Promoting vegetarianism: are these tactics appropriate?

vegetarian-1why_love_one_poster_cow_400
If you live in the Toronto area and take public transit, you’ve likely noticed the Be Veg campaign geared towards promoting vegetarianism, specifically a vegan diet.  As a dietitian, I have counselled thousands of clients on how to eat a balanced vegetarian diet. But I have to say that I am appalled by this campaign.

Why?

Just look at the poster.  Yes, there is indeed truth portrayed and awareness of the issues is definitely being increased. But considering the number of calls I have received from parents of extremely upset children and teens who take public transit and have since decided to become vegetarian, I feel that a vulnerable population is at risk here.

Discussions about the pros and cons of a vegetarian diet can be suitable for these age groups in the proper setting. But to me,  posters such as these  on public transit are anything but.

Take a look at a few of the posters and tell me what you think.

Are they appropriate for public transit?

Vegetarian-why_love_one_poster_chicken_400

Do you think I am off base by being upset at kids seeing these posters in this kind of setting? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Categories: Rosie's Rants

Author:Rosie Schwartz

Rosie Schwartz is a Toronto-based consulting dietitian and writer.

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2 Comments on “Promoting vegetarianism: are these tactics appropriate?”

  1. February 17, 2015 at 6:17 am #

    Hi Rosie, I am quite torn with this one. I think people need to realise the process that gets the animal from the field to their plate. They also need to understand the cruelty involved. However, exposing you children and vulnerable people to it… I don’t know. I’m more inclined to say that it’s ok. I became vegetarian at the age of 9. I think this kind of thing either speaks to someone conscious or it doesn’t. I would imagine people who would be outraged by this are meat eaters who would rather remain ignorant. Just my view, AMP.

    • February 17, 2015 at 8:22 am #

      Thanks for your comments, AMP. I agree that greater awareness about the process is needed but I think that more than just meat eaters would be outraged by this. I know that parents of children who may be exposed to this, even traumatized by this, if they are seeing it alone. If kids, especially in a meat eating family, don’t realize where the meat is coming from, I think that they can learn in a more positive way and make their decisions. My younger daughter became a vegetarian at age 3 for quite a number of years when she discovered that chickens were indeed birds. We did not eat much meat but did eat some. I respected her choices and counsel parents in meat eating families with vegetarian children to do the same. But I don’t think that ads like this are the way to introduce the concept to kids. Some have been traumatized to think they are eating something similar to their pets.

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