PETA Having Cow Over Mischa Barton Meat Photoshoot

Lady Gaga, is that you?

The O.C. ended a long time ago, but former teen star Mischa Barton has returned to the spotlight for a, er, very meaty new role, posing with a raw steak for a series of bizarre photographs. Barton, 25, manages to make raw flesh look kinda fashionable (kinda) in a photoshoot with Tyler Shields – the lensman behind the recent controversial shots of Glee’s Heather Morris sporting a black eye and Lindsay Lohan threatening to off herself with a butcher’s knife.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the animal rights activists affiliated with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are so livid over the weird images that you could fry an egg on their heads.

An organic egg, of course.

On Thursday, the group issued a tense statement lambasting Mischa and Tyler over the images.

“This raw meat stuff is getting old and may not only hurt and kill cows, it may hurt Mischa, because so much meat is infected with salmonella, E. coli, and campylobacter that licking it is like licking a toilet. In addition to this being completely unoriginal, it’s completely callous—flesh from a tortured animal isn’t a joke, isn’t camp, and isn’t cool. Meat is full of blood, is produced with violence, and causes great suffering. So if that’s the look they were going for, too bad. They could have taken a leaf out of the playbooks of Pamela Anderson and Alyssa Milano, two PETA pinups who have shown off their natural beauty in outfits made of lettuce leaves for PETA’s ‘Let Vegetarianism Grow on You’ campaign.”

Mischa hasn’t responded, but Tyler has. The photographer (obviously a “Mean Man”) just doesn’t get what all the fuss is about. After all, he didn’t kill the cow!

“I did not kill the cow, I just bought the meat. If they feel like I should be using lettuce instead of meat, I will see if I can work that into something. I don’t attack them for being non-meat eaters so I hope they can respect my choice as a human to eat it.”

Shields says he was persuaded to work with Mischa after members of her Brazilian fan club (Wait, Mischa Barton has fans?!) kept pestering him about teaming up with the star.

“I randomly met her friend and we talked about it a few days later this happened. She was amazing to work with and I can’t wait to do it again.”