Vegan festival threatens legal action after online trolls claimed ‘Camp Out’ wasn’t vegan enough


Vegan festival threatens legal action over ‘lies spread by online trolls’ who claimed £70-a-ticket ‘Camp Out’ wasn’t vegan because shooting and fishing had taken place at this year’s 400-year-old stately home venue

  • Vegan Camp Out fest blasted ‘anti-vegan trolls’ for ‘trying to divide’ community 
  • Comes after social media users branded event organisers as ‘not real vegans’ 
  • Fury was sparked after choosing Stanford Hall as venue, which has hosted hunts 

A vegan row has broken out after a popular plant-based festival chose a 400-year-old stately home known for its fishery and hunting parties as its venue this year.  

Organisers of the seventh annual Vegan Camp Out have been accused of being ‘hypocrites’ and ‘not real vegans’ over their choice of hosts – and are now taking legal action against what they described as ‘lies’ being spread by ‘anti-vegan trolls’.

This year’s four-day affair will feature appearances from famous vegans including grime artist JME, model Heather Mills, drag queen Bimini Bon Boulash and funny man Simon Amstell, as well as yoga and fitness areas – and scores of vegan food stalls. 

But fury was sparked when the venue for the £70-a-head fest, expected to attract 15,000 revellers, was announced as the Grade I listed Stanford Hall in Leicestershire. 

Until very recently, the historic site allowed hunting on its ground and in 2020 was home to a shoot organised for the Rungapore syndicate, and previously hosted meets of the local Pytchley fox hounds. 

It is also home to Stanford Fisheries, an outfit aiming to supply 100 per cent English-bred quality carp.

But despite hunting on the beauty spot recently being banned, organisers have faced a backlash from puritans over the ‘non-vegan activities’ which have previously taken place at the site. 

Fury was sparked when this year's venue for the £75-a-head Vegan Camp Out, expected to attract 15,000 revellers, was announced as the Grade I listed Stanford Hall in Leicestershire (pictured)

Fury was sparked when this year’s venue for the £75-a-head Vegan Camp Out, expected to attract 15,000 revellers, was announced as the Grade I listed Stanford Hall in Leicestershire (pictured)

This year's four-day affair will feature appearances from famous vegans including grime artist JME, model Heather Mills, drag queen Bimini Bon Boulash and funny man Simon Amstell, as well as yoga and fitness areas - and scores of vegan food stalls.

This year’s four-day affair will feature appearances from famous vegans including grime artist JME, model Heather Mills, drag queen Bimini Bon Boulash and funny man Simon Amstell, as well as yoga and fitness areas – and scores of vegan food stalls.

Organisers of the seventh annual Vegan Camp Out (last year's edition pictured) are even taking legal action against what they described as 'anti-vegan trolls', who accused them of being 'hypocrites' and 'not real vegans'

Organisers of the seventh annual Vegan Camp Out (last year’s edition pictured) are even taking legal action against what they described as ‘anti-vegan trolls’, who accused them of being ‘hypocrites’ and ‘not real vegans’

Despite hunting at Stanford Hall recently being banned, organisers have faced a backlash from puritans over the 'non-vegan activities' which have previously taken place at the site. (Pictured: Revellers at a previous Camp Out)

Despite hunting at Stanford Hall recently being banned, organisers have faced a backlash from puritans over the ‘non-vegan activities’ which have previously taken place at the site. (Pictured: Revellers at a previous Camp Out)

Chief of the Countryside Alliance Tim Bonner branded organisers ‘staggeringly hypocritical’ for profiting from the event – held at a venue that he said was ‘steeped’ in hunting and shooting history.

There is no suggestion that Mr Bonner is the subject of legal action. 

It was not immediately clear on what grounds the organisers would be suing their critics. MailOnline has contacted them for comment. 

It comes after social media users called for a ‘boycott’ of the four-day festival for ‘supporting murder’.

‘Stanford Hall is a shooting estate therefore vegans should be boycotting the place, not supporting it,’ one wrote on Twitter. 

Another said: ‘Veganism that turns a blind eye to bloodsports isn’t veganism,’ while another simply added: ‘Why would vegans support murder.’ 

In a statement organisers said there is no such thing as ‘large vegan venues’ and that ‘almost all events are held at venues that host activities that cause harm to animals.’ 

‘Whilst we all agree this isn’t perfect, we acknowledge it’s the reality of the world we live in,’ they wrote, ‘…the vast majority of vegans would agree it would be ridiculous to claim someone isn’t vegan for attending events held at these venues – including sports, concerts, weddings, music festivals, cinemas etc.’ 

The statement added: ‘It has only been in the last few weeks that people have taken and twisted the fact that the venue we’re at isn’t vegan and used that against us to try and discredit Vegan Camp Out, making up a whole range of lies and conspiracy theories about us and our team… 

In a statement (pictured) organisers said there are no such things as 'large vegan venues' and that 'almost all events are held at venues that host activities that cause harm to animals.'

In a statement (pictured) organisers said there are no such things as ‘large vegan venues’ and that ‘almost all events are held at venues that host activities that cause harm to animals.’

‘Including many anti-vegan trolls that have been heavily pushing this to (attempt) to try and cause a divide within the vegan movement, which unfortunately some people have fallen for.’ 

The group said it was having to take legal action against the people who have ‘made these awful allegations’, adding that ‘no one should stand for lies made against themself.’ 

Stanford Hall, set in 700 acres of manicured park and woodland, operates as a tourist attraction, wedding and corporate events venue as well as hiring out its ten luxury bedrooms for private stays.

Owned by ex-Royal marine Nick Fothergill and his wife Lucy Stanford, crops are also grown in parts of the grounds.

Vegan Camp Out is supported by Viva!, a vegan charity that is against factory farming which it describes as ‘an intensive form of animal agriculture which prioritises profit above everything else.’

In 2019 the Newark and Nottinghamshire Agricultural Society faced a backlash after it was revealed the society had signed a three-year contract to host the vegan bash at Newark Showground in Nottingham.

Social media users criticised the Vegan Camp Out festival for its choice of venue, branding them 'hypocrites' for its past association with hunting

Social media users criticised the Vegan Camp Out festival for its choice of venue, branding them ‘hypocrites’ for its past association with hunting 

The society and the showground are both used to help support and promote British farming, with some vegans taking offence at the fact their ticket money was essentially being pumped into the dairy and meat industry.

Farmers also complained that a festival whose organisers oppose slaughter and farming was being hosted by the society.

In 2018 one of the speakers was Ronnie Lee, the founder of the Animal Liberation Front, who previously spent 10 years in prison.

The Vegan Camp Out statement added: ‘Some people weren’t happy when we were at Newark Showground, with it being owned by an agricultural society.

‘We explained to people that there are three main types of outdoor venues that are fit for festivals – 1. Farmland 2. Agricultural ground and 3. Estates (which allow ‘non-vegan activities’ such as fishing and shoots).

‘The feedback we got overwhelmingly voted for us to move to the last option, as unlike the first two it didn’t put any money into the hands of animal farmers, animal agriculture, and couldn’t fund the abuse of animals.’

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