“My Facebook feed looks pretty different to yours,” a cotton farmer told me over the phone.
“On Sunday, it was full of rumours and full of fear. We knew something was coming.”
It was all just speculation at that point, a turbulent rising fear amongst Australian farming communities – friends of friends hearing whispers that a huge protest was brewing.
“Families were going to bed scared,” the farmer explained.
The rumours were right.
On Monday morning, vegan activists staged nationwide protests.
On the topic of farming, who are Australia’s invisible farmers? Listen below. Post continues after podcast.
They hid inside abattoirs in the dead of the night and chained themselves to machinery.
They were wearing black, and holding signs that read ‘Watch Dominion,’ a documentary exploring animal farming in Australia.
It’s not the first time farmers have felt victimised. In fact, Mamamia struggled to find farmers who would go on the record to talk about this topic, fearing retribution.
Ellie* works in the wool and sheepmeat industry, and told Mamamia she'd spent many a restless night being unable to sleep, after copping abuse from animal activists for her choice of career.
"Am I really a 'murderer' 'unethical' and 'immoral' for farming animals?" she asked herself in the darker moments.
No, she thought.
"[The protests] ignore the fact the rangeland used for grazing livestock won’t be used for anything else, meaning that removing livestock farming from the area also removes skills, knowledge, stewardship/environmental management from the area.