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Few are more passionate and devoted to animal rights activism than the Vegan Streaker.
Peter Janssen strongly believes in ending the intensive livestock industry by any means necessary, including through violent activism, anti-animal cruelty demonstrations, and even displays of nudity … all in the name of protest, of course.
The 35-year-old man born in Culemborg, Netherlands, is well-known for appearing at busy locations scantily dressed. The vegan streaker protests naked all over the world in the middle of events involving animals.
He became famous when he appeared on a live television show dressed in only black underpants and covered in painted slogans like “Meat is murder”. The trend of appearing half-naked in public places landed him the nickname “the Vegan Streaker”.
As the face and most famous member of the Vegan Strike Group, Janssen is wanted in various countries for his, often violent, animal welfare protests.
He confesses to having jumped into bullfighting arenas approximately 21 times in Spain, four times in Mexico and once in Portugal. He maintains that he will only stop targeting Spanish bullfighting organisations when they stop killing the animals.
Although he appears shirtless in most of these protests, Janssen made headlines again when he jumped naked into the water at a dolphin show event in Japan.
Janssen’s list of prison stints and convictions began in 2009 after he confessed to his involvement in a Mink Liberation campaign, during which he released up to 3,000 mink from the fur farm in Zeeland.
However, after being released from custody, he became the lead suspect of a 2006 arson case in which a butcher’s van was set alight in Vught. This was his first self-proclaimed violent act.
In 2008, Janssen disturbed a live broadcasted hocket match between the Netherlands and Spain for the Champions Trophy. In this specific protest, Janssen wanted to draw attention to apartments and protest the 22.5 million pigs who got castrated every year. On the front of his body, the Vegan Streaker painted lyrics to the song ‘Balls for pigs” and on his back “Géén Varkensflats” (No Pig-apartments). Besides also writing the link to his website on his legs, Janssen could be seen harassing the Spanish players by yelling: “BULLFIGHT IS BULLSHIT”!
However, his most daring protest was one that never came to fruition. In 2009, Janssen was arrested for suspicion of planning an attack on Queen Beatrix because she wears animal furs.
More recently, Janssen’s antics included arson at a duck slaughterhouse in Ermelo in May 2020. Five trucks were set aflame outside the meat supplier Tomassen Duck-To’s duck slaughterhouse on the Fokko Kortlanglaan. On top of paying damages of over €5000, he was also sentenced to 25 months in prison.
His car keys, which were found in his pants at the duck slaughterhouse, lead police to arrest him. Why were his pants found sans body, you may ask? Because, true to his nickname, he took them off after accidentally setting himself on fire, too. Such is the hazard of the job, right?
The Vegan’s Streaker’s antics do not stop there, however. In April 2021, Janssen again made headlines after starting a hunger strike from his prison cell in Arnhem. He does this to show solidarity with suffering animals in the intensive livestock industry and animal testing industry.
Janssen draws attention to the fact that the government is supposedly providing billions of euros in subsidies to people who exploit animals. The dry rice and tofu, which is apparently the staple vegan meal option in prison, is possibly another, less noble, reason for Janssen’s hunger strike.
Through a crowdfunding campaign started in a message on his Facebook page, the Vegan Streaker hopes to raise money to buy better vegan food in prison. In a post on the crowdfunding page, Janssen states that “I now experience how animals should feel in a cage, stable or dolphinarium. If I want to be able to stand up for the animals again quickly after my release, I really need your support.”