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British Artist Eats a Dog to Protest Fox Hunting

Written by PETA | May 30, 2007

Mark_McGowan_Eats_a_Corgi.jpgThis little stunt was, in my opinion, absolutely inspired. A couple of disclaimers before I embark on this, because I have a suspicion that it might create just a little bit of controversy: 1) The dog died of natural causes. 2) The artist is normally a vegetarian. OK, here we go: A British performance artist by the name of Mark McGowan was so outraged by the RSPCA’s failure to prosecute Prince Philip after he allegedly watched a member of his hunting party beat a fox to death with a flagpole, that he cooked and ate a Welsh Corgi dog in protest (the Royals are famous for their love of corgis). Here’s what Mark had to say:

“We love our animals in Britain. Why is it then that we then allow people – especially people who are supposed to be ambassadors for this country – to treat animals with such disrespect?”

McGowan, who said he waited five months to obtain a corgi who had died of natural causes at a breeding farm (well, as “natural” as you can get at a place that breeds dogs—but that’s an issue for another time), effectively made the point that there is a massive double standard when it comes to the way we perceive animals: Why would the Royal Family, who are so openly upset when one of their corgis dies, have absolutely no qualms whatsoever about hunting down foxes and, apparently, beating them with flagpoles? And, by extension, why do people who wouldn’t think twice about stuffing their faces with pork chops or fillet of fish get up in arms when they learn that someone has eaten a dog? I think these are really important questions, and I think that Mr. McGowan’s stunt is an incredibly compelling way of raising those questions. What do you think?

You can read the BBC’s coverage of the story here.

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  • Linsey says:

    How is this man eating a dog inspiring and not disgusting? If you are against eating meat to protest the cruelty of it, why would you eat it out of protest? It seems to me this was radical choice, and poor choice, it it this type of action that makes people think vegetarians are insane. So if that is what Mark was trying to get across than good job!

  • A Right Wing Conspirator says:

    I must agree that this is disgusting. But most hunters are not the drinking white trash stereotype. Most of them are very respectable people most of the ones I know having served their country Marines OORAH! How would you feel if I equated every animal rights activists to HAMAS for animal rights? I know that not every animal rights activists commit terrorist acts many of the ones I know are also very respectable. I don’t care if this dog died of natural causes or was killed by Michael Vick. Eating the body is desacrating the Corgi’s body. How could you possibly eat a Corgi? They are so adorable though I myself prefer Holland Lop rabbits I may be preparing to register to hunt but I believe in a clean kill that minimizes the suffering of the animal. I don’t enjoy watching living things suffer but I intend do everything that hunting can help with population control donate venison and fur to homeless etc. This isn’t helping any cause besides turning people away from his cause and enraging people.

  • Robert J. Mink says:

    I think it is disgusting As a owner of three Corgis now We just lost one to Lymphoma after a year of chemo. I think we ought to cut off this mans arm and eat it in front of him. Look to China you fool. If you want to see real animal abuse. Make a sign write a letter protest out loud. Leave the Corgis out of it. Should I kill every one that drinks because someone I loved was killed by a drunk driver? You make no sense along with all that blindly suport your actions. My knucles itch for some of your jaw. Robert J. Mink proudly owned by Corgis Stop by south jersey sometime you freak

  • Dukes Mom says:

    I was outraged when I read an article concerning Mark McGowan eating a few bites of a Corgi in protest of Fox Hunting by the British Royal Family. I am a Corgi owner and a vegetarian who never hunts. I find Mark McGowans eating of a Corgis flesh disgusting barbaric and cruel. Corgis are such innocent animals. I didn’t appreciate seeing a man eat Corgi. Something needs to be done concerning McGowans behavior. The thought of a man eating a Corgi like my beloved pets flesh is awful. Mr. McGowan has disgusted me with his awful behavior. What have my pet and myself done to have to look at a picture of that man eating Corgi flesh. An American Corgi Owner and Vegetarian and Duke Pembroke Corgi who is a semi vegan with favorite foods of carrots and tomatoes.

  • Adriana Romanini says:

    I teach a multicultural group of students and some started criticizing Koreans for eating dogs. I simply asked “What do you think a person from India feels when they see so many fast food restaurants selling hamburgers?”

  • Tay says:

    Wow definatly mixed reactions to this. I’m not sure what I think about this. If I read correctly it was OK to eat the dog because it died of natural causes? What if a cow died of natural causes would you eat it?

  • James says:

    Craig Contor wishes to perpetuate the myth that rural folk are all unrecognized heroes and everyone else are selfobssessed spoiled cityslickers who don’t understand how the world really works. Like hell we don’t. Read a new book CC. Try “Dominion” by Mathew Scully. FYI Prince Philip is Queen Elizabeth’s husband. William and Harry are Diana’s sons.

  • Candy says:

    I think if the animal was already dead and was not killed or mistreated it’s ok! Because a normal vegetarian doesn’t eat meat because the to be eaten animal was killed and suffered. Anyhow I would neither eat a dead animal which died alone because for me the two possiblities are disgusting but for this single stunt it’s ok for one time!

  • jimmy the shark says:

    wow i fear this blog got some hidden poachers open your eyes!

  • Anotherdoglover says:

    Corgilover I agree this stunt is disgusting to many of us dog lovers but I can see from your very reaction that it has made you think about this issue and hopefully tell all your friend dog lovers which will make them think about it too. As far as I can see from this article this guy did this as a stunt aimed at the RSPCA and the Royal family. This is a blog it doesn’t say that this stunt was anything to do with PETA it is just here for us to know about and discuss. That is what this blog is about showing us what is going on in the world with animals good or bad.

  • Maureen E. Roth says:

    With all respect to the Late Princess Diana she was never a vegetarian. She did not hunt but did not condone her sons for hunting with their blood thirsty father Prince Charles. In fact she said in an interview that hunting was something that was a normal thing for their class in society. It amazes me that people like Diana could have so much genuine compassion for the suffering of people but none for animals. When one of Princess Anne’s bull terriers killed one of the Queen’s corgis she the Queen was inconsolable. Yet her husband Prince Philip has hunted almost every animal that can be hunted and I suppose she sees that as normal too. They probably had a good laugh about this little corgi getting eaten.

  • CorgiLover says:

    Tamara Yoko ate some of the Corgi too. Oh and ruined the Beatles…haha…kidding.

  • Maya says:

    Kelly yes you’re right. Hunters often come from poor families who cannot afford Harvard or other schools that you probably take for granted. Often hunters and their families work their asses off just to not starve. Another stereotype is that they care deeply about the family pets and they do their best to live a sustainable life and they aim to kill the animal instantly. These are the kind of people who will risk their own lives finding some overprivelleged brats who get lost in the forest on a hike or skiing. These are also the kinds of people who help search and rescue teams with no regard to their own safety. Poachers especially in South America often find that instead of starving to death working some lousy fruit farm can make real money selling wild endangered animals because our wealthy jerks in the good ol’ USA like to drape endangered species on our wall or worse keep beautiful endangered owls or jaguars in the basement as a status symbol. If I had that choice or starving I can’t say that I wouldn’t be a poacher myself. Of course our lovely goverment has spend billions on war and giving raises to politicians and none to make sure Fish and Wildlife has an ethic that is becoming of the most privelleged nation in the world. I respect your passion Kelly but can you please direct it at the government or at our wealthy society? Picking in individuals probably gets us nowhere fast. You obviously care enough to want real progress.

  • kelly says:

    Craig Contor many hunters ARE poachers as well as drunk thugs who shoot each other never mind wounding and torturing animals instead of demonstrating any weaponry skill and hunters have decimated populations and species not to mention prevent the majority nonhunters from using and enjoying the outdoors Hunters come from the LEAST educated LEAST intelligent populations Why do you think?

  • Tamara says:

    What did I miss? What did Yoko do?

  • CorgiLover says:

    I belong to an international group of dog aficionados on the web all who are passionate about their dogs and many animals for that matter. Now I’m sure many of them still eat animals but I will tell you this as well. These types would be the first amongst converts since they already humanize the animals they live with. I know many who are growing increasingly aware of this issue and were ripe for awareness. Based on the voluminous response from this group and 100 outrage at this man and Yoko I’m hedging my bets this guy did more harm than good. As an above person wrote all it does is reinforce the animals rights crowd as kooks. He only served to get people’s backs up. Nuff said from me. You know my position and it will NOT change.

  • Maya says:

    Craig if you look at PETA’s FAQs you will see they have clearly stated that they have no issue with native tribal groups killing wildlife for food if it’s sustainable. I am earning a master’s degree in wildlife conservation and you and I both know that lead bullets are harmful to the environment. Also overhunting poaching and the wildlife trade are contributing to extinctions. Having said that I support your position that habitat loss is the worst threat to humans and animals alike. I grew up in NH surrounded by hunters and most of them are honorable folk. I have one question for you are we going to work together since we have the same goals or against each other and just let the earth rot in hell? Please please please look at the book called Entanglements by Tora Johnson. Just read the introduction. This book could change how animal activists and hunters and fishermen live together. Thanks for listening. Also sorry to go on but regarding the corgi am I to understand that this guy obtained the dog from a farm that allowed the animal to die? Please be more specific did he hand over money to these people who run a puppy mill? This guy seems to be using PETA as free advertising for his career. And you let him do it? Am I mistaken?

  • Jonesy says:

    Think about it this way Tens of billions of animals are eaten a year without it doing one bit of good except contributing to heart disease obesity and cancer in humans and horrible suffering in the animal victims. This one instance of eating an animal out of those tens of billions actually helped to stimulate a national debate. Taken in a vacuum McGowan’s stunt was no worse than what most people do at mealtimes three times a daybut in context it actually helped to bring animal rights issues into the mainstream. Good for you Mark.

  • CorgiLover says:

    Robert Matters not to me if it is a Corgi or a mutt or a purple and pink polka dotted Dachsund. Its disgusting and does nothing for the cause but to turn people off. He could have displayed his public protest in a million other ways. Let’s not forget that there are plenty of cultures that do in fact eat dogs. Sorry. Can’t agree.

  • Robert Rodriguez says:

    Woops I meant “why you’re annoyed with the situation” haha. I dont’ find you annoying P

  • Robert Rodriguez says:

    CorgiLover judging from your name I can see why you’re annoying with the situation but there is a difference between having an animal killed and eating it to demonstrate how you feel and taking an already dead dog to do it. Rather than the dog be buried and forgotten about he used it to effectively display his opinion on the treatment of foxes by the royal family. While I find his form of protest disgusting kudos to him for being able to eat it as well as publicly displaying his opinion against a wellrespected icon. Thankfully theyre openminded overseas or else hed get a Saddam Husseinesque punishment for sure.

  • Gabriella says:

    Humans are “animals” some of us choose to be more than sentient beings we choose to be thinking beings. That is why this site exists. Even outside of the “mall” or the “pavement” we will still be thinking animals. Other human animals however inside or outside the “mall” will choose not to think. Its ok. We will continue to try to get you to evolve into thinking beings. Be patient.

  • CorgiLover says:

    Are you kidding? Inspired? Its disgusting vile and horrid. I can’t believe anyone with PETA would condone this!!! What’s wrong with you people? Do you really think you will make converts out of people with this sort of thing? What’s next a dead human for lunch to prove some point? I’m a dog lover and happen to have a Corgi. And while I believe in this cause rest assured I would punch him in the face if I ever saw this sick bastard. I hope he winds up on someone’s breakfast table. That goes double for Yoko Ono.

  • Cindy says:

    I think it is deplorable and an insult to those of us who advocate for animal rights. PETA should condemn the stunt immediately!!!!

  • Travis Humphrey says:

    Mark McGowan a Vegetarian??? This is the same guy who ate a swan to protest the upperlasses and the monarchy ate a fox to protest the plight of “crackheads” and sat in a tub of baked beans with sausages stuffed up his nose to advocate for the eating of that traditional English breakfast. The “protest” is obvisously not what is important to him it is the spectale. He randomly keyed cars parked on the street to advertise one of his gallery shows. The attention it brings to him as an artist is his only concern he is not an animal rights activist.

  • Michele says:

    I don’t know how he could stand to eat the dog meat since he is a vegetarian but I congratulate him on making such a statement by doing so. “the undertaker” is so right about Lady Diana she is one of the classiest Royals ever she puts many of them to shame even posthumously. I hope this very creative stunt gets people really thinking about the different standards that exist when it comes to eating animals and why people think nothing of eating a dead cow pig sheep lamb rabbit deer etc but are horrified about the thought of eating a dog or cat.

  • CupcakeMagee says:

    Ahhh yes this is inspiring… That is if the word “inspired” has changed it’s meaning only in relation to this article to mean yet another ridiculous way to make sure people associate the term “vegetarian” with “utter lunatic”… Then yes it’s highly “inspired.” Is there really anyone out there actually so delusional as to think that this silly stunt will make anyone at all who wasn’t already on Team Animal Rights suddenly go “Wait just a moment this man is eating a dog to prove that killing animals is wrong?” More than likely I’d wager people will say “That’s disgusting.” and lump it into the great big ball of “Why Animal Rights Activists Are Insane In Their Opinion And This Just Proves It. Who Wants To Go Out For Hamburgers?” It’s schmucks like this fellow that always help me have such a difficult time explaining to people that I’m not criminally insane for buying tofu and objecting to fur. Yet another blow struck for rational discourse but by all means keep drinking the KoolAid or eating the Corgi as the case may be and pretending this will impact anyone or any animal in any sort of positive manner…

  • Darren says:

    I’m quite sure that vegi’s would vomit if eating meat after a long term of not doing so. I think this was a good idea to prove the point but I would never do anything like that as I will be a vegetarian for the rest of my life.

  • Craig Contor says:

    I recommend working with diverse interest groups rather than attacking some of wildlifes strongest proponents. Read the new book “Intelligent Courgage”. One group that gets a lot of flak from PETA includes hunters. If you look at the numbers the facts modern regulatedhunters not poachers have done more to preserve critical habitat and restore wild species than any of the shopping mall bound PETA folks that contribute daily to habitat destruction and the associated death of millions of animals via the credit card. Biologist agree the single biggest threat to wildlife is loss or modification of habitat. How many acres of wildland has PETA preserved? Ohhhh but what about all the animals regulatedhunters kill? Biologically does it matter if a plow or shopping mall kills the animal via the destruction of habitat and displacement or a car strike or a hunter? Is there really any difference biologically from a bear a predatory mammal killing an elk or a hunter a predatory mammal. The only real difference is that regulated hunters have a voice and have collectively done more for wildlife than any other group worldwide. PETA vegetarians kill more with the plow than hunters with guns. Rather than going all “Disney” perhaps PETA should examine the basic principles of biology Humans are animals and are part of the ecosystem. Death occurs everywhere and continuously you would know this if you knew your biology and got out of the shopping mall and somewhere without pavement. Screwing with someone elses life by imposing your illogical and self righteous belief systems on others won’t change basic biology or sound ecosystem management it just makes you jerks. Buying lettuce and other veggies supports the severe destruction of wildlife that only a plow and the dewatering of rivers for irrigation can provide. If you don’t want to impact animals your only choice is not to exist. Vegetarians are just as guilty of impacting wildlife as omnivores. When the plow goes into the ground all but one species the crop is killed. When a bushman eats a spring hair the entire ecosystem stays intact. Bushman and there analogs arent the problem. Human over population is the problem. Eating vegetables or baning hunting won’t change that. If you stop the hunters from hunting we will loose support of many of the wild places and then the malls will come in and car dealerships until it is all paved. Or it will be the farms that come in first the estruction will be the same. Examine the biological and ecological effects of your own actions before condemning others. Will you post this? I doubt it. I’m sure you wouldn’t want a few facts to get in the way of your self rightous view of yourself and your associated social pretences.

  • kaitlin says:

    i applaud thee mark mcgowan i wonder if he threw up dont vegitarians get sick if they eat meat after not eating it for awhile

  • Canaduck says:

    I am impressed. Hopefully it will make a few people think.

  • jimmy the shark says:

    my respect mark you are a real guy! but maybe the Queen would taste better!

  • kelly says:

    It certainly does raise questions. Why is it ok to pamper our dogs yet think nothing of letting horses pigs cows chickens be tortured and killed to eat? Or let foxes mink raccoon dogs and more get tortured and killed to wear as coats? Or elephants to be beaten mercilessly while our USDA does nothing? It is astonishing that the royals have such peasant values.

  • the undertaker says:

    this notorious prince philip allows himself a bit too much isn’t he the one that pink refused to sing for him because of bad treatment of animals? anyhow he would be doing well in taking his sublime mother for a shining example! lady diana was strictly against hunting a vegetarian and furfree my respect Lady Diana you are the Queen of my heart you alone!!!!