Close call, everyone: a German artist has been denied the ability to perform his piece Death as Metamorphosis, in which he was going to strangle two puppies to death on stage. Despite the horrific, seemingly anti-puppy content, the artist claims he had the noblest of intentions.

According to a report in the Berliner Morgenpost newspaper, the provocative piece was meant to highlight the plight of sled dogs in Alaska and hunting dogs in Spain, which are said to be killed in the same way once they can no longer work.

While the artist insisted the Germany's constitution guarantees artistic freedom, the Berlin administrative court countered with animal protection laws that prohibit killing an animal onstage. In this case, I'll go ahead and side against artistic freedom.

Another controversial German art piece on the horizon: Berlin's University of the Arts students Iman Rezai and Rouven Materne would like to guillotine a sheep on camera — provided they get enough online votes.

Yeah, they're determining this sheep's fate based on an online poll. (If it's any consolation, so far "no" is winning, 190,000 to 120,000.) Are we the sheep for voting online, or is the sheep the sheep for being a sheep? Also, is this sheep anywhere near as cute as a puppy? No matter — this is art.

[Image by Dianna McDougall/Source Photo via Getty]