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Vegan protester charged after clash with Perth restaurateur

A protester in a cruelty-free cabbage-leaf gown denounces meat eaters before things turned nasty.

A protester in a cruelty-free cabbage-leaf gown denounces meat eaters before things turned nasty. Photo: AAP

A prominent activist has been charged after animal rights protesters stormed a busy Perth restaurant that banned vegans, physically clashing with staff and a diner.

Fyre restaurant head chef John Mountain in June used social media to announce “all vegans are now banned … for mental health reasons”.

About a dozen activists targeted his packed restaurant on June 30, brandishing placards and shouting at diners as Mr Mountain and others attempted to eject the group amid ugly scenes.

“The sounds you hear now are pigs screaming for their lives … you’re responsible for their murder if you’re not vegan,” activist Tash Peterson can be heard yelling in footage of the incident.

“Animals want to live … you have blood on your hands.”

The protesters returned to the popular dining spot in the northern suburbs about a week later and again played the sounds of squealing pigs, this time over a megaphone.

Mr Mountain can be seen in video footage physically confronting the activists outside his restaurant before being tackled by a man with the group.

The chef later told Nine’s A Current Affair he lunged for the megaphone in a bid to stop the protesters from disrupting his business and diners.

“I never really wanted to be a guy standing up against anybody … but bullies come in all shapes and sizes and these lot just happen to be the vegans,” he said.

Mr Mountain said the restaurant’s bookings had trebled following the clashes and he was having to “murder” more animals to feed his patrons as a result.

‘You’re barred for life’

He also revealed the emotional toll the incidents had taken, saying his partner had left him over the intense media scrutiny that followed.

“Thanks, vegans … you’re barred for life,” he said.

“Now I’m going to start opening steak restaurants just to piss you off.”

In a dramatic video posted to Facebook, Peterson, 29, said she had been charged on numerous occasions and wouldn’t be backing down.

“I will continue to speak up on the victims of the animal holocaust,” she said before lighting a fire.

“I will continue to go into restaurants … if they are profiting (from) animal abuse, torture, enslavement and murder.”

The video shows the flames superimposed over footage of squealing caged pigs as ominous-sounding music plays in the background.

The activist also said police had banned her from entering licensed premises for 12 months in a bid to silence her.

West Australian police on Friday said they had charged Peterson with trespass, remaining in the vicinity of licensed premises and disorderly behaviour over the June 30 incident.

Peterson is scheduled to appear in Joondalup Magistrates Court on Monday.

-AAP

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