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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Lady Gaga said the controversial "meat" dress she wore at the MTV Video Music Awards was intended to make a statement.
Winning eight prizes at Sunday's ceremony, the glam pop performance artist chose to accept one of her statuettes wearing nothing but a raw, red meat dress with a matching purse, that became one of the most talked about moments of the televised show.
"If we don't stand up for what we believe in and if we don't fight for our rights, pretty soon we're going to have as much rights as the meat on our bones," Lady Gaga, 24, told talk show host Ellen DeGeneres on her TV program broadcast on Monday.
"And, I am not a piece of meat," she added.
Sunday's outfit comes on the heels of a meat bikini Gaga donned for the cover of Vogue Hommes Japan's September issue. It was one of several different costumes the singer wore on Sunday, including one that looked like a large black trash bag.
Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said that "wearing a dress made from cuts of dead cows is offensive enough to bring comment."
Lady Gaga told DeGeneres she meant no disrespect to anyone that is vegan or vegetarian, and called herself "the most judgment free human being on the earth."
Singer Cher, whom Gaga asked to hold her meat purse while accepting her award on stage, defended the 24-year old songbird.
In a series of several tweets regarding the meat dress, Cher wrote on Monday that as an "art piece it was astonishing!" and that the meat purse was "genius."
Continuing on Twitter, Cher added: "modern art elicits discussion, introspection & conflict! Everyone's talking about it! BINGO!"
Lady Gaga's eccentric outfits, string of hit records like "Bad Romance" and "Paparazzi" and startling live stunts including setting her piano on fire, have made her a worldwide pop culture phenomenon over the past two years with more than 10 million album sales.
Editing by Jill Serjeant