Most of the antics of the animal rights crowd center around thinly veiled attempts at social engineering. From asking children if they are “glad that they (hotdogs, hamburgers and fish sticks) came from dead animals?” to bullying tactics used to coerce people into giving up certain food choices, in particular, meat.
The latest story out of Australia seems to be more a case of a neighborly dispute turned nasty. According to an article in Time, a vegan massage therapist in Perth believed her neighbors were using their barbecue as a weapon of war. “They’ve put [the barbecue] there so I smell fish, all I can smell is fish. I can’t enjoy my back yard, I can’t go out there,” Cilla Carden told Nine News Perth.
Carden claimed that the barbecuing was not just a matter of preparing supper for the family, but in fact had a more sinister intent. Her neighbors, she claimed, were simply on a campaign to irritate her. To make her point, she filed a lawsuit in the Supreme Court of the state of Western Australia. Carden claimed her neighbors had breached residential laws as their actions were deliberate.
In addition to the smell of grilling fish, Carden also complained about the smell of cigarette smoke wafting into her yard, chairs scraping on concrete, reflective light and the sounds of children playing basketball making noise in the yard and pet birds. She claims the ongoing dispute has robbed her of quality of life.
The legal saga has dragged on since August 2017. According to The Guardian, The court and the state’s administrative tribunal have both thrown out Cilla Carden’s complaints, siding with her neighbors. “What they are doing is living in their backyard and their home as a family,” said the State Administrative Tribunal of Western Australia.
In an effort to keep the peace, Carden’s neighbor moved the offensive barbecue and banned his children from playing basketball. Apparently, that wasn’t enough. Even though Carden filed an appeal which was dismissed by the court, she is planning on continuing her legal battle.
The article said vegans are not invited to attend the event.
Update #1: “Thousands of people have said they would attend a BBQ in the neighborhood of a vegan who recently sued her neighbors over meat and fish smells,” said a Washington Examiner news article.
“A Facebook page created in the backlash to Carden's suit is advertising a community BBQ in her neighborhood on Oct. 19. So far, nearly 4,000* people have said they would attend.” (*The Global News reported nearly 9,000 people plan to attend.)
Update #2: The neighborhood BBQ has been cancelled, according to the New York Post. Carden’s lawyer warned attendees that charges would be filed against them if the barbecue spilled onto her property, News.com.au reported.
“Any person who seeks to attend Ms. Carden’s property on Saturday October 19, 2019 or at any other time in relation to this event or matter will be referred to the WA police on the ground of trespass,” her attorney, John Hammond, wrote on the Facebook event page.