A famous farmer was kicked off TikTok for making light-hearted videos about vegans after brandishing a turnip while telling them there is no such thing as cruelty-free food.
Gareth Wyn Jones’, 55, most recent clip focused on veganism highlighted the fact that many vegetables, including the turnip he was holding in his hand, use cow dung as fertilizer.
Less than a day after posting this educational video, the Conwy producer found out that he had been banned from the platform for “harassment and bullying.”
The Llanfairfechan farmer said he was the victim of vegan resistance by “powerful” campaign groups.
Gareth previously starred in the BBC series The Family Farm and has amassed more than 15,000 followers on TikTok.
However, within 24 hours, the ban was withdrawn after an appeal.
Welsh farmer Gareth Wyn Jones, 55, (pictured) was taken off TikTok after making a video explaining that cow dung is used as fertilizer for vegetables and that there is no such thing as ‘animal-friendly food’
Farmer Gareth starred in the BBC series The Family Farm and has garnered a huge audience online
Dad of three occasionally jokes about veganism (pictured)
The Welsh farmer posted a photo of his TikTok ban on his Facebook, after his veganism video was reported
The ban was given about 16 months after a similar clash with vegans, in which he showed a video of a dead pheasant being prepared for lunch.
He was also able to successfully appeal, having been found guilty of “violent and graphic content.”
The video in question is a response to a short clip of a woman asking ‘Why the hell aren’t you vegan yet?’
Gareth said: ‘I’ll tell you why I’m not and never will be vegan because I’m a farmer and I understand the circle of life and there’s no such thing as cruelty-free food.
“This is food that’s grown from the ground, and it’s grown here using cattle manure and that’s a big part of farming, so it’s a really big circle.”
“We don’t just eat these animals, we use their poo, their manure to grow crops and grow delicious vegetables to feed you. So it’s about a balanced diet.’
How do you get banned on TikTok?
Some videos on TikTok are automatically removed for possible policy violations, such as adult nudity and violent and graphic content.
But content can also be reported by users who watch the video
TikTok sends an in-app alert when a user’s content violates Community Guidelines for the first time
If the violation is a zero-tolerance policy, it will result in an automatic ban.
After a first violation, an account’s ability to upload a video, comment or edit a profile may be banned for a period of time – usually between 24 and 48 hours
After several violations, the account may be permanently banned, if behavior
Bullying and intimidation
TikTok states in its Community Guidelines that: ‘We do not tolerate members of our community being shamed, bullied or harassed’
“Abusive content or behavior can cause serious mental health issues and will be removed from our platform”
“We remove expressions of abuse, including threats or degrading statements that are intended to mock, humiliate, embarrass, intimidate or hurt any person”
It’s not the first time Gareth has been targeted by what he called “militant vegans” after receiving death threats from them before.
He added: “This is the second time I’ve been blocked by them and I’m not bothered by it.
‘I’m still on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. All I did was have a little fun. To be honest, I’ve been behaving pretty nice lately.’
Veganism is the practice of eating only foods that are not derived from animals and typically avoiding the use of other animal products, which according to Gareth means not eating foods that use cow dung.
His fans online reacted to the news that he had been suspended, one saying: ‘That’s the problem with young people today, so easily offended!’
One user expressed concern about how online freedom of expression was being hampered, saying, “So TikTok consents to harassment of working people who are feeding the nation?”
Another added: ‘I filed a complaint with Facebook when a vegan declared that all farmers should be killed. Facebook replied that they had done nothing wrong.”
The farmer said he would ‘not lose sleep over’ the temporary ban, after it was lifted he joked ‘Winner winner, no vegan dinner’.
He did express his concern about the impact on free speech, when pressure groups can ban people from online platforms.
He believes that people “should be free to decide on livestock farming” and that groups will continue to attack him.
In 2021, Gareth shared a photo of the drinks menu at Caffi Clywedog in Powys, Mid Wales, not realizing that the venue is completely vegan.
‘Does this Caffi use only vegetable liquids and no natural local milk? Am I wrong? Can anyone help?” he asked his supporters.
The cafe offers a menu of meat-free options, but its dairy and meat-free stance has proved controversial as it is at the heart of Welsh farming communities.
Gareth took to his Facebook to celebrate the end of his TikTok ban
The farmer received despicable messages on social media in 2021, with activists saying they would “end your bloodline” and blaming farmers for “all these pandemics”
Gareth has over 15,000 followers on TikTok and 40,000 on Twitter
The father of three has followed his family’s 350 year old farming tradition at Ty’n Llwyfan in Snowdonia National Park.
Gareth said at the time, “These are the kind of people who kill your animals and set fire to your barns.
‘There’s no messing around with it. The messages didn’t bother me much, but my wife was very worried and upset last night.’