Onlookers at a London, UK vegan food market in March likely didn’t expect to come across protesters eating raw squirrels.
Marketgoers were subject to quite a performance when pro-meat advocates Gatis Lagzdins, 29, and Deonisy Khlebnikov, 22, tore into furry, dead animals (warning: linked video contains graphic content) outside a vegan stall on March 30.
According to London’s Crown Prosecution Service, the act continued despite a parent of an upset child pleading with them to stop.
Others paused to take photos and video footage of the protest. One of the protesters in the video wore a shirt reading “veganism = malnutrition.”
On Monday, the protesting duo were found guilty of a public order offence at City of London magistrates court.
“Deonisy Khlebnikov and Gatin Lagzdins claimed they were against veganism and were raising awareness about the dangers of not eating meat when they publicly consumed raw squirrels,” Natalie Clines, a senior CPS prosecutor, said.
She continued: “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.”
The two denied claims that their act could cause distress, but regardless were both convicted of the crime and were fined.
Khlebnikov received a $327 fine, while Lagzdins, who wasn’t present at the hearing, was fined $655. Both were subject to surcharges as well.
This isn’t the first time Lagzdins has engaged in public protest — just a few days before the squirrel-eating incident in London, in Brighton, U.K., he was recorded eating a raw pig’s head, also at a vegan gathering.