Backlash over Aussie lamb advert

The Advertising Standards Bureau will hold a formal hearing due to hundreds of complaints made about Meat and Livestock Australia’s new advertisement that promotes eating lamb on Australia Day.

The advertisement, which stars SBS newsreader Lee Lin Chin, has raised the ire of non-meat eaters Australia-wide, for its alleged depiction of violence towards a vegan man, as well as others who believe the military nature of scenes could be seen as offensive to indigenous Australians, who consider Australia Day ‘Invasion Day’.

Now, I’ve watched the advert and quite honestly, as far as the vegan element goes, I don’t think it’s so violent that it’s a cause for complaint. What I do think though, is that it is an incredible waste of time and money. It also showcases (for want of a better word) some pretty average acting and basically promotes the slaughter and consumption of baby sheep in order to celebrate Australia Day.

Sure, it pokes fun at vegans but the advert itself also represents meat eaters as a bunch of (dare I say it?) meathead, baby sheep eating, troglodytes so, really, vegans come out looking pretty good. By and large it’s a bit of fun that vegans may just be taking a little too seriously.

Oh, yes, did I mention that a lamb is a baby sheep? Even I know meat eaters who find eating a baby sheep a bit off-putting.

I live with a vegetarian girl who was vegan when I met her over 14 years ago. I subsequently corrupted her for a short while, turning her back to the dark side of bovine consumption and pork-fuelled feeding frenzies. But she went back to the light and, somehow, dragged me kicking and screaming along with her.

At home I am a vegetarian, but I do not claim to be a child of the light. I eat meat whenever I have no other options (or even when I do – I just tell myself that to make myself feel better about feasting on the flesh of the dead). So I feel I can see both sides of the coin on this one.

What really grinds my gears though, is the fact that vegans get such a bad rap for doing what they feel is right by animals. They just don’t want them to suffer. That’s an honourable philosophy, is it not? And honestly, in all the time I’ve been with my girl, more meat eaters give her a hard time about being vegetarian than she does about them eating meat.

Many vegans and vegos have actually spent a huge amount of time researching and reading about these issues in order to be educated about their decision not to eat meat. Yes, there are some vegans who are a little over-the-top when it comes to promoting their own cause (even vegans refer to them as ‘the vegan police’), and yes, they may be doing their cause more harm than good.

But I often wonder if the carnivores are only attacking the herbivores because, deep down, they might just feel a little bit bad about their own dietary disposition.

Whatever food we put in our mouths, the world would simply be a better place without inane advertisements such as this one. And just think of the mouths that could have been fed on Australia Day (with meat or otherwise) using the money that was wasted on this tripe. Now that’s cause for complaint…

I must say too, that I’m a bit baffled as to why Lee Lin Chin is fronting this commercial. I think she’s great (and still do), but I hope she was well-remunerated for her involvement, as her reputation could quite possibly take a bit of a tumble after this campaign. Or maybe it won’t. Who knows?

Anyway, what do you think of this advertisement? Do you think vegans are going a bit overboard? Or are their complaints justified? Do you believe in the suffering of animals for food? Do you think the MLA could better spend their budget?

Read more at www.abc.net.au

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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