Two pro-meat protesters have been fined after eating raw, fur-covered squirrels in front of a vegan food stall in London.
22-year-old Deonisy Khlebnikov and 29-year-old Gatis Lagzdins drew the attention of disgusted onlookers as they ate the decapitated raw animals at Soho Vegan Market on Rupert Street earlier this year.
Horrified members of the public asked the pair to stop, including the parent of an upset child, however they continued their protest. At least one of the protesters was arrested at the time.
The BBC report a trial at City of London Magistrates’ Court took place in June, where the pair denied using disorderly behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress. However, on Monday (July 22), they were found guilty of a public order offence.
Natalie Clines, a senior CPS prosecutor, 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 premeditated actions caused significant distress to members of the public, including young children.
Khlebnikov was fined £200 plus costs and a surcharge, while Lagzdins was fined £400 plus costs and a surcharge.
Gruesome footage shared on Twitter showed one of the pro-meat protesters chewing on the exposed innards of the squirrel while speaking with police officers.
To further emphasise his feelings about the animal-free diet the man appeared to have been wearing a woodcock around his neck and sporting a vest top bearing the slogan ‘VEGANISM = MALNUTRITION’.
bloke ate a squirrel and got arrested for it lmao pic.twitter.com/jog3Wz2e10
— Diora (@DioraBoros) March 30, 2019
The incident they were punished for was not the first occasion one of the participants consumed raw meat in public, however squirrel served as a visible escalation of their previous meat-eating provocations of 2018.
One of the protesters is a YouTuber who goes by the name ‘Sv3rige’ or ‘Goatis’. He has over 66,000 subscribers and often uploads video content expressing his dislike of the vegan diet.
Sv3ridge recently shared a video on YouTube which claims to ‘destroy’ veganism in one minute; the poster argues vitamin D is an animal hormone which will never be found in plants and says the richest sources come from the brains of animals.
PETA point out vegans can get vitamin D from sources such as mushrooms, fortified soy and almond milk, tofu and sunlight.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.