A BURGER van owner says he is not scared of vegan protesters – and has urged them to “bring it on”.

Paul Clark has been selling organic meat burgers at his popular van, Trollburger, near Brighton Station for more than two years.

The 39-year-old said he has become increasingly upset with “bullying” vegan activists who have been targeting independent stores in the city in the last couple of months.

Paul, who lives in Brighton, said: “I’m not going to abandon my principles due to fear of harassment.

“I encourage debate. I’m not scared. Bring it on.”

The defiant meat-flipper said he was speaking out after fellow independent shops aiming to tackle unsustainable food practices were targeted by activists for selling meat.

Earlier this month, animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), invaded Brighton’s ethical supermarket Hisbe, which is in York Place.

The Argus:

The group stood by the store’s meat aisle with a megaphone with signs reading “humane murder is a lie”.

Afterwards the ethical supermarket paid for a Facebook advertisement to protect itself from “misinformation”.

Mr Clark said: “I do not believe shaming people about life choices works.

“All it will do is get people’s backs up and get them to dig their heels in.

“I have no problem with people campaigning or protesting.

“But they can do it without hurting people – that is not the way to get your message across.

“People feel bullied and backed into a corner.

“It makes me want to shout my beliefs twice as loud.”

The DxE group has targeted many other places in the city.

They have held a demonstration inside fur shop Artemis in North Laine, a turkey protest at Waitrose in Western Road and a silent protest at Tesco Superstore in Hove.

The Argus:

Mr Clark says his business in Trafalgar Arches has been targeted by activists before.

His burger van was attacked online after a Facebook post about Veganuary, a campaign in which people give up animal products for January.

He said activists started posting fake poor reviews of his food in an attempt to discredit his business.

He said the “voices of reason are being drowned out”, adding: “I wish the vegan activists could see that I am trying to change the world for the better as well.”

Mr Clark, who started his business as a “mission to challenge the food industry”, said he thought meat farming had been misrepresented in the media.

He said there was an “all meat is bad” blanket approach and, instead, people should talk about how it is farmed.

The Argus:

He said global farming practices were of extreme concern but the UK had “perfect conditions” for rearing cattle and lambs in a “low intensity environment”.

He said: “It doesn’t take a genius to work out that our species evolved alongside eating meat and had we not learned to kill, hunt and cook animals ,none of us would be here today.

“It’s also worth bearing in mind that not all meat is created equally.

“How animals are reared and what they are fed all has a bearing on how healthy the meat is, with grass-fed beef being a particularly good source of protein.

“Not only that, but cattle reared in the correct way, fed grass all year round in a low-intensity environment actually helps store carbon in the soil in a process known as carbon sequestration.

“There are also many benefits to local biodiversity which often go unmentioned. If you’re looking to make better food choices in 2019, then look no further than Trollburger – or you can buy meat from the same farm as Hisbe Food. Why not take some home and cook some yourself?”