Anti-species activist sentenced for defamation of the meat industry

The interprofession Interbev had lodged a complaint against Tiphaine Lagarde, co-president of the antispeciesist association 269 Life Liberation.

The meat industry wins a lawsuit against anti-speciesists. The co-president of the antispeciesist association 269 Life Animal Liberation has was sentenced on Thursday in Paris to a suspended fine of 1 000 euros, for defamation of the meat trade association Interbev, for remarks made during a demonstration in October 2016.

The National Interprofessional Association of cattle and meat had filed a complaint at the start 2017 against part of the speech – then put online – delivered on 28 October 2016 by Tiphaine Lagarde, during a rally in front of the organization’s headquarters.

“Tools of totalitarian ideologies”

The court ruled that his remarks, which denounced “speciesist propaganda in schools”, were defamatory. “We will not let the powerful lobbies of animal exploitation indoctrinate our children”, “Interbev, you should be ashamed, because you use all the tools of dictatorships and totalitarian ideologies”, had launched, among others, Tiphaine Lagarde.

While the court stressed that the subject was “of general interest” and that these words had been spoken in a “militant context”, it noted that the defendant reported “no factual element” in support of his “particularly virulent” remarks, which “little therefore be akin to a personal attack directed against Interbev”. she declared in particular that Interbev “[met] the war and the blood in the plates of our children”, evoking “all these animals which survive in concentration camps”, or even “sordid farms where the animals only do survive”.

Regarding these remarks, the 17e correctional chamber of the court of Paris considered that if they are “of great violence”, they are “an opinion” on the part of an “activist of the animal cause” and do not impute a “precise fact” to Interbev , as assumed by the offense of defamation.

“For the sector and the breeders in particular, it is a relief to see that the law indeed makes it possible to frame a minimum of the remarks which can be made, to allow a serene debate around these questions of ‘anti-speciesism and animal welfare”, reacted the lawyer of Interbev, Me Pierre Morrier.

Tiphaine Lagarde was also ordered to pay one euro of damages and interest as well as 2.000 euros in legal costs. His lawyer, Me Thomas Hellenbrand, did not wish to react because he had not been able to find out the reasons for the decision. “We note that the court pronounced a sentence at the lowest of what could be pronounced”, he underlined, adding that he reserved the opportunity to appeal.

No hierarchy between species

The antispeciesist movement has developed in the last three decades, after the term appeared in medical circles, in particular to denounce animal experimentation.

Taken up in particular by the philosopher Peter Singer, it is opposed to consumption and to animal exploitation, on the basis of equality between species, including between human beings and other animals. The association has claimed responsibility for several operations in recent years, carried out in particular against butcher shops.