Deonisy Khlebnikov, 22, and Gatis Lagzdins, 29, both from London, were filmed biting into the squirrels at the food stand on Rupert Street on 30 March this year.
The two men were reportedly asked to stop eating the animals by the parent of a distressed child, but continued eating the raw rodents.
They both denied using disorderly behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress at a trial at City of London Magistrates’ Court, but have been found guilty.
On Lagzdins’ YouTube channel, on which he calls himself sv3rige, he posted video of himself and Khlebnikov, eating the squirrels, with the video title: “JAILED For Eating Meat @ Soho Vegan Market”.
They weren’t jailed.
In it Lagzdins can be seen tearing open a bedraggled-looking dead squirrel with his bare hands before eating some of the innards.
Khlebnikov then attempts to tear into a second dead squirrel’s fur directly with his teeth, which isn’t successful, and he then rips the carcass open with his hands, declaring to a passerby “it smells good”, who responds: “No, it doesn’t smell good. Surely not.”
When another observer asks why it has to be raw, Lagzdins says: “you lose the nutrients by cooking them”.
Another person asks how they hunted them and Lagzdins said they ordered the squirrels online.
While interacting with people in the street Lagzdins also appears to be wearing a plucked dead duck on a string around his neck.
Eventually the police arrive, and Khlebnikov, who has blood smeared across his face, is told to stop eating the squirrel while he is being questioned by the police.
“This is my food,” he says.
“You’ve provoked a reaction,” the policeman tells him. “Look at how many people are now recording this.”
After long remonstrations with the police they are eventually handcuffed and put in the back of a police van while other members of their group shout: “Meat is totally allowed”.
Natalie Clines from the Crown Prosecution Service said: “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.
“But by choosing to do this outside a vegan food stall and continuing with their disgusting and unnecessary behaviour despite requests to stop, including from a parent whose child was upset by their actions, the prosecution was able to demonstrate that they had planned and intended to cause distress to the public.
“Their premeditated actions caused significant distress to members of the public, including young children.”
Khlebnikov was fined £200 plus costs and a surcharge. Lagzdins, who did not attend the hearing, was fined £400 plus costs and a surcharge.
This is not the first time Lagzdins has carried out such a stunt. Just a few days prior to the squirrel nibbling episode in London, he was down in Brighton where he was filmed eating chunks of flesh from a raw pig’s head, also in protest at a vegan gathering.
At the time he said veganism “is human cruelty”, and questioned the nutritional value of a vegan diet.
Other videos on his YouTube channel have titles such as “Super Tired Vegan Is Showing Signs of Dementia”, and “Treat Others the Way You Don’t Want to Be Treated,” in which he says: “Life is all about consuming others’ energy”.
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