Two people connected to an animal rights group ruined $1,000 (£800) worth of lamb, pork and beef, while putting flowers on the cuts and chanting "meat is murder" during a protest at a store in Boulder, Colorado.
The local Denver Fox News affiliate, Fox 31, said police are hunting the pair who appeared on CCTV cameras smiling and laughing as they spoiled the meat. According to police, the male and female could be identified as animal rights protesters because of the slogans they shouted: "Meat is murder, this is not love. Meat is not food."
According to Boulder local news outlet The Daily Camera, the animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere has subsequently claimed responsibility for the protests. Direct Action Everywhere identified the female as 15-year-old Ateret Goldman, and released a statement from her.
"All of us have compassion for animals when we are young," she said. "But as we grow up, we are taught to see them as things. We refuse to accept that, and by laying flowers on their bodies, we are trying to help people make the connection between those products and the violence that goes into them."
A police report from the incident details how Goldman and her partner placed small white carnations on the varieties of raw meats. The store, Ideal Market, a Whole Foods outlet, has been forced to destroy the meat, which it cannot sell, because of tampering. Police confirmed the amount of tainted food was in excess of $1,000, adding that the two suspects could face criminal mischief charges.
The man involved in the incident, believed to be in his early 20s, has been described as white, tall and slim. He had long blonde hair and a scruffy beard and wore glasses, a black woollen hat, blue jeans and a black back pack.
The young woman, believed to be Goldman, was described as being of heavy build, wearing glasses, dark trousers, a light blue T-shirt, a black backpack and grey tennis shoes.