Two men fined for eating raw squirrels to protest veganism as people begged them to stop

Joshua Bote
Deonisy Khlebnikov, 22 and Gatis Lagzdins, 29, ate the squirrels, with the skin and fur still intact, at the Soho Vegan Food Market in late March.

Two men who staged a grisly protest against veganism were fined and convicted of disorderly conduct after they ate dead squirrels in front of a vegan stall at a London outdoor market. 

Deonisy Khlebnikov, 22 and Gatis Lagzdins, 29, ate the squirrels, with the skin and fur still intact, at the Soho Vegan Food Market in late March.

They were found guilty of disorderly behavior "likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress" Monday after denying the charge in court last month.

“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," said Natalie Clines, a senior prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service, in a statement sent to USA TODAY.

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Despite multiple requests by witnesses to stop, including from a parent of an upset child, they continued eating the squirrels.

"Their pre-meditated actions caused significant distress to members of the public, including young children," Clines said.

In images sent by the service to USA TODAY, Lagzdins is shown wearing a shirt that says "Veganism = Malnutrition."

Khlebnikov was fined $250 plus additional fees. Lagzdins, who was not at the hearing, was fined $500 plus fees.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Two men fined for eating raw squirrel in front of kids in London