Australian restaurant facing backlash for hanging dead cow from ceiling

Published September 27, 2017

A pizza restaurant in Australia is facing backlash for displaying a taxidermied cow to promote a conversation about eating animals.

“Schvitzy” hangs by her hooves from the ceiling at Etica Pizza in Adelaide. The owners of the restaurant say the display “is purposely confronting” and that the installation “aims to draw a connection to the true consequence of consuming dairy.”

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While Etica serves both meat and dairy products, the restaurant claims they come from farms with the “highest welfare standards.”

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But not everyone agrees with the restaurant’s mission. Many are outraged by the display, demanding it be removed. People have expressed criticism on the restaurant’s Facebook page, and a woman in Fla. even started a petition to have Schvitzy taken down.

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“This is unspeakable, atrocious, and shocking to see. It is a grand display of the cognitive dissonance in our society and creates a space for people to get more comfortable with the death and torture of other species. This is obscene and we wish for them to take her down ASAP,” the petition reads. As of Wednesday afternoon, it had over 5,000 supporters.

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Etica addressed the attention Schvitzy has garnered, posting a photo of the cow (presumably Schvitzy) when she was alive on social media.

We appreciate all the attention our new project is receiving. Our aim is to create thoughtful conversation. What does 'ethical' mean? It is a subjective term based on an individual's morals. Etica was created to promote animal welfare. This means that we work hard to select produce sourced from farms with the highest welfare standards. We never compromise on this. Importantly, there is a distinction between animal welfare and animal rights. Those who believe in animal rights do not believe in exploiting any animal for any purpose whatsoever. Etica has an agenda of authenticity and transparency. We understand that there is no kind way to kill an animal. As an animal welfarist institution, we ensure that the animals (and their products) we purchase are raised with care. Our purpose is to educate consumers on the origins of our food. It is designed to make consumers stop and think about the realities of the dairy industry. The project highlights information that is not readily available to consumers. More broadly, it is a challenge to the way in which our society tends to obscure from the origins of food. Visit our link at: http://etica.pizza/assets/84halifaxdoorsign.pdf We do not aim to influence on whether one should consume dairy, but rather, we urge our consumers to understand the origin of their food in order to make a conscious decision on whether to eat it. The pose of Schvitzy, as she was affectionately known, is purposely confronting. She has not been hung for decoration. The installation has a mission: it aims to draw a connection to the true consequence of consuming dairy. Schvitzy was eight years old. She was the by-product of a dairy farm in South Australia and belonged to a family at Mount Barker. We slaughtered her at her home. Her meat was entirely consumed and her skin was taken to hang in our venue. We are all at different stages of our own moral journey. It is easy to criticise others' ethics that do not align with one's own: Etica believes it is much more powerful to make an informed choice rather than adopt an ideology that one does not completely understand. Peace, love and pizza ☮️💙🍕

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“Our purpose is to educate consumers on the origins of our food. It is designed to make consumers stop and think about the realities of the dairy industry,” the restaurant wrote. “The project highlights information that is not readily available to consumers. More broadly, it is a challenge to the way in which our society tends to obscure from the origins of food.”

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