Photo: Martin Bureau/AFP (Getty Images)

French butchers scored a regulatory win recently when the government ruled that vegan products could no longer be labeled “sausage,” “steak” or other such meaty words. But France’s butchers aren’t feeling victorious. They say they’re increasingly under attack from militant vegan activists, who have been defacing stores and spraying shops with fake blood. The French Federation Of Butchers voiced its concern with a vehement letter calling on the government to protect butchers from what they say is “a form of terrorism.”

The BBC reports the letter, written by Federation chief Jean-François Guihard, cites 15 recent attacks in which fake blood was sprayed on butcher shops. Shops have also been covered with anti-meat stickers and graffiti, he says.

“It’s terror that these people are seeking to sow, in their aim of making a whole section of French culture disappear,” he writes. He describes the attacks on butchers and charcuterie makers as “in essence, a form of terrorism.” “Facing this escalation of violence, what will be the next step?”

Guihard has strong words not just for militant vegans, but for the media, who he claims has overexposed and over-reported-on the vegan lifestyle. According to a report from the French agriculture ministry cited by The New York Times, per-capita consumption of meat has fallen in that country more than 10 percent between 2000 and 2012.

While they await a governmental response, butchers could always take a page from this chef’s book and see what happens.

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