Men Fined After Eating Raw Squirrels Outside Vegan Food Stall
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Deonisy Khlebnikov, 22, and Gatis Lagzdins (also known as YouTuber Sv3rige), 29, were seen biting into the squirrels at the Soho Vegan Food Market on 30 March - a stunt that some bystanders also managed to catch on camera.
In the footage, Lagzdins - who you may remember from the time he bit into a raw pig's head outside a vegan food festival earlier this year - can be seen wearing a vest that bears the slogan 'VEGANISM = MALNUTRITION'. He also has what appears to be a roasted woodcock tied around his neck.
"My message is that veganism is malnutrition and the reason I and other people eat raw meat is to show what humans eat in nature," he told the crowd.
"[Vegans] blindly believe we can go from eating meat to just eating plants like a cow, but we can't as humans."
After being arrested, Khlebnikov and Lagzdins denied using disorderly behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress at a trial at City of London Magistrates' Court last month.
They were found guilty yesterday (22 July) at Westminster Magistrates Court and were issued fines - Khlebnikov was fined £200 plus costs and a surcharge, while Lagzdins, who did not show up to the hearing, was fined £400 plus costs and a surcharge.
Natalie Clines, from the Crown Prosecution Service, 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."
At the time of the stunt, a spokesperson for The Vegan Society dismissed Lagzdins' claims that there is a link between veganism and malnutrition, saying: "It is perfectly possible to get all the nutrients your body needs as a vegan; the British Dietetic Association shares the message that vegan diets are suitable for people of all ages and life stages."
The team behind Soho Vegan Market told LADbible: "Soho Vegan Market was created so that people, both vegan and otherwise, could try delicious and different plant based food in a brilliant and easily accessible location in the heart of London.
"We've been open for almost a year now and have seen thousands of people visit over this time with no conflict between vegans and meat eaters at all, which of course is what we are aiming for.
"We do not condone the actions of known anti vegan YouTuber Sv3rige, were disappointed that it disrupted the vibrant and diverse weekly event and are glad to see those involved have been charged for their actions.
"We would like to thank the police and others who reacted quickly to prevent any further disruption or upset to our patrons."
Featured Image Credit: CPS