Farming News - BBC advert accused of bias over turkey wearing "I love vegan" jumper

BBC advert accused of bias over turkey wearing "I love vegan" jumper

09 Dec 2019
Frontdesk / Livestock

Farmers have angrily accused the BBC of bias for featuring animated turkeys wearing jumpers emblazoned with the slogan, 'I love vegans', in its latest Christmas advert. 

The National Farmers Union said it plans to lodge a formal complaint to the BBC over the issue

Produced by BBC Creative, #XmasLife is a short promotional film which includes cameos from presenters Graham Norton and Rochelle Humes and is themed around families and friends enjoying a festive lunch, staying in their pyjamas all day and watching television.

One scene features a turkey wearing a green knitted jumper, addressing an audience of similarly-dressed turkeys and pointing to a map of Britain decorated with photographs showing vegetarian and vegan Christmas dishes.

The turkey exclaims, 'less of us have been gobbled this year,' provoking a cheer from the crowd.

Elsewhere, a yoga teacher smiles as she says, 'we don't have to eat rabbi food for breakfast any more', while in another scene, comedian Harry Enfield is seen at the head of the dinner table carving into a nut roast.

The NFU has accused the BBC of taking a side over the debate surrounding meat consumption and said it intends to lodge a formal complaint.

Stuart Roberts, vice-president of the union, told The Sunday Telegraph: 'We are deeply concerned that the BBC appears to have started campaigning for a vegan diet in advertising for its Christmas programming, none of which appears to cover veganism in its schedule. 

'This will cause great frustration for those livestock farmers who feel this is further evidence that there is a wider BBC agenda against livestock farming and rural communities in the UK.'

In it's defence the BBC said the film, which features a re-imagining of the Gorillaz song, Feel Good Inc, was intended to be 'lighthearted'.

A spokesman said: 'The cartoon turkeys in 'Go Vegan!' T-shirts are intended to be comedic in keeping with the slightly surreal, exuberant spirit of the film, rather than any endorsement of a vegan lifestyle.'