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Bus ads promoting veganism pulled following row

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A Go Vegan World advertisement on the side of a Translink bus

A Go Vegan World advertisement on the side of a Translink bus

A Go Vegan World advertisement on the side of a Translink bus

Public transport operator Translink is to remove advertisements on its buses promoting veganism.

The move follows criticism from Northern Ireland farmers.

On Friday the Ulster Farmers' Union (UFU) claimed the ads "wrongly demonise the livestock industry to promote the vegan lifestyle".

One of the adverts reads 'It's not a personal choice when someone is killed, use plants not animals'. Another says 'Dairy takes babies from their mothers'.

Following the criticism Translink said it was "sympathetic" to the pressures facing farmers.

On Saturday, however, the company updated its position.

It said: "These bus-side advertisements are in the process of being removed." UFU president Ivor Ferguson had said many UFU members rely on Translink's services and much of the farming community were "outraged" by the adverts.

"A public service should be impartial on all matters, but the vegan adverts on the Translink buses use emotive language that singles out our local farmers and has the potential to do serious damage to our agriculture industry and the livelihood of our farming families," he said.

Mr Ferguson said that to "demonise" the livestock industry to promote another is "wrong".

In response to Mr Ferguson's comments, Go Vegan World, the organisation behind the adverts, said they "merely quote facts about animal use".

Go Vegan World director Sandra Higgins said: "We see this objection to our ads as an indication that people are uncomfortable about earning a living from exploiting defenceless animals and consumers are uncomfortable about creating a demand for the violence of animal agriculture or any other form of animal exploitation."

In November retail giant Tesco came under fire from the UFU over an advertising campaign which promoted meat substitutes.

In one advert a young girl tells her father: "Daddy, I don't want to eat animals anymore."

Her father, who is cooking vegetarian sausages, turns to the camera and says: "Just as tasty as it used to be."

"Better actually," his daughter adds.

Belfast Telegraph