How To Steal Pigs
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How to Steal Pigs and Influence People: Police issue warning following controversial Channel 4 doc

Activists could be putting animals' lives at risk

Police have issued a warning to vegans and animals rights activists in the wake of controversial Channel 4 documentary How To Steal Pigs And Influence People.

The programme, which aired last night (14.01.20), followed communities of vegan influencers and their ex-vegan counterparts in an intense look at some of the extremes activists on both sides of the debate will go to.

Hosted by presenter Tom Costello, How To Steal Pigs featured social media influencer Wes Omar, who was seen raiding farms to save piglets from the slaughter.

How To Steal Pigs
Activist Wesley Omar was shown stealing a piglet from a farm (Credit: Channel 4)

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After the show aired, Cheshire Police issued a statement on Twitter warning that the behaviours documented in the programme could result in farm’s entire livestock being destroyed.

The force tweeted a message that read: “We support peoples varied lifestyle choices, but stealing livestock is a crime.

“Committing crime for social media likes and then risking the biosecurity of the farm, could result in all the livestock being destroyed.”

Elsewhere in the documentary, ex-vegans were shown tucking into bloody lumps of raw flesh as they turned their backs on plant-based diets to embrace meat eating.

How To Steal Pigs
Ex-vegans enjoying some raw meat (Credit: Channel 4)

Reactions to How To Steal Pigs were strong on social media, as viewers were left sorely divided over the documentary and the message it carried.

One angry viewer tweeted: “#howtostealpigs, I’ve watched the first five minutes and can’t watch anymore. I get so aggravated by the shear incompetence of these #vegans, it just beggars belief that @Channel4 would publish a documentary (in my view) inciting criminal activity fuelled by misinformation #bonkers.”

We support peoples varied lifestyle choices, but stealing livestock is a crime.

Another said: “#Channel4 should be ashamed. By giving these ‘influencers’ a platform, you’re only going to encourage further outrageous acts of social media validation/attention seeking. #howtostealpigs.”

A third wrote: “#howtostealpigs criminals who steal, damage property, drive range rovers and intimidate legal farmers. What a pile of pigs’ swill, C4. This is a perfect example of criminal negligence in programme resources and so called legitimate TV. A WASTE.”

Some supported the documentary, as one said: “#howtostealpigs don’t agree with everything they are doing but love the protests and showing the world how horrific these farms are and how much these animals are suffering. Well done @Channel4 for giving support.”

How To Steal Pigs
Wes has since moved to Dubai to pursue a career as an estate agent (Credit: Channel 4)

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Someone else, who initially admitted finding the documentary “insensitive”,  tweeted: “The show just made an important point that despite how well organised and coordinated Animal Rights Day was, and all over the world, the media essentially completely ignored it. Animals’ suffering isn’t considered newsworthy. #howtostealpigs.”

Another put: “That was intense viewing! When you’re peacefully enjoying a vegan diet, seeing the extremes of both sides is hard to watch. I won’t be stealing pigs any time soon… I also won’t be chewing on a raw pig head either. #howtostealpigs #Vegan.”

– Channel 4’s How to Steal Pigs and Influence People documentary is available to watch now on All 4

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