Spanish Activists Protest Against Traditional Ham

Activists Provoke Reaction With 'Dog' Barbecue

Animal rights activists in Las Palmas. Credit:

WITH Christmas fast approaching supermarkets are stocking up with huge portions of jamon (ham), a well-loved yuletide treat in Spain. However, it doesn’t meet with everyone’s approval.

Recently in the Canary Islands, animal activists resorted to shock tactics to get their message across. In a truly international protest, both local and overseas animal welfare activists barbequed a ‘dog’ to provoke a reaction from passer-by, as reported by William J. Furney for EWN.

Activists’ Provocative Stunt

The barbeque stall was festooned with poster proclaiming:  ‘If you wouldn’t eat a dog, why eat a pig?’ The purpose of the exercise was to make people boycott what they referred to as ‘cruel’ jamon and perhaps consider a plant-based alternative.

Iris Sanchez, the Coordinator for PACMA Las Palmas, reported varied reactions. ‘There was positive feedback from people who passed by, asking why we did the protest and why we were cooking a dog,’ she said. ‘When we explained it to them, they understood. I don’t think they will become vegan, but it certainly made people think.’

The Debate Over Jamon

Jamon, a hallmark of Spanish cuisine and culture for centuries, is especially prominent during Christmas. The two primary varieties, Jamon Serrano and Jamon Iberico, fetch high prices in supermarkets during the festive season.

However, animal rights groups like PACMA argue that the rearing and slaughtering conditions for pigs are inhumane and contribute to environmental damage, prompting a rise in vegan alternatives among Spaniards.

In PACMA’s own words: ‘We are the Animalist Party with the Environment , the only Spanish political party that works for the defense of animals, the environment and people.’

Mixed Reactions

Modelled after a PETA event in Sydney, Australia, the Gran Canaria protest aimed to promote compassion over the slaughter during Christmas.

An encounter with a local hamburger stand owner was particularly striking for activist Anabel Perez. ‘It was very significant to me that the owner… approached us, almost begging us to move a few metres away,’ she recounted.

‘He even said that he himself was impressed by what we were doing and that although it made him feel sorry for the animals, after all, it was his livelihood.’

But, the performance did not resonate with all, as some passers by expressed their disagreement vocally.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.


    • Jessica

      07 December 2023 • 16:00

      These people can eat what they want. Why is it that all these vegetarians (but more commonly vegans) have to force their opinions on everyone else. if you don´t want to eat meat, don´t, but for those of us who do, leave us alone. We´ve been doing it for 10s of thousands of years. You can go and eat your fake meat and other highly processed rubbish

      • Cristina

        11 December 2023 • 23:41

        Primero no imponemos nada, intentamos concienciar, segundo q algo se venga haciendo durante siglos no significa q esté bien y sea ético, y tercero el veganismo no tiene nada q ver con la salud. Antes de hablar de un tema hay q informarse.

        Firstly, we are not imposing anything, we are trying to raise awareness, secondly, the fact that something has been done for centuries does not mean that it is right and ethical, and thirdly, veganism has nothing to do with health. Before talking about a subject you have to be informed.

    • Mar García

      09 December 2023 • 18:44

      Because we don’t need to raise, mistreat, make suffer and kill an innocent animal to eat it. We live in the 21st century, not in the age of the caveman. And you have to become aware…

    Comments are closed.