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Man Avoids Animal Cruelty Charges Despite Eating a Live Baby Rat

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...picks up the rat, puts it in his mouth, chews, and then take a drink from a straw...

SALT LAKE CITY (The Blaze/AP) — If you're eating breakfast, you might want to stop for a moment -- at least until you finish reading this story. A Utah man who is no longer facing charges for eating a live baby rat says the act was grotesque, but shouldn't be considered as animal cruelty.

Prosecutors charged Andy Ray Harris with animal cruelty in April, after authorities viewed a posted Facebook video of him eating what appeared to be the baby rat. The 31-year-old Tooele man says he ate the rat on a dare. Deseret News has a recap of what the footage exposes:

The video shows a small rat, about 2 to 3 inches long, on a notepad. Harris then picks up the rat, puts it in his mouth, chews, and then take a drink from a straw out of a giant mug. He then high-fives someone off camera.

Watch the video, below (caution: language):

After the gross act was posted online, it didn't take long for a member of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to catch wind of it. The individual subsequently sent a link to the clip to the Tooele City Attorney's Office.

While Prosecutors argued the baby rat deserved protections because it wasn't wild and it was killed in a way that is not an accepted fashion, Harris disagreed.

He explained that it was not animal cruelty because the rat was going to be eaten by a snake. He also says rats don't have legal protections because they are pests.

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