Groovin’ the Moo is a three weekend music festival held at six locations around Australia. But during its first weekend, which kicked off in Wayville, South Australia on Friday 28 April, a number of attendees were furious to find that the scheduled petting zoo would not go ahead.
A change.org petition launched last week claimed the music festival was “not an appropriate environment for a petting zoo,” and argued “animals should not be forcibly subjected to loud music, drunk people and large crowds”.
Jaymie Hammond, who started the campaign, said a petting zoo was “completely unethical and unnecessary,” and to date, 2,962 people have signed to agree with her.
On 26 April, Groovin’ the Moo announced on Facebook they had cancelled the petting zoo, explaining to their Wayville guests that “while we had the best of intentions, we understand your concerns”.
Almost 500 people commented to respond to the post. While many acknowledged the decision was "probably best for the animals," countless others criticised "stupid vegans," and wrote, "I'm no longer going," and "people are sooks".
But the media's response was even more emotionally charged. An article in the Adelaide Advertiser asked, "have you ever met such an insufferable category of people as vegans?" and continued, "see, they profess to be such loving, careful, gentle souls... but some of the most judgmental prigs I’ve ever met have been vegans".
Because anecdotal evidence is the best type of evidence.
My problem with this whole debate is one that seems to arise every time animal rights issues are raised. Vegans, according to a large section of society, are smug and annoying, and therefore their opinions are absurd. To their critics, vegans think they're 'morally superior' and look down on the rest of us. They're bent on their agenda and committed to imposing it on everyone else.