Greendale Farm Shop Turkey Post Goes Viral


Greendale Farm Shop, incurred the wrath of a “militant” group of vegans and sparked a massive debate on social media, national radio and national television, when it posted a photo of turkeys on social social media.

The farm shop’s social media post invited customers to come to the shop, name a turkey and then help raise it in the run up to Christmas. The original post on the shop’s Instagram account (@greendalefarmshop) and facebook page was intended to emphasise the importance of traceability of the products which the farm shop sells. The Farm Shop management said “we pride ourselves on being a local farm shop, selling locally sourced products – the majority of which come direct from our farm or fishing boats. The traceability of our products is really important to us and to our customers: we want to be able to tell our customers where their meat and fish is from and what better way to underscore the importance of traceability than to give people the opportunity to help raise their own turkeys before Christmas”.

On Facebook the post reached an audience of over 450,000 people with 135,000 visitors expressing their views on the topic. Unfortunately the post triggered an online torrent of abuse against the farm shop and its staff coupled with death threats and even graffiti across the entrance to the farm shop saying “Murder! Go Vegan!”. National Papers, Radio and Television took up the story with Greendale Farm Shop becoming the most read news article on the BBC News website that week.

The idea of naming a turkey and then helping to raise it in the run up to Christmas was not intended to be controversial. “We thought that giving customers the opportunity to name a turkey and then help to raise it would teach our customers’ children important lessons about the food chain. Learning more about your Christmas meal, about the farm and about the turkey is important and will teach children to treat meat with the respect it deserves” said the manager.

As well as the importance of traceability, the Farm Shop is a proponent of animal welfare: “We take care to maintain a proper balance of animal welfare and successful productivity; to this end, while we invest in efficient, up-to-the-minute technology, we also ensure that we meet the standards required by the RSPCA Freedom Food and the Red Tractor Food Assurance animal welfare schemes. We believe animals must be treated with respect, and provide our pigs, beef cattle, sheep and chickens with a low-stress lifestyle and a natural diet”. The farm shop manager continued: “Part of our appeal to customers is that they know us, they know where their food comes from and they trust that we treat the animals with respect”. Also, the farm shop is proud to cater for a wide variety of dietary choices and has many regular customers who are vegans: “We have nothing against vegans at all and welcome them to our shop”.

John Williams