How can this be the case? Part of the campaign included online advertising which stated that “beef, pork, lamb and milk contain vitamin B12, an essential nutrient not naturally present in the vegan diet” – a clear mistruth.
Back in February, we launched our campaign for the public to send in complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). According to the Independent, there were almost 500 complaints which accused the adverts of being misleading and implying false information. Every complaint has been dismissed.
This was part of our ‘Farming for a Future’ campaign, which highlights the unnecessary and absurd bailouts which are propping up animal agriculture in the UK, alongside urging to government to end these destructive bailouts and provide plant-based initiatives to help farmers move to more sustainable and compassionate plant-based farming. We even showed examples of farmers who have already changed to plant-based production as well as examples of initiatives which can help aid this process.
The advertisements stated that animal agriculture is a “story of a food so natural, it takes the rain from the sky and plants we humans cannot eat, and turns it into something wonderful” – no mention of the abhorrent conditions which animals are kept in and the horrific plight which they face inside slaughterhouses.
The ASA stated it is “factually accurate to state that vitamin B12 was not naturally present in a vegan diet”, which as we know, is far from the truth. There are plant-based, natural sources of vitamin B12 so how have they allowed all complaints to be dismissed? An interesting point to note, is that the ASA referred to the NHS website which apparently stated that B12 is only naturally sourced from animal products, again, misleading the public. Fortified foods are an important way to gain accessible and affordable plant-based B12, but natural B12 does not only occur in animals. In fact, animals are often artificially supplemented with B12 through their feed – “natural”?
We are very disappointed, though the fight continues against this barbaric industry, who can seemingly promote what they wish to. If these adverts return, we will be right back to the ASA with complaints and will put up accessible ways for the public to take action too!
For the animals.