An activist with animal rights group PETA was seen grilling a fake dog in an attempt to get others to turn to veganism.
“If you wouldn’t eat a dog, why eat a lamb?” a sign below the lifelike barbecued dog read. The incident unfolded in Sydney, Australia, on Jan. 19.
It took place as Australians around the country prepare for yearly barbecue celebrations for Australia Day this Saturday.
— New York Post (@nypost) January 24, 2019
“Anyone who’s repulsed by the prospect of chowing down on dog meat should question the incongruity of their compassion towards other animals,” the group said in a statement, Fox News reported.
“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,” the statement continued.
PETA was slammed for the move, and some residents said that schoolchildren were walking nearby.
Children on their school holidays were “visibly upset” after coming across a fake dog being cooked on a barbecue as part of a @peta demonstration in Sydney’s Pitt Street Mall #YahooNews | https://t.co/M4m6wOxGBN pic.twitter.com/308Mky9WVD
— Samuel Hussey (@smhussey) January 24, 2019
“Keep them out of public places. It should be classed as public nuisance! Kids around? That is further reason to stop this! Exposing them to this??? Cruel,” one person said on Twitter.
Another wrote. “I saw some visibly upset kids.”
@peta stopping to new lows with their stunt in Martin Place today – terrifying children on school holiday outings by barbecuing a (very lifelike) dog. I saw some visibly upset kids #Disgraceful #stunt #PETA pic.twitter.com/iaRpDXrCDc
— Cøckrøach (@cockroachBLUE) January 23, 2019
PETA said it is unphased, and it wants Australians to stop eating meat during the upcoming holiday.
“To care about animals–as most Australians claim to–should be to care about all animals,” the group said. “‘Many animal-free options (which are also better for your health and the environment) are available for your Australia Day barbecue.”
That supposed protest in Sydney is more inhumane than any slaughtering of animals. Keep them out of public places. It should be classed as public nuisance! Kids around? That is further reason to stop this! Exposing them to this??? Cruel.
— Jkscal (@jkscal) January 24, 2019
PETA’s Emily Rice, meanwhile, told News.com.au that their demonstration was “thought-provoking.”
“It’s not gruesome but it’s no different to when you’d walk past a Peking duck hanging in a shop window or a pig on a spit at a wedding,” she said.
The Atlantic in 2012 reported that PETA has a “very bad history of killing animals,” saying that the organization “can’t explain why its adoption rate is only 2.5 percent for dogs.”
“In 2011, PETA behaved in a regrettably consistent manner: it euthanized the overwhelming majority (PDF) of dogs and cats that it accepted into its shelters,” stated the report.
“Out of 760 dogs impounded, they killed 713, arranged for 19 to be adopted, and farmed out 36 to other shelters (not necessarily “no kill” ones). As for cats, they impounded 1,211, euthanized 1,198, transferred eight, and found homes for a grand total of five. PETA also took in 58 other companion animals—including rabbits. It killed 54 of them.”