- Influencer Mikaela Testa apologized for filming a dish of cooked dog meat at an Indonesian market.
- Testa said she “should not have posted the video,” as selling dog meat is highly controversial.
- Indonesian activism groups are currently campaigning for a nationwide ban on the sale of dog meat.
Australian influencer Mikaela Testa has apologized to viewers after filming her visit to an “underground” market in Indonesia, where she said vendors were selling dog meat.
“I should never have posted the video,” Testa said on October 23, in reference to a now-deleted TikTok that was criticized for appearing to show the sale of dog meat, a highly controversial practice.
The video is no longer available to view on Testa’s TikTok account, but screen recordings of it have been uploaded onto the platform by other users. In the clip, Testa sits in a car, saying, “Our taxi driver is taking us to a top-secret market. They basically sell every single animal you can think of. They have monkey, crocodile, rabbit, frog, and we’re going to try everything.”
The influencer then filmed a series of dishes, adding on-screen captions that explained what they contained. One label said “crocodile,” and another, “dog.”
Commenters under the re-uploaded posts of the video criticized the influencer for visiting the market, in part because the act of selling dog meat is highly controversial, and the practice has been banned in five different regions in Indonesia.
“How out of touch can one be,” and “Detached… so detached from reality,” wrote some commenters.
Others said, “Why even upload the video, especially after she found out about the dog meat,” and “It’s literally underground and illegal.”
According to the Sirius Global Animal Charitable Trust, the consumption of dog meat puts humans at risk of contracting E. Coli, salmonella, and several other bacterial diseases. However, dog meat markets still thrive in a number of countries, including Indonesia, the Philippines, and South Korea, according to The Animal Welfare Institute. Local activism groups, such as Dog Meat Free Indonesia, are petitioning governments to enforce nationwide bans against the practice.
In her apology video, posted on October 23, Testa said she was unaware that the market sold dog meat until after leaving the venue.
“I filmed a bunch of clips not knowing what any of the food was because you can’t tell what meat something is. It’s all cooked, and it’s all on plates,” she said, adding, “I got into the taxi, and the taxi driver told me that there was a dog at this market, and we were in shock.”
The influencer said she then asked the taxi driver to point out which of the dishes in her video had dog meat in it and that she then decided to add an on-screen caption to her post pointing out where the dog meat was.
“Yes, I wrote that, and from that point, I should never have posted the video,” she said, adding, “I apologize so deeply for that.”
Testa is a vlogging and lifestyle influencer who typically posts updates about her daily life and travels. She previously came under fire in September when she posted a video of herself driving a Tesla through Skid Row in Los Angeles, a neighborhood that faced explosively high levels of homelessness in the aftermath of the pandemic.
Comments on the video are now turned off, but the New York Post reported that many people criticized the influencer as tone deaf. In the clip, Testa says witnessing homelessness made her cry, but then proceeds to hold up a handful of dollar bills to the camera.
Mikaela Testa did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
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