“The recent EPA statistics show that animal agriculture is the highest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland – 37.5%.”
Ads on Dublin buses promoting a vegan lifestyle and thrashing the dairy industry have sparked a huge backlash with politicians labelling them “highly misleading and toxic”.
The posters were displayed on 120 buses and billboards nationwide, and are part of Go Vegan World’s 2023 campaign for Ireland, which concluded on 12 January, 2023.
Go Vegan World, a vegan company purchased ad space on Dublin buses to drive the anti-animal agriculture point home. The messages on the ads included: “It’s time to stop using animal products” and “dairy takes babies from their mothers.”
‘Thrashing of Irish agriculture’
Michael Collins, a politician, accused Dublin Bus of undermining Irish farming by accepting low-value advertising revenue from Go Vegan World, which he alleges is spreading false information.
He said: “Dublin Bus is enabling the thrashing of Irish agriculture for paltry advertising revenue.” He added that Go Vegan World was spreading false information.
“It’s completely extreme advertising to say the least,” Mr Collins told Newstalk
“I have no issue with a person being vegan — that’s their entitlement. But putting up and paying for adverts such as ‘Dairy takes babies from their mothers,’ ‘She has one precious life, will your dinner take it from her?’ That’s extreme advertising to say the very least.”
Although the campaign is over, Deputy Collins added that he will be calling on Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue to intervene on the matter, “which is under his department’s remit”.
“We cannot have the good work that Bord Bia and the various agri-sectors do in terms of promotion undermined by a series of nonsensical posters on Dublin Bus that demonise an entire way of life for a few paltry euros in advertising fees,” he concluded.
Joining Collins to condemn the pro-vegan adverts is politician Carol Nolan. She is said to have asked the Minister to “stand up for Irish farmers and the agriculture sector.”
‘Public have a right to factual information’
Sandra Higgins from Go Vegan World refuted the politicians’ claims that the company was in the wrong, noting that Dublin Bus is not allowed to accept advertisements with inaccurate information.
The information regarding GHG emissions used in the advert was sourced from the Environmental Protection Agency. The advert was presented with only the factual data.
“We believe that the public have a right to factual information,” Higgins said.
“So that’s the rationale behind our ads. The recent EPA statistics show that animal agriculture is the highest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland – 37.5%.”
In a statement to Agriland on the matter, transport company Dublin Bus said: “These advertising formats are available to all brands, businesses and organisations.
“Commercial advertising and marketing communications in Ireland are subject to the rules and guidelines as set out in the Code of Standards for Advertising and Marketing Communications in Ireland, as published and administered by the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland.”
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