Animal rights activist group Peta has come under fire for posting a picture of a mutilated cat on its Twitter page as a "sick, twisted joke".
The organisation posted a graphic image of a cat with its head bisected and the caption '"not cake".
In recent days, social media has been flooded with videos of people cutting into what look like household objects, but are actually ingeniously-decorated cakes.
This in turn spawned a spate of jokes and memes, which were generally light-hearted until Peta got involved.
Peta is a controversial group even among vegans, vegetarians and animal rights campaigners.
it is known for performing shocking stunts and sharing deliberately provocative images and videos to grab peoples's attention.
For its famous advertising series 'I'd rather go naked than wear fur', celebrities including Pamela Anderson, Gillian Anderson and P!nk posed nude to oppose the use of animal fur in clothing.
Peta has also repeatedly come under fire for euthanising the majority of the animals that are brought to their shelters.
The group says this is because they take in animals that other shelters won't, and it would be unrealistic to enforce a no-kill policy for seriously sick animals.
Up to 80 per cent of the animals in Peta's shelter are euthanised.
Anger with Peta has surged up again in response to their "disgusting" Twitter joke.
We will not be sharing the image in the tweets below.
In response to criticism, Peta tweeted:
Remember, as disturbing as it is to see this abuse, we only have to look at the pictures — the animals have to live it. They will have truly died in vain if they die without anyone documenting their suffering and shouting the injustice of it to the world.
Peta claim that the purpose of posting the image was to educate people about the dissection of animals.
Beneath their original tweet, they wrote:
Animals on dissection trays were likely abducted from their natural habitat or bred in captivity and killed. Virtual dissections & other non-animal tech have been proven superior. The only thing dissection teaches is disrespect to animals.
But the "twisted" joke did not spark a conversation about animal dissection online — but rather anger with Peta.
We recommend you stay away from their Twitter page today and any hashtag associated with the controversy, to avoid stumbling across the image online.