Vegan activists terrify schoolchildren by 'barbecuing dog' in front of a mall
If you're a staunch meat eater who simply can't stand the idea of vegans, chances are that PETA are one of the reasons that plant-based diets get you so riled up.
Most people who decide not to eat animal products will do so quietly with little fuss, but with their bizarre publicity stunts and confrontational rhetoric, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have ended up accidentally being the poster child for vegans, and that's not great at all.
From their nude campaigns to campaigning for changes to the English dictionary to more 'animal-friendly' terms, PETA stunts are often design with the express purpose of shock and awe, and this particular demonstration is no different. Outside of a mall located in the centre of Sydney, with hundreds of children present, PETA decided to barbecue a dog in the street.
It wasn't actually a real dog - only a horrifyingly convincing fake - but that doesn't mean people weren't horrified by what they saw. For PETA, the basic argument is that intelligent and sensitive animals are being mercilessly bred for slaughter, which is a cogent point.
But are there better ways of expressing that point?
Carried out at Pitt Street Mall in the centre of Sydney, this particular stunt coincided with Australia's National Day, which takes place on Sunday and usually involves cooking meat on a giant barbecue. PETA's hope here is that their demonstration will help convince people to go vegan, with the rationale: "if you wouldn't eat a dog, why eat a lamb?"
"Anyone who’s repulsed by the prospect of chowing down on dog meat should question the incongruity of their compassion towards other animals," the animal rights organisation said in a statement.
"This is called speciesism – a form of discrimination based on nothing more than species – and like all forms of discrimination, it cannot be justified. As humans, we instinctively feel compassion and empathy for animals, but we’re taught that it’s OK to enslave and eat some of them, without a second thought as to who they are as individuals."
Unfortunately, this point was lost in the mayhem of the situation, as many people were far too horrified by what they saw to effectively consider the argument being made. As one Twitter user revealed, the protest hit home especially home with young schoolkids.
"Peta stooping to news [sic] lows with their stunt in Martin Place today – terrifying children on school holiday outings by barbecuing a (very lifelike) dog. I saw some visible upset kids."
"To care about animals – as most Australians claim to – should be to care about all animals," continued PETA in their statement, making reference to the Australia Day barbecue.
"Many animal-free options (which are also better for your health and the environment) are available for your Australia Day barbecue."