Animal rights activists identifying as vegan are taking responsibility for hanging pig carcasses over three Montreal overpasses early Thursday morning.
The activists hung dead pigs on three overpasses in the Rosemont neighbourhood, along with the message, “You pay, they die.” The act prompted a police response and road closures while city workers took the pigs down.
Police say an investigation is underway and no arrests have yet been made.
The radical act has been generating a lot of talk.
“I think it’s too much. It’s over the top, and I’m someone who’s a vegetarian,” Vikki Stark said while walking in NDG.
“I think they made their statement wildly clear,” said Montrealer Faith Pare.
Today a group called DxE Montreal claimed they were the ones who had done it.
They are the same activists who have disrupted dinner at a number of posh Montreal restaurants in recent years, including Joe Beef and Au Pied du Cochon, demanding an end to meat consumption
“We take an abolitionist stance,” said Nathe Perrone, a spokesperson for DxE Montreal. “That means if there’s a possibility for us to not consume animal products, not to kill, then we believe that we have a moral responsibility to do so.”
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DxE also broke into a pig farm in 2019 to shed light on the conditions animals live in.
“When we cut the throats of animals when it’s not necessary, that’s a situation that is extreme. To answer to a drastic situation, we need drastic measures,” said Perrone.
Alexia Renard, a University of Montreal PhD student who is researching animal rights activists, said the aim of the group is to shock and spark debate.
She said often people entering such groups have been influenced by direct experiences.
“People who have been in direct contact with animals going to the slaughterhouses often explained that they were so morally shocked by what they saw, that they felt the urge to act,” she told Global News.
“I think the role of moral shock just by seeing what happens to animals can be really, really disturbing.”
Renard says the movement here is a small one, and that by coming together the activists empower each other to take radical action.
“The idea that it’s morally wrong to eat animals is very rooted in the mind of activists,” she explained.
The Montrealers who spoke to Global News were divided on whether or not it’s the best way to get their point across.
“I’m not sure if it’s the nicest way to pass the message, but on the other hand, maybe that’s the message that really needs to be spread around a little bit,” said Joe Wiecha.
“You don’t want to totally turn people off and make people who are not vegans even more entrenched in their opinion that vegans are lunatics,” said Stark.
The activists say more demonstrations are on the way.