The High Commission of India in Australia has filed an official complaint with the government about an “offensive advertisement” released by Meat and Livestock Australia “that hurt the religious sentiments of the Indian community.” The ad portrays scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard at dinner with religious icons — Jesus, Aphrodite, Moses, Buddha, Zeus — passing around various meat dishes. One diner is Hindu god Ganesha, who partakes in the celebration of lamb. It is unclear whether or not the religious figure consumes the product, but many Hindu communities find the promotion distasteful.
The Meat and Livestock Australia website says that the campaign positions lamb as “the meat more people can eat regardless of their religious beliefs, background, or dietary requirements.” Additionally, it says the ad’s theme is to project lamb as “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.”
The High Commission of India in Australia has asked Meat and Livestock Australia to pull the “insensitive” video ad, titled “You Never Lamb Alone,” and the Consulate General of India in Sydney has approached Meat and Livestock Australia about the matter as well.
Rajan Zed of the Nevada-based Universal Society of Hinduism explained in a press release that “linking Lord Ganesha with meat was very disrespectful and highly inappropriate” and suggested that if the organization does not remove the ad, Hindus may attempt a worldwide boycott of Australian lamb meat. Zed also requested that the company’s board chair and managing director resign for “working against the interests of the organization by upsetting consumers instead of charming them.”
Meat and Livestock Australia is located in Sydney and has about 50,000 livestock producer members. The company serves to deliver research, development, and marketing services to Australia’s cattle, sheep, and goat producers. The Daily Meal has reached out to Meat and Livestock Australia, and will update this story upon receiving a response. While it’s often not wise to poke fun at any community’s religion, we bet you didn’t know these 9 things about lamb.