Environmental zealots have staged sit-ins at several Michelin-starred restaurants tonight demanding an end to all non-vegetarian food — risking the long-running Christmas dinner plans of dozens of diners.
Nine members of Animal Rebellion took seats at the £130 Tidal House in Newcastle, which environmental groups said ‘refuses to cater to vegans’, before staging a similar protest at the Heston Blumenthal dinner in central London.
However, in Newcastle, they were quickly removed by the police before it emerged that they only occupied an “unused downstairs bar area”, meaning there had been no disruption to bookings.
House of Tides assistant manager Conor Golding told MailOnline: ‘They occupied the unused bar area downstairs while we were still able to accept guests who had booked into our restaurant upstairs, so their protest was completely ineffective.
“Unfortunately for them, they sat on our gorgeous custom made leather seats in our bar area for the entire 45 minutes of the protest and we would like to thank the police for removing them in a very prompt and professional manner.”
It’s not the only restaurant it will occupy on National Action Day, environmental warriors warned, threatening similar scenes in Birmingham, London and cities “across England”.
Nine members of Animal Rebellion take seats at the £130 tidal house in Newcastle (protest photo), which environmental groups say ‘refuses to cater to vegans’
Heston Blumenthal’s Michelin-starred restaurant occupied Animal Rebellion members on Saturday
It comes after protesters carried out a similar act at Salt Bae’s popular Knightsbridge restaurant Nusr-Et earlier this month.
In photos shared from House of Tides this evening, Animal Rebellion supporters can be seen occupying reserved tables while holding “mock lists” containing the group’s demands.
Video shows an employee apparently on the phone to police, asking, “Can you send someone to remove it please?”
MailOnline has contacted Northumbria Police for comment.
Former animal care assistant Robert Gordon, 26, said: ‘This event is the first of several sit-ins at fine restaurants that will be happening across England this evening. We are targeting these places in a work in progress because they are symbolic of a broken system.
Households in the North East have the lowest disposable income compared to other areas of the UK. However, the House of Tides continues to profit from a rich minority by offering meat, dairy and fish at the expense of our natural world.
Instead, fine restaurants like this should lead by example and move towards serving sustainable and vegan foods. A plant-based diet could end the suffering of the one billion farmed animals and many other fish killed in the UK every year.
“This will also create space for the critical rebuilding of carbon withdrawals from the atmosphere and the restoration of precious countryside, coasts and wildlife.”
Michelle Farnham, 24, a psychology graduate, participated in the protest at a dinner hosted by Heston tonight.
She said: “Today, Animal Rebellion is proclaiming a national day of action. Fine restaurants, like Heston Blumenthal’s, that are being occupied are symbols of a social and political system that is 99% failing.”
We need massive changes to our diet, along with sweeping shifts toward renewable energy and a mass isolation program. We know beyond any doubt that our current animal-based diet destroys the environment and the lives of billions of animals every year.
Environmental zealots staged a sit-in at the Michelin-starred House of Tides restaurant (pictured) tonight to demand an end to all non-vegetarian food
A plant-based diet would provide us with food security in a sustainable and low-cost way. It’s a no brainer.’
The same environmental gangs targeted Gordon Ramsay’s 3 Michelin star restaurant in Chelsea two weeks ago, with a similar outcry resulting in the restaurant being closed overnight.
A subsequent action at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Manchester ended with the arrest of 14 protesters.
The group says it will only stop the disruption to fine dining when “the government takes meaningful action to prevent climate breakdown and animal suffering”.
Animal Rebellion urges “wholesale government and community support for farmers and fishing communities to transition to a plant-based diet and a resettlement program that will secure a future for future generations.”
A study last year found that meat alone is responsible for nearly 60% of all greenhouse gases from food production, with beef and lamb being some of the worst polluters.
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