A vegan activist has admitted to stealing livestock from farms to 'liberate' the animals, and says she's prepared to go to jail for breaking the law, despite being mother to a 15-week-old daughter.
Tuesday Goti, 33, was raiding farms when she was nine-months-pregnant – and on one occasion she claims she was even shot at.
She and her husband Andrew, 39, are both committed vegans from Lisburn in Co Antrim and run a group called Expose NI.
Since meeting through their activism four years ago, the couple have taken part in 'vigils' outside slaughterhouses and demonstrations.
They also run 'liberations' – meaning they gain access to large farms during the night, often by climbing gates and walls, and take as many animals as they can carry.
Tuesday says she knows what they are doing is illegal, and the animals they snatch are actually stolen property. But she is prepared to go to jail for her beliefs even though she is a new mum.
Tuesday Goti, 33, and Andrew Goti, 39, from Lisburn, Co Antrim are vegan activists who raid farms to 'liberate' animals and parents to Arabella, 15-weeks-old, pictured
Tuesday participated in farm raids and claims she was shot at while heavily pregnant with Arabella (pictured nine-months into her pregnancy)
'I’ll never forget my first time inside a broiler farm,' said Tuesday.
'These are supposed high-welfare barns where the birds are bred for meat. Some of these huge barns can house around 26,000 birds at any one time.
'I parked up outside a farm and saw their security hut was empty, so I ran into the shed and took photos. It was just a sea of birds and it was stifling hot. The smell was overwhelming.
'It was so dreadful I went back out again that night with Andrew. We decided we couldn’t just leave the birds there, we had to try to help, even just a few. We reasoned that with so many birds, the farmers wouldn’t miss a few, so we took five.'
The mother-of-one clad in a hoodie reading the words of Martin Luther King: 'One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws' during a protest at a pig farm
Tuesday says she is ready to go to jail for her beliefs, in spite of being the mother of a 15-weeks-old girl
Tuesday became a vegetarian at five, vegan at 16 and decided to dedicate her life to helping animals.
She met fellow activist Andrew through a Belfast animal rights group. They initially took part in 'vigils' together outside slaughter houses, photographing lorries and passing water to the pigs inside the trucks.
The pair got married in 2018 and welcomed their daughter Arabella in 2020, whom they are raising as a vegan.
They started raiding farms with a small number of other activists in Co Tyrone in 2019, when they drove past a sign for a pig farm.
Tuesday found the side gate open and the sheds unlocked. She was so 'appalled' by what she saw that she took photos and videos, and snatched a three-week-old piglet.
'These farms have CCTV; we sometimes have to climb fences or scale walls,' says Tuesday
A hen and her chicks which were swiped during a raid and rehomed at Tuesday and Andrew's house
15-weeks-old Arabella, with her mother Tuesday. During raids, Tuesday say the activists 'walk across fields and crawl under hedges,' something she's done during her pregnancy
'We walk across fields and crawl under hedges. We never damage property on our way in but we do trespass.'
Tuesday continued her activism throughout her pregnancy last year, going on demonstrations, anti-fur protests, vigils outside slaughter houses and her nighttime farm sorties.
'One night when I was 39 weeks pregnant we were about to enter a pig farm,” she says.
'It was a farm we’d liberated pigs from previously and each time we went back they had increased their security.
'On this particular night, in September 2020, I spotted a new motion sensor and realised we’d been clocked.
Pigs photographed by Tuesday during a raid. She claimed she was questioned by police over her activities a few times but never arrested
A gilt with her piglets spotted by Tuesday during one of her raids. A spokeswoman for the Vegan Society, a partner in the Veganuary campaign, said the charity could not condone the illegal elements of Tuesday and Andrew’s activism
Pictures of a raid taken by Tuesday. While farmers keep increasing security between raids, Tuesday says she is not afraid to go back to the same farm to do other raids
'We decided to carry on but as we walked towards the shed we heard someone coming. I climbed over the gate and we ran, but as we ran up the road they fired a warning shot with a shotgun.
'I wasn’t frightened because I believe 100 percent in what I’m doing. I just want to help the animals.
'A few weeks later we came even closer to being caught at another pig farm. We got in, got the footage we needed, but then as we were walking back to our car we triggered a motion sensor.
'We spotted cars chasing us so we ran through the field. I was so heavily pregnant I could hardly run, I was exhausted. The police were called too but we managed to get away.'
Surprisingly the couple say they have never been in serious trouble with the police.
'I think the farmers think pursuing us is more trouble than it’s worth,' Tuesday says.
'There are so many thousands of animals in these farms and they already lose a percentage to illness and injury.
Tuesday next to a seagull she rescued. She says she believes animals are 'sentient beings' and should not be abused
Andrew and Tuesday with their daughter Arabella. Tuesday said she wanted her daughter to know she tried to help the animal cause
A pig Tuesday photographed during one of her raids. Andrew called factory farming an 'animal holocaust'
'What’s a few more here and there? The police have been to our door once, but we didn’t open it and they went away.'
The animals they take are rehomed with like-minded activists and supporters, or a sanctuary for battery hens, but some are in poor health after being kept in substandard conditions and do not live for long.
'Last January we were approached by officers at a "Meat the Victims" event where we occupied a pig farm with 40 activists. It was a sit-in, we were on site to negotiate with the pig farmers and make a protest,' Tuesday said.
'When the police spoke to me I was very honest about what we do. I explained that we were trespassing and why. The police were actually very good to us – I think they were horrified to see what goes on in these farms. The farmer agreed to let us take one pig.'
On another occasion, Tuesday and Andrew staged a nighttime protest outside a McDonalds in their hometown, covering the store in campaign posters. The couple say the police took their names and address but nothing further came of it.
Despite being a new mum, Tuesday is happy to speak out about her beliefs – and says she’s prepared to go to prison if that’s where it leads her.
'Animals are sentient beings, they are not ours to abuse,' she says.
'Being a mum is the most important thing to me and I’m doing my activism for Arabella. I want her to know that her mum tried so hard to make a better world for her, protect the planet and her future, and stand up for the animals.'
Andrew adds: 'I’m always with Tuesday on our late night missions so I protect her as best I can. We consider this work to be vital.
'We have a little daughter but we also have the whole of the animal kingdom to look after – factory farming is an animal holocaust and humanitarian crisis.
'In addition, three out of four pandemics are zoonotic in origin – meaning they have transferred from animals to humans. Swine flu and avian flu are major worries, in addition of course to Covid-19.'
The couple would like to see a change in the UK law giving them the right to rescue animals from farms where there are breaches of welfare – similar to legislation in California.
Andrew, Tuesday and Arabella on a day out with a chicken the couple have rescued. Andrew says he believes factory farming is an humanitarian crisis
Andrew with the chicken he rescued. The father-of-one said The couple would like to see a change in the UK law giving them the right to rescue animals from farms where there breaches of welfare – similar to legislation in California.
But a spokeswoman for the Vegan Society, a partner in the Veganuary campaign, said the charity could not condone the illegal elements of Tuesday and Andrew’s activism.
She said: 'The Vegan Society is not involved in and nor does it condone any illegal activity. Our work involves providing evidence-based information to individuals, companies, health professionals, caterers, retailers and politicians on issues related to veganism.
'Our website provides information on all aspects of veganism and we campaign on a number of issues, including vegan advocacy and vegan food provision in public canteens.
'We also provide tools for activists such as leaflets and advice on effective and peaceful outreach.
'We encourage vegan advocates to consider how their actions are viewed by the non-vegans they are targeting because a poor choice of tactics may result in the public becoming defensive, rather than listening to their message.
'We believe a better form of advocacy is one that encourages a meaningful dialogue and is in a neutral location, where people’s minds are more open to hearing about veganism.'
A spokeswoman for the Police Service of Northern Ireland said: 'We would encourage anyone with information about illegal activity to call us on 101 and we will investigate.
'Information can also be given on the non-emergency reporting form via http://www.psni.police.uk/makeareport/ Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at http://crimestoppers-uk.org/'