Meat & Livestock Australia’s latest ad campaign, in an attempt to show ‘inclusiveness’ showed Lord Ganesha eating and consuming meat, despite the fact that Lord Ganesha is considered vegetarian by majority of his followers. The release of ad which shows gods and religious leaders and other prominent personalities sitting together, eating lamb and consuming alcohol, coincided with the Hindu festival Ganesh Chaturthi.
The Hindu community at Melbourne has demanded the withdrawal of the controversial ad. According to a media report, the advertisement released yesterday by the Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) has already been referred to Australian Standards Bureau. Other divinities shown in the commercial included Jesus, Buddha, Thor and Zeus, sitting around a dining table tucking into lamb at a barbecue.
Following the controversy, Andrew Howie, the Group Marketing Manager of MLA, in his statement said that the marketing drive was aimed at reaching more consumers by making lamb more relevant to a diverse, modern Australia. He said that under the “You Never Lamb Alone” banner, campaign was aimed to bring people of all backgrounds and beliefs together to unite and bond over lamb.
The ad, however, does not feature Mohammad, since depiction of the prophet is considered highly offensive to some Muslims.