SwissVeg, the Vegetarian Union Germany (VEBU) and American group Beyond Carnism said they produced the satirical video about La Table Suisse, a fictional eatery in the Alps, playing on the fact that Swiss law does not ban eating cats and dogs — as long as you own them.
In a press release issued on Monday, the groups said around ten million people around the world saw the video that was produced to make people think more about eating animal meat.
The video prompted angry responses, with people even calling for the restaurant to be banned.
But while most people are revolted about the idea of eating cats and dogs, they are ready to eat meat from other animals, such as pigs and cows, Swissveg said.
It said this is due to “carnism”, a system of beliefs that conditions people to eat only certain species of animals but not others.
But the distinction varies according to culture — so in China, for example, people eats dogs, while in India cows are considered sacred.
Makers of the video said their goal was to raise awareness about eating animal products.
“Had we done the same video with lambs and calves, hardly anyone would be excited,” Renato Pichler, of Swiss veg told the 20 Minuten newspaper.
“The point is to precisely show this contradiction.”
Pichler emphasized that no animals were harmed in the making of the video.
What looked like a skinned cat hanging in the kitchen was actually made of silicone and no real meat was used, he said.