Religious leaders, High Commission of India, want video ad of Gods ‘toasting lamb’ removed

By Our Reporter
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Rajan Zed with Stephen Karcher, ElizaBeth Beyer, Matthew Fisher

Christian-Hindu-Buddhist-Jewish community heads call Meat and Livestock Australia ad “disrespectful” to Gods and prophets of different faiths

Taking note of the protests of Indian community in Australia, the High Commission of India, Canberra, have made a demarche to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Department of Communication and Arts and Department of Agriculture bringing to their notice an offensive advertisement by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) that hurt the religious sentiments of the Indian community.

In a video advertisement released by MLA recently, Lord Ganesha along with other religious figures is found to be ‘toasting lamb’, which the Indian community consider to be offensive and hurting their religious sentiments.

The Consulate General of India in Sydney has taken up the matter directly with MLA and urged them to withdraw the advertisement.

A number of community associations have also registered their protest with the Government of Australia and MLA.

In a remarkable interfaith gesture, Christian-Hindu-Buddhist-Jewish leaders have urged MLA to withdraw its “You Never Lamb Alone” video ad launched on 4 September, which they say trivialises various religious figures.

Peulich: VMC must engage on Lord Ganesha ad
Screen grab from Meat and Livestock Australia’s TV ad

This “new integrated campaign continues with the theme that lamb is the dish that brings everyone together, with the creative content for online, social and TV showing the Gods, Goddesses and Prophets of different faiths and beliefs coming together over lamb at a modern day spring barbecue”, an MLA release about the video ad states.

Contradicting the MLA claim that lamb brings everyone together, Karcher-Zed-Fisher-Beyer stated: Love, and not lamb meat, united us and brought us together. Moreover, icons of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled

Senior Greek Orthodox Christian Priest Stephen R Karcher, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, Buddhist Priest Matthew T Fisher and well-known Jewish Rabbi in Nevada-California ElizaBeth Webb Beyer; in a joint statement in Nevada (USA); said that unnecessarily dragging religious figures, who were revered by the adherents of their respective faiths, to sell Australian lamb meat was very disrespectful, highly inappropriate and could be disturbing for some faithful.

Contradicting the MLA claim that lamb brings everyone together, Karcher-Zed-Fisher-Beyer stated: Love, and not lamb meat, united us and brought us together. Moreover, icons of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, taken frivolously and inappropriately used.

Karcher-Zed-Fisher-Beyer also urged Australia Advertising Standards Bureau to act urgently on the various complaints reportedly received by it regarding the ad.

Meanwhile Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stated that “You Never Lamb Alone” video ad seemed to make fun of Lord Ganesha, who was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in selling lamb meat for mercantile greed.

MLA, with about 50,000 livestock producer members and headquartered in North Sydney, “delivers research, development and marketing services to Australia’s cattle, sheep and goat producers”.

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