A family of dairy farmers have received death threats from a group of vegans after one of their cows gave birth to triplets.
Jonny and Dulcie Crickmore said that even their children had been targeted by the ‘militant vegans’ who have abused them repeatedly for five days.
Farmer Jonny, who runs Fen Farm Dairy in Bungay, north Suffolk, said: ‘We have had some really horrible comments. It kicked off from a post we put on Facebook and Twitter when we had calf triplets born.
‘We put a message out and some vegans found it and posted it onto these activist groups in America – and within a few hours last Thursday it escalated.’
He contacted police after they targeted his sons Arthur and Ottilie and an officer went to speak to the family.
However, the barrage of abuse appeared to backfire with people coming out in support of the award-winning Fen Farm Dairy.
Sales have gone up and they have received hundreds of five-star reviews.
Mr Crickmore added: ‘They sent loads of questions across to us but we didn’t reply to any of them. It just got worse and worse.’
The farm later wrote on Facebook: ‘We never, ever slaughter calves. All of our calves, both male and female, including the beautiful triplets in my last post, stay with us on our own farm into adulthood and live free ranging low-pressure lives.
‘The females join our free ranging milking herd. The males join our free ranging beef herd. Our adult beef animals are sent to our closest slaughter house, to minimise travelling time and to help reduce food miles.
‘Our milking cows are well cared for and are allowed to produce a comfortable amount of milk. We don’t push them to over-produce. This means they are happier, healthier, live longer and their bodies are comfortable.’
Jonny said he ended up blocking hundreds of people after he was overwhelmed by the number of messages he was getting from angry vegans.
He said: ‘I’m quite thick-skinned but my wife didn’t like it at all. We have been careful to lock all our doors, etc. We have never had nasty things like this said about us before.
‘A few of our customers even got abuse back as well,’ said Jonny, whose 880-acre farm produces rare natural whole raw milk and cheese.
‘We chose to delete the post. We wrote a new post explaining to everyone who had seen this what we do at our farm and off the back of that this post got shared over 400 times.’
Jonny won the highly-coveted Best Artisan Producer award at the Great British Cheese Awards last October.
He was crowned just days after scooping Farmer’s Weekly prestigious Diversification Farmer of the Year Award.
A Vegan Society spokesman said: ‘Veganism rejects violence and encourages compassion towards living beings and this incident is not representative of the vegan movement as a whole.
‘We certainly condemn any threats of violence and encourage vegan activists to share their messages peacefully and positively.
‘Vegans rely on farmers for food. We are not against them.
‘But we do want to see an end to animal agriculture as a whole and a transition to a more sustainable, healthier and compassionate farming system.’