So, is displaying publicly ones’ opinion is wrong? In some countries, you can go to jail, get beaten up or even get oneself killed. Whether this is based on moral beliefs or religious beliefs people should have the opportunity to express their opinion. So is eating meat products in public offensive in a non-meat environment?
Two pro-meat activists have been found guilty of public order offences for their stunt in Soho at Vegan Food Market on 30th March. Two men, 22 and 29 years of age, with a crew of other “anti-vegan activists”, armed with cameras and placards showed up at the Vegan Market in Soho and ate dead squirrels with their fur still on them. Despite being asked to stop they continued to make their statement.
The points they attempted to make are that veganism is damaging to people’s health. They claim that Mono plantations are damaging to ecosystems and that carnivorism is natural for people. They believe that the careful and thorough utilisation of animals leads to fewer killings and hence more effective food production.
The stunt was interrupted by police based on complaints from the Vegan Market and onlookers; the stunt has upset children and a mother had complained.
The pair was cuffed and taken to a police station, and subsequently released. Both Deonisy Khlebnikov, 22, and Gatis Lagzdins, 29, after a trial at City of London Magistrates’ Court were found guilty and fined.
So why was this protest punishable? Well, they decided to consume a carcass of squirrels, first ripping them and proceeding to pick entrails in the middle of the vegan market. Not only was the sight quite gory but some onlookers complained about the smell.
Natalie Clines, from the CPS, said: “Deonisy Khlebnikov and Gatis Lagzdins claimed they were against veganism and were raising awareness about the dangers of not eating meat when they publicly consumed raw squirrels.
“But by choosing to do this outside a vegan food stall and continuing with their disgusting and unnecessary behaviour despite requests to stop, including from a parent whose child was upset by their actions, the prosecution was able to demonstrate that they had planned and intended to cause distress to the public.
“Their pre-meditated actions caused significant distress to members of the public, including young children.”
One of the ‘stuntmen’, Lagzdins, is not a stranger to such acts – he has publicly consuming pig heads and goat heads at other fairs and posted his stunts and his somewhat controversial views on humanity online.