An Australian cattle stud operator has lashed out at vegans - calling them ignorant and black hearted - stating they should be held to account for what they say to farmers online.
Sue Francis, who owns Onward Murray Grey Stud in NSW, posted a picture on Facebook of three bull calves and one bullock who were killed by lightning at the end of last month.
After posting the picture - and claiming she was saddened by the loss - Francis says a row erupted.
Sharing the image of the dead animals, Francis wrote: "What hurts most is there is no lesson to be learnt, no preventative action that can be taken, no management practice that can prevent it.
"'One bolt of lightning, presumably in the big storm on Christmas Day.
"I can generally hold back the tears, but not this time."
A number of responses to the post were critical of the farmer - with one suggesting Francis was only upset because the premature deaths of the animals meant she would lose money.
Another user wrote: "We are 100 percent upset at the death of these beautiful creatures - however we are under no disillusion that you ever intended any other outcome for them."
Someone else simply added: "Do you really think the 'farmer' is upset when these cows go off to be slaughtered? No of course not."
Francis returned to social media to blast these comments.
She wrote: "My tolerance for black hearted vegans is at an all time low.
"Continue with your pure ignorance of what lies in a farmer's heart if you must, but what is most obvious with your comments, is the pure darkness, the blackness in your vegan hearts, that you can take glee in such a post and push your agenda.
"Right now your conduct makes my skin crawl...you are exhibiting every reason militant vegans are viewed with such disdain.
"The darkness you bring here is not welcome."
Describing herself as a 'victim', Francis complained that vegans often spread 'misinformation' about animal agriculture.
She admitted that other others had stood up for her by attacking vegans - saying: "Fellow producers came in and stood up for our industry.
"Perhaps not always in the most polite manner - but at times I think the anger was well deserved and justified."
One vegan agreed that attacks by producers on vegans were not polite, writing: "The majority of abusive insults are coming from those on your side of the fence.
"One vegan made one comment, addressing the circumstance of these animals, and there are now 300+ abusive comments attacking this person with foul language and ableist insults.
"It really highlights the hate towards a movement that only wants us to change how we treat animals - to see that they are just as entitled to a basic right to life as we are."