Animal rights organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is known for its controversial statements and publicity campaigns, and it certainly made an impact with a recent tweet.
This week, PETA tweeted that some of its supporters had decided to 'grill a dog' on the streets of Sydney to make a point about why people believe it is acceptable to eat some animals, yet would balk at the idea of consuming others.
The 'go vegan' protest in Australia. Credit: PETA
Of course, it wasn't a real dog; it was a prop designed to create a jarring effect among meat eaters - the picture was posted on PETA's Twitter account along with the comment: "If you wouldn't eat a dog, why eat a lamb?"
The stunt was carried out in Sydney city centre as people prepared to celebrate Australia Day - which often means big barbecues across the country. The activist group hoped the shocking display would change the minds of people intending to cook meat.
However, not everyone agreed with the way PETA had conducted the demonstration, posting their angry responses on social media.
Some were people who supported the cause but not the method, with one person tweeting: "What I find upsetting is that PETA did this disgusting stunt. I support the move to go meatless but not this way."
"This stunt is absolutely disgusting, young children seen this," another commented.
While a third said: "This is not a promotion, it's emotional manipulation and unfair, especially to children seeing it. I mean damn even my vegan friend is disgusted by this."
Meanwhile, others simply disagreed with the point the organisation was making, such as the person who replied: "This isnt how it works, look dogs are used as a companion while lambs are used for meat and stuff, eating dogs is like eating your friend, thats my perception right there."
However, PETA was quick to reply with: "While humans typically consider dogs to be loyal companions, with personalities of their own, the sheep, chickens, pigs, and cows who are cut up into bite-sized pieces for human consumption are just as feeling and loving. #GoVegan."
Furthermore, the group was keen to emphasise that a prop was used with the specific purpose of shocking people to make a point.
PETA's dog prop left many people horrified, which was the intended reaction. Credit: PETA
The group tweeted: "The 'dog' is a prop. Anyone who's repulsed by the prospect of chowing down on dog meat should question the incongruity of their compassion towards other animals."
Although there were some outraged people, the stunt did get some support from those who agreed with the point being made.
One supporter said: "I was shocked at first, but then later PETA clarified it was a prop. The shock value is a good thing though, it awakens people to the reality of what goes on in the world and creates discussion and hopefully leads to awareness and positive changes for the betterment of animals."
Featured Image Credit: PETA