A Calgary student slaughtered a chicken in the cafeteria of Alberta College of Art and Design on Thursday.

The act was a performance piece for a school project, but some students say it went too far.

"He just decided to slowly slit its throat while it's wiggling, wriggling and screaming and then drained it out, popped its head off, strung it up, washed it, plucked it," said Breydon Stangland, a student who saw the noon-hour act.

After that, the student dropped the dead chicken into a pot, as if he was preparing to eat it.

Some of the the students in the cafeteria were shocked by the performance and Calgary police were called.

"I did not feel like this was art at all," said fourth-year student Charlotte Emmott.

"I didn't understand his statement. Like, just killing a chicken, you can take away a life — I just didn't understand that at all."

Student Casey Switzer also questioned the performance.

"I don't think it is very good to just do that and subject people to seeing that without you know, giving them any warning. Plus, in a cafeteria where we're eating food — that's not OK."

'It was quite beautiful,' says student

Joanne Townsend takes classes with the student who killed the chicken. She said the performance piece was part of a sculpture project called Fact or Fiction.

"There is parts that we were all discussing — it was quite beautiful, and not in the gross, gruesome way, but in the way that you know you respect what's happening and this is life and things go on.

"I understand that people are allowed to have their own opinions on how they feel about things, but ACAD's a great community and it's a great place."

ACAD administrators said they don’t encourage this type of performance and said the college will take a few days to decide what to do.

The school posted on Facebook that counselling support is available for those who may require it.

"The mental and physical health of our students is always the most important to us. If any students who are experiencing grief and or shock would like to speak to someone, you are welcome to contact our counsellor," the post read.

Police said no charges will be laid.