Activists gathered outside Wagner’s Meats in Mount Airy on Monday to protest the slaughter of farm animals and promote a vegan lifestyle.

The event was planned by Maryland Farmed Animal Save, which is an arm of an international movement to raise awareness of livestock before slaughter. Anita Karjnc founded the first group in Toronto in 2010, and the movement has grown to include over 190 groups.

Karjnc attended Monday’s gathering in Mount Airy before driving to Virginia and North Carolina for similar events.

“It’s not a protest. It’s a vigil in the sense we’re here to bear witness,” Karjnc said. “See animals suffering? Don’t look away, and try to help.”

A crowd of about 50 people gathered on the sidewalks outside Wagner’s Meats for the local group’s first vigil.

Wagner’s Meats is a family-owned business that was founded in 1953. It processes locally raised beef, lamb and pork and sells fresh cuts of meat in its store at the same location.

Michael Wagner has owned Wagner’s Meats for three months, since taking over for his uncle Tom. He watched the protesters as he stood outside the store on Monday.

“It’s their right [to protest]. They’re allowed to do it,” Wagner said. “It’s our constitutional right.”

Wagner sent an email to the group saying he respected their right to protest and asked them to in turn respect his private property. Previously, protesters have tried to enter the property, he said.

A shipment of beef cattle arrived Monday morning before the start of the protest, Wagner said. No other shipments were scheduled for Monday.

The protest was not meant to target the family business, workers or drivers, but to object to the system of supply and demand for meat, said Barbara Krause, 60, who drove from Pennsylvania to participate. Krause, who said she has been a vegan for the past 7½ years, held a sign that said, “We are all animals. Be kind go vegan.”

Montana Lopatic, 19, rode to the protest with Krause. She said she supports the save movement, because it is a love-based approach to making people more aware that packaged meat in the store comes from a live animal.

“What inspired these actions is there’s a disconnect between products people buy and the animals that need to die,” said James Aspey, an animal rights activist from Sydney, Australia, who was also at the protest.

Mount Airy officials and Maryland State Police were notified of plans for the protest prior to Monday. Officers in four vehicles monitored the gathering and parked their vehicles alongside the entrances to the store.

Wagner approached the protesters at the beginning of the event and offered them a case of bottled water.

Despite the protest, Wagner said he expected Monday to be a regular day. Wagner’s Meats employees start their day at 6:30 a.m., so the protest did not affect their commute.

An hour into the protest, some regular customers had already stopped by to show their support for the local business. Some customers have been coming to the butcher shop for over 50 years, Wagner said.

“I think we’re part of Mount Airy,” he said.

The business processes livestock from farms in Frederick, Carroll, Montgomery, Howard and Baltimore counties, Wagner said.

City of Frederick residents Stacy Slusher, 47, and daughter Kendall, 11, attended the vigil. Both switched to vegan diets three weeks ago, after being vegetarians for more than a year. They watch animal documentaries together and chose to go to plant-based diets for health reasons.

Neither realized there was a meat processing plant so close to home.

Kendall, who will attend West Frederick Middle School this fall, held a handwritten sign that said, “Love animals. Don’t eat them.”

Despite steady rain, both stood along the guardrail and pointed their signs toward oncoming cars. A few honked their horns in support.

“I think this is very interesting,” said Slusher, who plans to attend future protests with Kendall. “I think it’s worthwhile.”

Follow Samantha Hogan on Twitter: @SAHogan.

Samantha Hogan is the state house, environment, agriculture and energy reporter for The Frederick News-Post.

(99) comments

Mary Finelli

Thank you for reporting on this heartfelt act of compassion. Activists like these are the hope that humanity will yet realize how wrong the treatment of our fellow sentient beings is, and that we can and should learn to peacefully co-exist with the other beings who are trying to share this planet with us, for their sake as well as our own.

Msk137

Thank you to these compassionate souls for the courage to stand for innocent lives even in the face of such unbelievable cruel mockery by those who don't begin to understand the plight of these nonhuman animals who feel joy and fear and pain just as we do. Please don't be discouraged by those filled with greed and hate. Thank you for your activism and kindness toward these innocents in their final hour.

Leogoat

Another surprising fact is that many world-class athletes and bodybuilders have adapted a vegan diet! http://www.greatveganathletes.com. These people have far greater demands on their bodies and need more nutrients than the average person. If they can adapt a vegan diet, anyone can!

GardenBec

I remember finding out that Martina Navratilova and Carl Lewis were vegan and now there are so many more!

Leogoat

Animal agriculture is responsible for over half of all environmental destruction and a leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction. Dozens of facts with cited sources: http://www.harpforanimals.com/environment.html
>> For numerous, science-based facts visit: www.Cowspiracy.com/facts. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization published a 2006 report titled, “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” documenting the enormous environmental toll of raising animals for food.
>> Even cows raised grazing, i.e. free range, contribute to this. It is rare that even free-range cows are slaughtered before being “finished,” or fattened up, in a confined animal feeding operation (CAFO) / factory farm, where they are fed a diet of mostly corn and soy. 100% grass-fed cows take longer to reach market (slaughter) weight, so their demands on the environment are greater than those raised in factory farms. About 95%-99% of all commercially-raised animals are now in factory farms, where they have no access to outdoors and live severely confined. The amount of excrement generated by the sheer volume of farmed animals is reason enough to end these practices of raising animals for food we don’t need.

gary4books

The problem is with feed lots and industrial agriculture. Not the beef of our grandparents. That has promise for th future. But it IS an ethical decision. Ours to make.

Leogoat

Humans actually have no biological need to eat animals. There is tons of valid, scientific research now easily available to prove this. One of the best resources to find out is NutritionFacts.org. Our anatomy and physiology is ideally suited for plant foods. Dr. Milton Mills is among the many of nutrition experts who explains this: https://youtu.be/sXj76A9hI-o
HEALTH: Every major health organization supports the superior health benefits of 100% plant-sources (vegan) nutrition. The short list:
• THE ACADEMY OF NUTRITION AND DIETETICS.
(Formerly The American Dietetic Association):
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27886704
• BRITISH DIETETIC ASSOCIATION
https://www.bda.uk.com/foodfacts/vegetarianfoodfacts.pdf
• DIETITIANS ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA
http://daa.asn.au/…/smart…/nutrition-a-z/vegan-diets/
• DIETITIANS OF CANADA
http://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Vegetarian-Diets/Eating-Guidelines-for-Vegans.aspx
• NHS (BRITISH NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE) http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Vegetarianhealth/Pages/Vegandiets.aspx
• THE PERMANENTE JOURNAL. http://www.thepermanentejournal.org/issues/search/results/50-the-permanente-journal/commentary/6192-plant-based-diets-a-physician%e2%80%99s-guide.html
• DR. MICHAEL GREGER, MD, FACLM. http://nutritionfacts.org/video/uprooting-the-leading-causes-of-death/
• WALTER WILLET, MD, DRPH, HARVARD’S NUTRITION DEPARTMENT. http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1704826&resultClick=3
• PHYSICIANS COMMITTEE FOR RESPONSIBLE MEDICINE
http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/pplate/why-power-plate

bosco

Thanks to all of the no-meat activists for publicizing Wagners. I hope Wagners sees an uptick in their business.

CDReid

[thumbup]

phydeaux994

Why does the tag team feel the need to criticize people who protest for a cause? If it wasn't in the FNP you wouldn't even be aware of it. It has no impact on your lives at all. Hard to understand your constant negativity toward meaningless things.

CDReid

I agree

CDReid

bosco

I agree, it is meaningless. But it is also a great source of amusement.

Why does the so-called tag team bother you so much, fido? Do we strike a nerve that you would rather not acknowledge?

CDReid

You beat me to it, bosco. My smart phone wasn't so smart this morning and was acting up, hence the brief and screwed up posts, including the one where I didn't even say anything. So, I too agree that this little protest, vigil, or whatever they want to call it is, indeed, a meaningless thing. And my reasoning for that I made quite clear; whether they like it or not there will always be a demand for meat. Now, having said that, tag bosco, you're it! [lol][lol][lol]

User1

Glad you agree that their "cause" is a meaningless thing!

DickD

They most likely will, I had never heard of them before. Why did they pick on Wagners?

Moshe

The vigil was not meaningless. Other social justice movements have helped grant rights to marginalized groups of people, including the freeing of slaves. When you fight for change, change will happen. This is the fight for freedom of non-human animals.

GardenBec

Hopefully this article and the vigil will help people open their hearts and minds and maybe do a little reading on meat and cancer. https://www.wcrf-uk.org/uk/preventing-cancer/cancer-prevention-recommendations/limit-red-meat-and-avoid-processed-meat

Comment deleted.
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olefool

Yes... and thank you... very insightful you are....

Comment deleted.
olefool

I prefer mine to be aged 28 days graded prime... Especially the prime rib...

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shiftless88

I usually go to Hemp's Meats in Jefferson

Comment deleted.
shiftless88

Why do you think they are the same people?

shiftless88

I'm not sure I've seen a string of stupider comments than for this story! If religious people trying to force their beliefs into my life had as little influence as this group then I would be ecstatic. I'm a hard core meat eater but as long as they aren't pushing for a change in the laws then I'm fine with this.

Jleftwich

[beam][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

rbtdt5

[thumbup]

DickD

Rabbits are good too. [lol]

sbarao

I have one simple question; If meat is "murder" why is abortion "CHOICE" to most of these folks? Seems to me that meat should be choice as well, don't you think??

threecents

Sbarao, Nobody is taking away your meat choice.

CDReid

Sbarao, you can get choice cuts of meat at most supermarkets. [wink]

User1

But not as fresh oras good as at Wagner's or Hemp's.

Comment deleted.
jwhamann

The local vegan society can meet there for their weekly coffee klatch and trade veggie recipes while munching on a delicious McSalad.

jagman

After reading this article I am very hungry. Time to fry up some steak & eggs for breakfast.

Quisling

Vegans tend to act like Bible thumpers & gun nuts. Always sticking their opinion in your face.

User1

Also, how many seabirds died due to oil spills to get the petroleum used in the plastic umbrellas they used? Whatever floats their boat. But stay out of the traffic please!

Moshe

Fighting for the rights and well-being of others is not sticking an opinion in your face. People who fight for the freedom of slaves, and for the rights of marginalized groups, are doing what is right. Fighting for the rights of others is doing the right thing.

Rockfish

I often wonder how many of these veggie people against killing animals for food wear leather boots, leather sneakers, leather belts, etc. Where does leather come from, a dead animal. I'll bet most of them are hypocrites in this regard. And why, do people keep trying to push their beliefs and life styles on others? I'm so sick of this crap. BTW, I love animals too, their delicious!

Leogoat

There are now alternatives to leather that look just like leather. These alternatives are not as readily available, so it may not yet be possible for everyone to buy them. Parts of animals have been used to make many products, as a matter of economics to make the most profit possible. These products can all be acquired without using animals' body parts. As more people choose a cruelty-free lifestyle, more of these products will be made, sold, and accessible. Until then, we do the best we can to cause the least harm possible.

Comment deleted.
jwhamann

What's their plan when all the cows, pigs, goats, chickens and deer die a natural death because everyone stops eating them? There will be millions of smelly carcasses across the land. Vultures will get first dibs on them.

CDReid

So, Stacy Slusher and her daughter have only been vegan for three weeks, and vegetarian for a year before that. I'd say it's safe to assume, then, that a year and three weeks prior to now they both consumed meat in some way, shape, or form. I would say then that it's highly hypocritical of them to have once eaten meat and now protest other people for continuing to do so. That's as bad as a drinker quitting the drink and lecturing other drinkers to follow suite, or a smoker giving up smokes and lecturing other smokers to do the same. And people like that annoy the hell out of me. Now, two definitions I found in Dictionary.com for "Vegan" are "1. a vegetarian who omits all animal products from the diet and 2. a person who does not use any animal products, as leather or wool." Do I take it these two do not own leather shoes, leather belts, leather purses, etc. or any clothes made from wool? If they do then it's further proof of hypocrisy. These people are "object[ing] to the system of supply and demand for meat....." Well guess what folks, the current population of the world is 7.5 billion and a lot of them both like and eat meats. There always has been a demand for it, and there always will be. So I suggest you find a more practical cause to spend your time on. Something that will make a difference because this, most certainly, won't.

threecents

CD, Whether the demonstrators are vegan or will be vegan is irrelevant. It has no bearing on whether killing animals is murder or not.

CDReid

In the first line of the article: ".... and promote a vegan lifestyle." I'd say to be or not to be vegan is relevant, threecents. At least it is to them.

threecents

I'll try again. Whether the demonstrators are vegan is not irrelevant to the question of whether killing animals is murder or not. Wondering how serious is their commitment to the cause is classic trolling.

Comment deleted.
CDReid

Follow my own suggestion, Sam? I'm not the one out protesting. Duh. I have better ways to spend my time.

rbtdt5

No, you are not protesting. You are spending your time doing something that makes a difference. Like posting here on the FNP forms.

armillary

I like Wagner's and go there often. Michael Wagner is clearly taking the high road by not disparaging protesters of his business, by meeting with them and offering them a case of water.

DickD

If I join, can I get a pound of hamburg?

MC65

Well, because of this article, I choose to make a trip to Wagner's and purchase MORE beef.

gary4books

While we have so much land in grass and we can not digest it, it makes sense to feed it to animals and in turn eat them. Our duty is to give them a reasonable life. Otherwise a lot of solar energy is going unused. As for "murder" that is a legal term. I am not sure it applies here.

Fawned

Jeez Gary what happened to you? You used to have very well thought out intelligent comments. You really think we have too much grass and need to over-produce cows to eat it???? The impact of over-producing animals for food is staggering, it's done to keep up with demand for meat and is not natural in any way.

gary4books

If I had my way there would be no "feed lots" and all live stock would have reasonable lives. We can keep that as a goal while we move into the future. But we need to have a rational way to use our resources and much land is too dry to farm, but fine to grow grass. What to do with it?

threecents

Sorry Gary, but Fawned is correct on this issue.

gary4books

Not my first time to be wrong. Any ideas about what to do with our grass lands? Restore the Buffalo?

sbarao

Really Gary? So what is "reasonable" and who gets to define that?

gary4books

Not me. But it could be the start of a discussion.

DickD

You are reasonable to me, Gary. [tongue_smile]

public-redux

The word "murder" sure gets tossed around illogically by protestors. If it is legal, it isn't murder.

bosco

I murdered six ears of sweet corn yesterday. Went great with my dead cow patties that I grilled. I slathered the corn with real cow butter too.

threecents

Public, Please, again, no English teachers in this forum. Let people express themselves as they wish.

public-redux

?

public-redux

Three, if someone who thinks Jesus is God referred to themselves as Jewish, would you regard that as poor grammar?

DickD

Let me see, Gladys, Jesus was God, stated by a Jewish person? Yes, that has happened, the apostles for sure.

gary4books

Murder is a legal term and discussing it is not about grammar. it is about the law.

bosco

Ever notice how vegetarians and vegans still eat vegetables fashioned to look like hamburgers and hot dogs? I'm looking for meat puree fashioned to look like vegetables.

FyremanEd

I have to agree pig and cows have a place, right on he plate next to the potatoes and vegetables. Remember vegetable live matter too!

Moshe

Vegetables don't experience physical or emotional pain like animals do. And we don't need to eat animals to survive.

Frayou

Protesters from Toronto, Australia, North Carolina, Virginia and locally as well. Question? How do these people manage to have or make enough money to support & feed themselves? Do they have jobs , homes? Where do they find the time or money to take off from work to travel all over the country and world to protest. Most people are too busy going to work trying to support themselves & families. Yes people have a right to protest, but I am convinced some people really have too much money & time on there hands allowing them to protest such causes. Especially the ones whose cause or conditions are not being forced upon them personally. Look out? Your local supermarkets will be next.

marylandmirage

I respect their decision to adopt a vegan lifestyle, and hope they respect mine to be an omnivore. I resent differences when they are forced upon me. I used to enjoy aquatic animal shows and elephants at the circus until some group decided this was cruelty. By protesting such things as animal sanctuaries, these people do not realize that, without protection, in a decade or two children growing up will only be able to see these animals as pictures in books. Groups like PETA are too radicalized on the issues.

Moshe

Animals used in circuses are beaten with bullhooks, and suffer immensely. It is a life of misery for them. Animals used in aquatic shows are confined to a very small space, and they suffer physically and psychologically as a result. Sanctuaries, however, are a place where animals can live a nice life. Animal rights activists do not protest against sanctuaries.

jwhamann

Then what do these v-people propose to do with all of the cows and pigs when they all die a natural death? They can live only so long. You'd have to let them starve or just shoot them. And then, what, put them in a mass grave? Seems like a Nazi death camp to me.

User1

Guess you've never spoken to or lived by a farmer. These animals are bred based on market demand. A farmer doesn't decide "I'm gonna raise 10,000 pigs today". He'd be bankrupt in a week. Less market demand then less breeding. Less breeding then less animals. No "Nazi mass graves"! Plus there is a great demand for exported meats outside of the USA.

Moshe

We need to stop breeding them. If people adopted vegan diets, there would be no need to breed them.

Crusty Frederick Man 64

I would write a comment on this but my bacon is ready, after I eat that I'am going to the freezer and get out hamburgers for lunch and a roast for dinner. YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM !

CChausky

Activists lol

CathyF

I seriously doubt by the hundreds of comments on Facebook pages against the protest that the horns were honked in support of the protesters...

marylandmirage

[lol]

sbarao

I had the same thought. Wonder why FNP chose to spin it that way?? I know why.

threecents

Speaking of horns, have you seen how horns are removed from calves?

jmbeall

why do these people keep protesting my right to eat what i want? i don't care what they eat and wouldn't waste my time protesting their salad bar.

rbtdt5

Why do people protest anything? No one cares about others cares.

Moshe

It is because animal agriculture causes tremendous suffering to animals. When you consume meat, eggs or dairy (or other animal products), you are supporting animal agriculture.

sevenstones1000

Used to drive to Wagners for English style bacon. I wonder if they still have it? Delicious.

CDReid

I love a steak so rare that blood drips down my chin. Keep up your veggie lifestyle people, that means more meat for we meat lovers.

BigAl

Why is this news?

secpol1970

Best post on here.

gary4books

It may be red, but it is not blood.

gary4books

http://nypost.com/2017/05/18/that-red-juice-oozing-out-of-your-steak-isnt-blood/

CDReid

Oh crap! Just put a pin in my balloon, gary. [crying]

gary4books

It was just a modest observation. I never wanted to deflate you. Sorry.

threecents

I wonder if that could be chemically synthesized for vegetarians.

gary4books

We are so very close to being able to make copies of just about any organic substance. If so, all our crop land may go back to prairie.

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