve” in a Facebook Live video by Portland Animal Save, communicates with a counter-protester during a vigil by the activist group Aug. 28. Although Portland Animal Save has been having pro-vegan protests for months, having someone with signs on the meat-eating side was an oddity.

Protests against the use of animal-based products received a bit of pushback last week as video shows interactions with a pro-meat counter-protester during one of their recent vigils. 

Local animal rights activist group Portland Animal Save also had support from Salem Area Animal Save during their Aug. 28 vigil to “bear witness” to animals going to slaughter. The vigil was done on World Save Day in conjunction with the worldwide Save movement that the Portland and Salem area groups are a part of.

A Facebook Live video from Aug. 28 showed an individual, identified as “Steve” in the clip, holding signs with pro-meat statements, including “honk if you’re a carnivore” and “honk if you fish.”

Steve’s reasoning for coming out to show his support of a meat-eating lifestyle at first was simple.

“I just saw you guys out in the sun enjoying a nice day, so I thought I’d just come and address my agenda,” the man said in the video.

When pressed further, Steve said he was prompted to come out after seeing one of the pro-vegan protesters wearing a bandana over his face “like some sort of vigilante.”

“It was frightening people,” he said, explaining that it led to conversations around town about what the protesters’ agenda was.

Although seeing a protester condoning meat-eating was an oddity, the pro-vegan protests have been a recurrence in Woodland for the majority of this year. Woodland is picked for the protests due to the presence of Walt’s Wholesale Meats, a slaughterhouse in the city. The presence of trucks full of cows passing into the city allowed for the group to practice their form of protest, “bearing witness” to livestock before they are slaughtered.

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