Pro-vegan animal rights group PETA is stirring up controversy again. In the past, they’ve gotten in trouble for using sex and attack ads to tout ant-omnivorous lifestyles, but now they’re angering people for comparing toddlers eating bacon to toddlers smoking cigars.
The billboard advertisement, which has appeared in Leeds, U.K., depicts a small child smoking a Cuban cigar with the caption, “Go Vegan! You Wouldn't Let Your Child Smoke. Like Smoking, Eating Bacon, Sausages and Other Processed Meats Is Linked to Cancer [sic].”
The advertisement is referring to the World Health Organization’s reclassification of red meat as probable carcinogens and processed meat as level 1A carcinogens, in the same grouping as cigarettes, asbestos, and alcohol. It should be noted that although processed meats like bacon and cigarettes are technically in the same carcinogen category as cigarettes, smoking is still far more likely to cause cancer than eating bacon every once in a while, according to CDC statistics.
“The billboard will remind us all that, just as we should put down the cigarettes, we should put down the bacon butties and pick up fibre-rich, heart-healthy plant-based foods instead,” Elisa Allen, PETA associate director in the UK told The Daily Mail.