Etica, a pizza place in Adelaide, South Australia, is facing an online backlash over its "abattoir-style" interior design, which features a taxidermized cow hanging from the ceiling.
The stuffed eight-year-old Friesian x Hereford heifer "Schvitzy" is suspended from the ceiling by the hind legs.
Federico and Melissa Pisanelli, owners of the restaurant, said they "slaughtered her at her home," and her meat was "entirely consumed."
Schvitzy's remains were hung in the venue as the pair wanted to challenge diners' "programmed perceptions" of dairy cows and "educate consumers" on the origins of their food.
The restaurant, specifically designed to "reflect a slaughterhouse," is "dominated by themes of confrontation and transparency."
"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," the restaurant owners said.
"It is easy to criticize 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," they added.
'Take Her Down ASAP'
Despite Etica's apparently highly-charged political motivations, many members of the public have responded with shock, disgust and outrage at the bovine agitprop, and called for the cow to be removed.
A petition signed by over 5,00 said the eatery displays a "real dead mother cow's body hanging over tables by her feet where their customers eat."
"It's 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," it added.
Moreover, the restaurant's Facebook page has been blitzed with negative comments, with users labeling the installation "unspeakable, atrocious and shocking to see," and likewise calling for Schvitzy's burial.
"Take the poor cow down she doesn't belong there," one complainant wrote.
"Tasteless maybe hang one of your staff up," wrote another.
However, some customers voiced their support, urging others to consider the message behind the installation.
"The cow installation is great and confronting. If you enjoy dairy it should also be a catalyst for you to delve into the industry and educate yourself," one wrote.