Vegan protester divides internet after pouring paint over KFC restaurant

A vegan protester in Australia has gone viral, and split viewers, after sharing a video of her throwing red paint on the floor of a KFC outlet.

Known protester Tash Peterson took to a Melbourne KFC location, dressed in abattoir worker clothing, and doused the floor in red paint while playing animal screams. Fellow protesters held screens with videos of animals being slaughtered.

Peterson turned to the counter and poured red paint over it, before speaking into a megaphone about the slaughter of animals for meat. “The world’s longest and largest holocaust in history is happening right now in the meat, dairy and egg industries,” she said.

“Non-human animals are enslaved in concentration prisons where they are subjected to rape, torture, abuse and mutilation before they’re sent to murder factories where they are brutally murdered as babies,” she added in the video.

In just two days since it was posted, the TikTok video has gained over 1.8 million views. It isn’t the first time Peterson has gained mass attention for her protests. In May, a video also gained popularity online when she protested inside a seafood restaurant and stood on top of tables.

Following the seafood protest and video, Peterson was served a Barring Notice by Western Australia Police, banning her from entering any licensed venue in Perth, including pubs and restaurants, according to local media. The KFC restaurant is located in Melbourne, in the state of Victoria.

Peterson’s latest video received criticism that focused on her choice to pour red paint, with many citing the idea that workers would be the ones left to clean it up.

“Nice, make a mess for the poor workers to have to clean up,” commented one TikTok user. “Okay, but they literally just work there,” added another.

However, Peterson reassured that workers at the KFC branch were not the ones that cleaned up as she shared a video of one of the protestors mopping up the paint as the police stood nearby. “Don’t freak out, we cleaned the mess up,” she wrote.

According to Peterson, those concerned about the KFC workers should also be concerned about workers in the animal agriculture industry, as she wrote on Instagram: “Firstly, we cleaned the mess up. Secondly, why are you more outraged by a mess on the floor when there are literally the bodies of murdered babies being sold behind the counter? Chickens who were only six weeks old when they were electrocuted and had their throat slit for an unnecessary KFC meal.

“Even if you are an animal abusing human supremacist, surely you should be more outraged by the workers (mostly refugees) who are exploited and underpaid in slaughterhouses, than some animal rights activists making KFC workers clean up a mess?”

Aside from the potential mess left behind, Peterson’s method divided viewers with some for it, and others wholeheartedly against.

“Your protests have turned so many people vegan. The fake blood powerfully symbolises the mass slaughter of sentient animals,” wrote one Instagram user, in support of Peterson.

“I’ve been vegan for five years and I think activism is great, but this could deter people from being vegan and sends the wrong message about our image,” wrote one concerned TikTok user.

“What you’re doing is not going to spread awareness, it’s just going to make people hate you even more,” wrote another.

Newsweek contacted Tash Peterson for comment.

A person walks past a KFC outlet in Melbourne’s central business district on July 15, 2020. A video has gone viral of a vegan protesting KFC by pouring paint on the floor.
William West/Getty Images

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