Indian and Hindu communities are in outrage after seeing a new ad depicting their deity Lord Ganesha at a barbecue. FYI, Lord Ganesha is vegan.
The controversial commercial from Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) portrays different religious figures – including Jesus, Zeus, Buddha, and even Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard – coming together for a barbecue.
The concept was supposedly heartwarming. All the world’s gods, spiritual leaders, and deities, setting aside their differences for a meal. Unfortunately, MLA’s key message of “Lamb, the meat we can all eat,” didn’t sit well with Lord Ganesha’s followers.
“Lord Ganesha was highly revered in Hinduism and he was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in selling lamb meat for mercantile greed,” an irate commenter said.
Another added: “MLA should be mature enough to understand that “love united us and brought us together and not lamb meat”
The Advertising Standards Board has since received 30 complaints, asking for the advert to be taken down.
MLA marketing manager Andrew Howie, however, defended that it was never the campaign’s intention to offend.
“Lamb is the meat that brings people together. Our ‘You Never Lamb Alone’ campaigns have promoted the value of unity and inclusivity. This latest campaign instalment is no different
“The campaign features gods, prophets and deities from across a wide range of religions alongside atheism, in a clearly fantastic nature, with the intent of being as inclusive as possible. To achieve this we undertook extensive research and consultation.
“Our intent is never to offend, but rather acknowledge that lamb is a meat consumed by a wide variety of cultures and capture how the world could look if people left their differing views at the door and came to the table with open arms, and minds.”
This isn’t the first time Australia’s lamb ads have been criticised. In 2016, a commercial about bringing Aussies home from overseas received more than 50 complaints after it poked fun at vegans.