Yorkshire’s dual County Championship-winning coach Jason Gillespie has risked irking club sponsors by staying true to his vegan principles.
Yorkshire are backed by the Hawes-based Wensleydale Creamery, but that has not stopped Gillespie going on record about his hope that one day dairy farming will cease to exist.
And the 41-year-old Australian made clear he is prepared to stand by the heart-felt opinions he has often voiced on Twitter over the past two years.
Asked about any possible conflict with the company whose logo appears on Yorkshire’s shirts, he said: “Yes, they are a sponsor.
“But it doesn’t mean I agree with what they do.”
He cites the use of leather cricket balls, for the past 150 years and into the foreseeable future, as another factor - like Yorkshire’s sponsorship deals - that he accepts he cannot control.
Gillespie describes the global treatment of animals as ‘speciesism’ - the premise, false he believes, that human rights should take precedence over animals: “My wife and I often talk about it, because she’s vegan as well,” he said.
“I feel like I’m looking through eyes without blinkers on. We treat animals like s**t, we really do - and in my opinion there’s no justification for that.”
“It’s cruel and it’s speciesism at its very worst and I don’t want to be part of it,” Gillespie added.
“I hope one day the dairy industry can be shut down.
“I think it’s disgusting and wrong on so many levels.”
As for Yorkshire’s shirt deal, he added: “It’s out of my control, just like the fact that cricket balls are made of leather.
“I’ll have it out with people, I don’t care. There’s nothing wrong with standing up for what you believe in.”
Responding to Gillespie’s remarks, a spokesman for Wensleydale Creamery said: “That’s a very bold statement, and I need to understand a bit more about what he’s actually trying to say there.
“We are very proud sponsors. Our milk comes from over 40 local farms with very high standards of welfare.”