Vegans have branded a story about firefighters eating piglets they had previously saved from a burning building as 'stupid'.
The 18 piglets - and two sows - were saved by emergency services after a barn fire in Wiltshire, which saw 60 tonnes of hay catch fire.
In order to 'thank' the firefighters, the farm manager gave the team sausages.
The crew took to Facebook, and in a now-deleted post, wrote: "Exactly six months and one day since FFF's Olsen and Richardson rescued 18 piglets from a farm in Milton we got to sample the fruits of our labour from that February night.
"Huge thank you to Rachel Rivers who gave them to us to sample.
"Highly recommended by Pewsey Fire Stations crew and if anyone is having a bank holiday weekend BBQ then check out these sausages, they are fantastic."
Animal rights advocates have branded the move bizarre and stupid.
Facebook user Kathy Barley wrote: "They weren't piglets to her, they were just money or commodities. They weren't babies, they were her income.
"They meant nothing to her and they were destined to be slaughtered whatever. Disconnected."
Forza Dane added: "Peak human stupidity. Let's save all these piglets from a burning barn, and then kill them anyway..."
Animal rights charity PETA also waded into the row, and said the piglets were 'no better off', despite being saved from the blaze.
PETA's Director of International Programmes Mimi Bekhechi added: "We'll be sending Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service packs of vegan sausages so that they can see how easy it is to truly be heroes for pigs - by sparing them all suffering."
Rivers tried to defend the gift, claiming that farming is her 'way of life'.
She added: "I gave those animals the best quality of life I could ever give until the time they go to slaughter and they go into the food chain.
"You do feel sad at the end of it... but to bring them down for [the firefighters] was a good way of saying 'thank you'."
Maria is a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer. Her writing has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle. You can follow her on Twitter @MariaChiorando and Instagram @mariachiorando.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are prepared in the author's capacity and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Plant Based News itself.
Since you're here...
Plant Based News is a FREE service that receives millions of views each week on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, our weekly newsletter and this website. This takes a lot of our personal time, money and hard work. But we do it because we KNOW it makes a difference. If those following our reporting helped by contributing, we could do even more. Please consider supporting us so we can create further awareness about animal rights, environmentalism, ethical consumerism and the plant-based lifestyle. Not a false narrative - but information that empowers people to make better choices.