Three people sit and eat dinner The advert showed people discussing animal welfare, while eating meat - Media Credit: Vegan Friendly UK

Vegan TV Commercial Taken Off Air After ‘Distressing’ Viewers

The ad received 63 complaints when it was shown earlier this year

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2 Minutes Read

An advert for the nonprofit Vegan Friendly UK has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The watchdog regulates advertising in the UK.

According to the ASA, the advert, shown earlier this year, risks distress to viewers because of its graphic nature.

In the clip, three people are seen eating fish, beef, and pork, while they discuss animal welfare. In between bites, there is footage of a fish gasping for air and a piglet next to a pig on a factory farm. There is also a cow with tears running down their face and a skinned cow’s head.

According to Vegan Friendly UK (which certifies restaurant menus and products as vegan), the advertisement is intended to highlight potential hypocrisy between people’s values and beliefs and their eating habits.

“Our AD was simply shedding light on the harsh and brutal reality millions of farm animals endure every day,” Vegan Food UK stated on Instagram. “It was banned because it made some viewers uncomfortable.”

The ASA, however, stated that “the juxtaposition between the adults eating and the animal imagery,” could increase the “distress” of viewers.

The ad received 63 complaints when it was initially on TV, many of which complained about the graphic images. 

The reality of a farm animal’s life

Many like to think of farm animals living a happy life on green pastures before they are killed for meat. But this is often not the case. Around the world, two-thirds of farm animals (that’s about 50 billion) are raised on factory farms.

According to Mercy For Animals, these conditions are restrictive, exploitative, and cruel. Turkeys and chickens, for example, are crammed into sheds with no windows. In the dairy industry, cows are repeatedly forcibly impregnated. They are also torn away from their calves, who are often sold into the meat industry.

“The discomfort a viewer could feel from watching the advert is only a fraction of what farm animals experience every day,” continued Vegan Friendly UK. 

“We will not stop being a voice for the animals and advocating veganism to promote equality for all living things.”

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The Author

Charlotte Pointing

Charlotte writes about sustainable beauty, fashion, and food. She spent more than 4 years editing in leading vegan media, and has a degree in history and a postgraduate in cultural heritage.

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Sandy
Sandy
14 days ago

They couldn’t tolerate visual of killing of animals but live with eating dead animals killed for them by others for food.
it needs only 65 hypocrites to ban a advertisement to stop 🛑 eating animals advertisement which would help hundred of thousands to make a better ethical choice of being a vegan

shingo
shingo
13 days ago

Its amazing us vegans and compassionate people have to deal with all the ads and commercials, restaurants, gatherings that all serve a dead animal. And we have to either bring our own food or eat prior to going. All I see is dead animals everywhere and do we get to whine about it and have ads/commercials cease as we’re sick of seeing this? Nope. They only cow down to these carnivores that have dogs & cats for pets but can’t see the hypocrisy of having a pet and allowing farm animals from being tortured throughout their life just so they can enjoy a plate of fried chicken, bacon, ham or their beloved “steak” which is dead cow flesh. Bloody hypocrites can’t face the truth!

Osprey
Osprey
12 days ago

That’s bullshit that people complained and is no longer airing. 🙄🙄🙄

Anita Rosinola
Anita Rosinola
12 days ago

I agree that this kind of advertising needs to be everywhere. People who eat meat basically don’t even think about how animals suffer and die for their five minutes of palatable pleasure!!! All animals feel the exact same fear anxiety and pain as we do!! Think about what it would be like if you were standing in a line waiting and knowing you will be killed!!!

Anita Rosinola
Anita Rosinola
12 days ago

In addition to my last comment, why is it we have no problem showing violence towards humans on television but get all upset when we see how violent animals are treated???

Grahame Jenkins
Grahame Jenkins
12 days ago

OK so maybe we need to start complaining about the stress the Meat and dairy adverts cause us?

Anne Joes
Anne Joes
5 days ago

I agree.

Terre
Terre
12 days ago

Perhaps we should complain about all the ads showing ‘wagyu beef’ being sliced up, or frying bacon being slavered over, or any of the other commercials that show stuff WE are sensitive about?

Velma Perez
Velma Perez
11 days ago

Keep up the good work

Soliel
Soliel
11 days ago

People are sooooo disappointing! They are more concerned about their own discomfort than the torture of animals!!! Know what is what people!

Holger Lundstrom
Holger Lundstrom
11 days ago

While I don’t mind giving people a chance to make the connection, I did watch the ad, and found that it was made in a overtly disgusting way. It wasn’t just showing the animals, it rather did it in a jumpscare-type way that in my opinion, doesn’t actually help make the connection. There wasn’t a focus on meat either, as the people were mainly shown from weird angles and there was less focus on what they were actually eating. If I hadn’t known what it was about, I would have thought there was just somebody trying to make a distasteful ad as an attention grabber.

Hopefully there will be better ways to show the connection in the future, with less focus on disgust, and more on empathy. The mainstream media is playing on our negative emotions too much, and people are waking up to it and won’t react as well to that in the future.

Anne Jones
Anne Jones
8 days ago

They show well know chefs viewing lambs gambolling then next they are taking a leg of lamb out of the oven! How can any sensitive soul eat veal knowing how a cow moos for her calf after giving birth for a whole week! Why are we so cruel, so thoughtless, so selfish as to think birth of an animal is painless.is it our religion that aloud Abraham to slaughter a lamb on the alter that makes it OK. All kids naturally love animals, most of our toys are animals. Why is OK to abuse then slaughter animals ? Still people make fun of me being Vegan & say stupid things about vegetables. Somehow it’s easier to tolerate an ancient tradition on killing old animals mainly yourself. This intensive farming, out of sight should be stopped humans don’t need to survive on it.

Rhonda
Rhonda
5 days ago

I hate going to the grocery store anymore, the body parts are very traumatizing. Commercials about happy cows, fast food joints showing people biting into animals corpses need to go as well. As vegans, we need to start complaining to those companies and how they try to force their views on us.

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