An Australian pizza restaurant sparked internet outrage after it suspended a taxidermy cow from its ceiling in efforts to raise issues concerning ethics and dairy production. Etica Restaurant, located in Adelaide, has been inundated with concerns from Facebook users regarding the eight-year-old dead cow hoisted from its hind legs in the eatery's dining area.

Restaurant owners Federico and Melissa Pisanelli said with the installation, they hoped to confront patron’s "programmed perceptions" of cows and "educate consumers on the origins of our food," The Telegraph reported Wednesday.

The cow is hanging in the atrium above the dining room and was commissioned by Melbourne Museum taxidermist Dean Smith.

"This is not a marketing campaign to attract clientele, we did this as an expression in line with our own principles," Federico Pisanelli told local Australian paper The Advertiser.

"It is designed to make consumers stop and think about the realities of the dairy industry," the owners told the Telegraph.

Meanwhile, critics swarmed the restaurant's official Facebook page and called it "unspeakable, atrocious and shocking to see." 

"You are just full of s—t, sensationalist f...wits. Don’t believe that there is no such thing as bad publicity," one user wrote.

Jacqueline Woish, of Sarasota, Florida, took it a step further and started an online petition that requested the owners to remove the cow. The site had garnered over 5300 signatures by Wednesday.

"This is unspeakable, atrocious, and shocking to see," the site read. "It is 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."

The couple posted a statement on Facebook that addressed the online backlash they received. Schvitzy, the cow, was slaughtered by owners of the Mt Barker farm and her meat was "entirely consumed" before they stuffed her, the couple said.

"The pose of Schvitzy, as she was affectionately known, is purposely confronting," the post read. "The installation has a mission: it aims to draw a connection to the true consequence of consuming dairy. 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 last 48 hours on social media doesn’t represent the overall feedback we’ve received," Federico Pisanelli said. "It’s been overwhelmingly productive and we have fully engaged with customers about what the cow represents."

The restaurant went about business as usual despite the backlash it received. The Pisanellis took to Instagram and thanked supportive patrons with a message and a picture of the restaurant interior.

"Thank you to everyone who’s come in to our sister venue over the last month," the caption read. "We are extremely grateful for everyone’s support. We are open Tuesday to Saturday: serving D’Angelo Coffee and Abbots& Kinney pastry in the morning. Pizza and wine from midday til midnight."