PETA has struck a raw nerve with its latest advertising campaign 'Feeding kids meat is child abuse' with the Advertising Standards Authority already racking up 59 complaints against the controversial ad since its launch earlier this month.
ASA confirmed that the majority of the complaints had come from members of the public rather than those actually involved in the meat trade, and while all submissions must be kept confidential, a spokesperson for the body was able to reveal that in general complainants deemed the campaign to be, "untrue, misleading and an insult to those who had suffered abuse".
Douglas Brydges president of the International Meat Trade Association, told MTJ he was "outraged" by the advert that urged parents to 'Go Veg' claiming feeding meat to children was child abuse because meat-eating is linked with life threatening diseases. In his letter to the ASA Brydges pointed out the claim was not only 'untrue' but 'not science based' and argued that a purely vegetarian diet could 'lead to widespread problems'.
Confronted with the reaction to the campaign PETA made no apology insisting: "Studies consistently show that the damage caused by a meat-based diet starts in childhood. Cholesterol laden meat and fatty dairy products are linked to heart disease, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's and asthma. "