For the past few months, I have been snapping pictures or screenshots of the most noteworthy animal product propaganda I came across. Now that my eyes have been opened to the cruelty of the meat, dairy, and egg industries, I know that the way animal products are advertised is completely misleading. It is saddening to see the tortured flesh of a once living, feeling being being advertised with a smiling caricature of who they used to be. Look around you, and you will see that this false advertising is everywhere. Here are the pictures I have collected:
1. This appeared as a Spotify ad. I was absolutely abhorred by it, and had to save it:
This ad for beef jerky glorifies the horrific cruelty of bull fighting, in which terrified bulls are subjected to a violent and bloody death for entertainment. Using a cruel tradition to advertise for yet another cruel tradition is downright sad. There is nothing appetizing about bull fighting.
2. I came across this book at a Barnes and Nobles. Society’s obsession with bacon is what keeps animal rights activists up at night! “I Love Bacon” = “I Love Cruelty”!
The majority of meat is obtained from factory farms where mother pigs are confined to gestation crates, unable to care for her piglets as she would like to. In the wild, a mother pig would build a nest and sing to her piglets. But in a factory farm, she cannot even turn around to see them. She is driven insane by the lack of mental stimulation, leading her to chew at the bars or self mutilate. Pigs are the fifth most intelligent animals in the world, even surpassing dogs. If you would not fry up strips of golden retriever flesh for breakfast, then don’t eat bacon!
3. This rather ignorant piece of artwork is on display at the restaurant Pita Pit. I hate how this ad makes light of the pain and suffering animals endure in the meat industry. A smiling steak? A happy chicken? (Don’t get me started on that goofy bacon strip and turkey!)
This is a perfect demonstration of the lengths people will go to disconnect the food on their plates from the animals it came from. We hack the animals to bits, package these pieces of flesh neatly, and stamp bucolic images on the packages, all in an attempt to hide from the reality of our food choices. Steak used to be someone! Someone who felt joy, pain, and suffering just like us. And he did not want to die to become someone’s dinner!
4. This photo is a bit unclear, as I snapped it at night from across the street. The red banner hanging over the window of a seafood restaurant reads “Lobster Fest.” There are few things more cruel than boiling a feeling being alive. Research has confirmed that lobsters, along with other crustaceans such as crabs, do feel pain. In other words, lobsters want to be boiled alive just as much as you do! When it comes to pain and suffering, all animals are equals, no matter how different they may look from humans.
5. Here is another sign from Pita Pit. This one perpetuates the common connotations associated with meat: strength, dominance, and power.
However, a human plopping a pack of meat into their shopping cart at the grocery store certainly does not prove their strength. It takes just as much energy to grab a pack of meat as it does a head of broccoli! I hate to break it to you, but simply ordering a meat burger over a veggie burger does not suddenly make you fierce as a tyrannosaurus rex!
6. At the cafeteria, I noticed that a station was serving chicken “drumsticks.” The euphemisms we create to isolate the food on our plates from the animals they came from can be almost humorous sometimes. Could anyone ever call a severed and charred pair of human legs “drumsticks?” Of course not! These are chickens’ chopped off, footless legs in a package. Call them what you like, but that does not change what they are.
7. This is the sign in front of a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream shop.
Dairy is certainly not a product of peace and love. Milk is obtained by repeatedly forcibly impregnating cows and stealing their babies away shortly after birth. The mother is then hooked to a machine and sucked dry every day until her udders are raw. She lives in a dirty and uncomfortable factory setting, distant from the grassy meadow pictured. When her milk production declines, she is sent to slaughter. The harsh reality of dairy is quite a contrast from the image Ben and Jerry’s wants you to believe.
8. I spotted this large blow up pig on a busy street corner. The banner on the pig’s stomach reads “$4.95 Pulled Pork Sandwiches. Pork out with us.”
It is beyond saddening to see the products of these animals’ forced suffering and cruel death being advertised with a happy pig, as if the pigs wanted to end this way. As if we did not forcefully steal their lives away from them as they begged and cried for mercy. We hide their pain and suffering behind lies of “happy meat,” like this obnoxious blow up. Nobody wants the sum of their life, their entire self, to become some $4.95 sandwiches.
9. On this sign in front of a restaurant, a double cheese burger is surrounded by a halo of sunlight, as if it descended from heaven. Far from it! The burgers are made from the ground up flesh of hundreds of different cows, who all met their ends in a cruel, terrifying slaughterhouse. That cheese came from a grieving mother, crying for her baby, who also wallows in despair chained up in a crate far away. This burger is certainly not a heavenly object at all. It is entirely hellish and cruel.
And “Lamb Wraps Avenue,” as if that is a fun place to take your family to spend the afternoon? Certainly not! The line of death those lambs waited in at the slaughterhouse, the air thick with cries of terror and fear, the stench of blood filling their nostrils, is a place of the worst nightmares.
10. I came across this dry erase board message written on someone’s dorm room door while walking to the laundry room. It reads “Fav sandwich: BLT, Meatball sub, Philly Cheese Steak, Baconator, Anything with Meat and/or Cheese.”
Everyone tosses around their pleasure and enjoyment of eating meat like it is nothing. But what if they woke up and found themselves in the place of the animals who they regard only as filling in their sandwiches? What if it was them bound and hoisted in the air with a chain by the foot, a knife slashing their throat wide open, their blood spilling into a bucket, their body lowered into searing, boiling water? If they returned from this nightmare, they would cry and beg for the world to stop eating meat.
It is easy to take advantage of your place of privilege as a human by gaining pleasure from the suffering of weaker, oppressed animals. But in truth, it is our responsibility to use our intelligence, reasoning, and empathetic capabilities to protect the most vulnerable members of society from harm, not exploit them.
As you can see, animal product propaganda can be completely outrageous sometimes. This false advertising can convince even the most intelligent and rational people that eating the corpses of other living beings is morally acceptable. That it’s normal to drink the milk intended for someone else’s baby, or to eat the unfertilized eggs of birds. That the cruelty, pain, and suffering animals experience in slaughterhouses does not exist. Or that slitting someone’s throat open is perfectly fine as long as they were “grass fed” and “free range.” Stop believing these spoon fed lies and listen to your heart for once! No pig, chicken, or cow ever died happy and smiling, glad to be giving up their life to become someone’s dinner.
And don’t let any advertisement ever tell you otherwise.