Aussie vegan activist Tash Peterson disrupts KFC customers with another animal rights protest

Screenshots of Tash Peterson's stunt at a KFC dressed as a bloodied abattoir worker
Tash Peterson's stunt at a KFC saw her dressed as a bloodied abattoir worker. Photo credit: Tash Peterson, @vganbooty / Instagram

A notorious Australian vegan activist has once again spruiked an anti-meat message with a theatrical protest, this time at a KFC.

Controversial protester Tash Peterson, from Perth, Australia, has cultivated a reputation as an outspoken activist for animal rights, typically spreading her message through provocative and confronting demonstrations or performance art. 

This time, Peterson, 29, marched into a KFC outlet dressed as an abattoir worker smeared in fake blood, with the sounds of distressed animals playing from a speaker. A fellow activist stood behind her, holding a TV that streamed footage of chickens in a slaughterhouse. 

With the cries of chickens screeching in the background, Peterson then poured what appeared to be red paint over the tiles and counter, as several patrons watched on. Baffled-looking staff behind the counter stood by and appeared to let Peterson and the other protesters finish their demonstration. 

The KFC was relatively quiet at the time of the protest, with just a handful of customers seen in the footage.

The video, shared to Peterson's Instagram and Facebook accounts this week, was captioned: "KFC have blood on their hands and so do you if you're not vegan."

Her clothes in the footage were also emblazoned with the message, "Your 'food' fought for their life, that should leave a bad taste in your mouth", as well as a call to watch Dominion, an Australian documentary on animal rights.

The stunt has prompted a divided response, with some questioning whether the demonstration had much of an impact considering the small number of people in the venue at the time. While some applauded Peterson's actions as "heroic" and "brave", others aired their disapproval of her methods, pointing out that the staff would be required to clean up the mess. 

"Yeah, I'm vegan but KFC do not care about you doing this. And the poor workers on their feet all day who have to clean it up are not going to understand," one said.

"Agree with veganism but creating a massively unsafe area where disabled people like me can fall so easily really isn't a win," said a second.

"I appreciate the sentiment of the protest and I think this is important to raise awareness, but I do hope you guys promised to clean the paint up again so that you didn't force the service workers at the KFC, who already have an extremely shitty job, to clean it up," added another.

Replying to a viewer who questioned if she ever feared legal repercussions for damaging property, Peterson said: "I've done it a few times before and have never been charged. I want to be charged anyway because that will bring more attention to animal rights."

Peterson has become somewhat infamous for her provocative, attention-grabbing brand of activism. She has previously gone topless or worn lingerie on the streets, brandishing placards with incendiary messaging such as, "We only f**k vegans" and "Plant-based penises last longer". 

In one of her most notable stunts, a topless Peterson and two other protesters were photographed at Sydney's Pitt St Mall last year smeared in fake blood and laying in individual, plastic-wrapped trays to represent meat for sale. 

Also last year, Peterson made headlines for carrying a crucifix during a protest against the horse racing industry at Ascot Racecourse, pouring fake blood around the entrance as people arrived for the Melbourne Cup.

In August, Peterson stormed a Louis Vuitton store in Melbourne for a second year in a row, covering herself in fake blood in an attempt to dissuade customers from buying animal products. In 2021, she clashed with supermarket staff while dressed as a cow and yelling at shoppers about the dairy industry. 

As reported by Perth Now, Peterson is set to face a string of charges in Perth next Thursday, including alleged disorderly conduct and refusing to leave licensed premises, relating to a protest at an Outback Jacks Bar and Grill last year. She will also face sentencing for an arrest for trespassing at the Royal Show.

"Media attention on animal rights activism brings about public attention on this injustice," Peterson wrote on her Facebook on Tuesday. "This is how social change works. As more people bring light to the animal holocaust via activism, more people stop supporting abuse and murder by living vegan."