A MAN whose butcher store was vandalised by activists says it has divided vegans.

Paul Clark, from Dudley Road in Brighton, owns Clark’s Meat and Poultry in Lewes Road.

In the early hours of Thursday morning it was covered in red paint and had “meat is murder” spray painted on the pavement outside it.

There were also pictures of animals on his window.

But since the attack, Mr Clark has received an “overwhelmingly positive response” from the community, including vegans and vegetarians.

He said: “I presume it was vegan activists because of the ‘A’ for activist spray painted on the ground next to “meat is murder” and the red paint.

“But I have had a lot of vegans come and apologise for this, and saying it does not represent what vegans stand for.

“I think the real vegans are peaceful.

“I have had them coming along to help scrub away the paint that was chucked all over the door.

“The ones that did this are just angry and mindless and just want to do something aggressive.

“The response since the damage has been amazing, and I am quite humbled by it.

“I didn’t expect non-meat eaters to have responded like they did.”

Mr Clark said he found the attack personal and upsetting.

He said: “Everyone has the right to speak out, to make their point.

“But I don’t like the way they can’t come in here and talk to me and have a debate on what they think.

“They have to do this mindless act.

“It’s also difficult because it all comes out my pocket, I am independent and don’t have anyone else who can help pay out the damage.”

Another member of staff at Clark’s said they spent about three hours having to clean the premises before they could open for business.

Steffi Lucas from Preston Park in Brighton said she was horrified by the activist attack.

She said: “I completely support veganism, I am all for it but it is just getting ridiculous.

“Even vegans are against what these ‘vegans’ have done.

“It’s just turned into a huge war it’s like manslaughter now.

“I’m all up for anyone having their own beliefs, faiths, each to their own, but it’s getting so extreme like an extreme religion and people are trying to force it on each other.

“Local businesses should be supported by the community and not tarnished.”

Jim Deans from Sussex Homeless Support said he was furious with the activists’ behaviour given Mr Clark’s support for the homeless and the charity’s efforts towards the vegan community.

He said: “We supported a recent vegan event. We have given to Brighton’s only vegan foodbank and every week we cater for vegans and those with food intolerances. So I am fuming.

“I see Paul virtually every day in his old van running round the city scraping a living which he just about manages. A man who clears his wardrobe out to give us clothing to put on the backs of Brighton’s rough sleepers. He visits our offices and buses regularly and never asks for any reward for what he does. To see this been done to his little shop in Lewes Road is outrageous. All this group has done is create anger against them and possibly every happy law abiding vegan in society.”

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to report online or call 101 quoting serial 256 of 13/06.