A group of vegans in Bristol have held a gathering which included a candle-lit vigil outside of a turkey farm to mourn the deaths of nine turkeys killed ahead of Christmas lunches.

An animal welfare group had pledged the nine dead turkeys as a raffle prize to raise awareness and funding for animal welfare, which outraged the vegan community.

The group offered vegan mince pies to those walking past as they stood in silence next to the gate of St Werburgh’s City farm.

They believed the charity that focused on animal welfare was completely wrong to raffle the turkeys to raise the profile of animal welfare.

A sign was erected which read ‘They wanted to live.’

Vegan’s protested after the farm charity had raffled the two turkeys and planned to auction the remaining to raise money for charity.

The farm is an animal welfare charity which looks to educate the public about animal welfare and how food gets from farm to your plate.

Having caused the outrage, the charity cancelled the raffle but the birds were still sent to the abbatoir and killed to be sold and eaten for Christmas

Vegan activist Sarah Nicol, who organised the vigil, said: “There’s a lot of anger that the turkeys are dead, but we just want people to have a peaceful outlet for their grief.

“Their goals aren’t based in slaughtering their animals, they’re based in helping and educating the public. So it’s a logical step to move towards becoming a sanctuary.

“The turkeys caught people’s attention because they could see them, felt that they knew them. They were nine individuals, rather than countless, nameless animals in a slaughterhouse.”

The Bristol Vegan Action’s Facebook page, the group has now raised £700 in one day, just us. We have over 1200 signatures on our petition, in only 5 days. People far and wide called/emailed to show support – even from America.”

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