Ahead of the annual Balmoral Show, PETA is encouraging the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society President Christine Adams to transition to a vegan event – the Balmoral Grow – showcasing Northern Ireland’s diverse crop farming. We have even designed a new logo for the event: meet Pip, a cheerful Greasy Pippin apple, Northern Ireland’s national fruit and a playful mascot for the Balmoral Grow.
Vegan Ulster Fry and Potato Beauty Pageant
Instead of cruel sheep shearing, show jumping, and food that has been cut or expelled from an animal’s body, the new Balmoral Grow could celebrate Northern Ireland’s hard-working plant-based farmers by featuring delicious, locally produced vegan fare including potatoes, oats, strawberries, and apples.
We suggest new fun, family-friendly activities that don’t harm animals, such as a vegan Ulster fry demonstration, an Irish strawberry–eating competition, a potato beauty pageant, and bobbing for cabbages.
‘Grow Vegan’ for the Green Growth Strategy
Since climate action is central to the Northern Irish Green Growth Strategy, moving away from animal agriculture is a no-brainer. Animal agriculture is a leading cause of environmental destruction, as it requires massive amounts of land, food, energy, and water while emitting huge quantities of greenhouse gases.
Researchers at the University of Oxford recently determined that current agricultural systems make it impossible to meet climate commitments even if all other sources of greenhouse gas emissions were eliminated.
Grow Away From Cruelty
Currently, the Balmoral Show involves over 3,500 non-consenting animals, who are tied up, pulled around, roughly handled, and forced to compete in spectacles like dangerous show jumping.
The sheep shearing competition is certainly not in the animals’ best interests, and showcases what’s wrong with farming sheep for wool or meat. The shearing process, particularly when done as fast as possible, is a violent and scary experience for sheep. Being held down and handled is terrifying for prey animals, and the more they panic and struggle, the more force shearers use, sometimes stamping or standing on their heads and necks.
© PETA Asia
Shearers are paid by volume, not by the hour, which encourages fast, rough handling that leaves gaping wounds on the animals’ bodies.
An eyewitness saw shearers on a farm in the UK throwing the fearful animals around, twisting their necks and limbs, and slamming their heads and bodies into the wooden floors. An investigation also documented that sheep on a UK farm died during shearing from what the farmer called a “heart attack”.
Celebrating Plant-Based Farming
Everyone needs farmers – after all, they grow the oats for our oat milk– but farmers don’t need to keep animals for meat, eggs, or dairy. Watch our video celebrating crop farmers across the UK, and check out PETA’s first-ever Farming Awards featuring the farmers at the forefront of ethical, animal-free farming.
You don’t need to wait for the Balmoral Grow to make the switch – go vegan today.