Activists with the left-wing animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) pretended to grill a dog at an outdoor mall display in Sydney, Australia, on Thursday to try and convince people to become vegans.
PETA pulled the stunt at the Pitt Street Mall in downtown Sydney on Thursday, placing a lifelike dog appearing to be burned to a crisp on a grill with a sign below it that reads, “If you wouldn’t eat a dog, why eat a lamb?”
A man wearing a chef’s hat stood behind the prop grill holding a plastic spatula, tending to the “charred” dog and the toy vegetables on the grill.
The pop up display came about as Australians prepare to host barbecues celebrating Australia Day on Saturday.
“Anyone who’s repulsed by the prospect of chowing down on dog meat should question the incongruity of their compassion towards other animals,” PETA 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,” the statement continued.
Although the group said their intent was to get people to forego meat at their barbecues over the weekend, local Sydney residents called the display disturbing because it struck fear into the hearts of schoolchildren on their summer break.
“PETA stopping (sic) 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,” one person tweeted.
PETA has pulled several other cringe-worthy stunts over the past few months. In a December 2018 campaign for the group, PETA said the phrase “bring home the bacon” is as bad as racism.
Several months earlier in September 2018, the group sold a Halloween costume of Donald Trump Jr. carrying a bloody leopard.