A vegan activist who screamed at truck drivers in a McDonald’s has claimed they dumped cow poo on her while transporting cattle for live export.
Frances Woods’ rant about the livestock ships last Friday went viral, but she said it came after truck drivers dumped manure in front of her before verbally abusing her.
The Taranaki woman was protesting against the Yangtze Fortune ship exporting 3,800 New Zealand cows to China, and claimed the behaviour of drivers transporting the cows was disgusting.
‘There were truck drivers who were pulling the fingers at us,’ Ms Woods told the NZ Herald.
‘One of the truck drivers had the nerve to dump the effluent right where we were protesting. It was feral. Some of us got splashed.’
After leaving the scene, Ms Woods was driving behind one of the cow transporting trucks, and captured footage of waste leaking from the rear of the truck onto the road.
She claimed her car was covered in cow poo, with one of her friends being splashed in the face, before a truck attempted to run them off the road, prompting the group to stop at the nearby McDonald’s.
Ms Woods claimed one of the drivers there insulted her and her friends with homophobic slurs and verbally attacked them for their vegan beliefs.
‘The truck driver got out of his truck and came over to us and started yelling “do you want a burger?” trying to antagonise us,’ she said.
‘They started abusing us saying we’re a car-full of lesbians and the cows are off to the slaughterhouse.’
Ms Woods rant to the drivers in the restaurant was shared widely on social media.
‘There are cows on that f***ing ship and they are alive and they have souls. And you don’t give a f***k, all of you in this room,’ Ms Woods screamed.
‘But I hope when you die, you get to meet those souls.’
Staff quickly intervened as tensions rose, and told her she would have to leave or they would call the police.
A McDonald’s spokesman told Daily Mail Australia a person entered McDonald’s Hawera on Friday evening, acting in an aggressive manner and directing abuse at customers.
Restaurant staff followed protocol and did a good job to diffuse the situation, he said.
Ms Woods claimed she was was bombarded with abuse online after the video was posted, and even received death threats.
She said she regretted the way she reacted to the drivers, but backed her stance in supporting the animals.
‘I know I shouldn’t have yelled in McDonald’s but I was yelling for the cows. I don’t want to attack dairy farmers, I’m coming at it from an animal welfare angle,’ Ms Woods said.
‘The places we export animals to do not have animal standards. It’s not natural to put animals on a ship.’
More than 40,000 cows were exported overseas from New Zealand last year.