Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters


St. Catharines transit boss says animal compassion ads too controversial

Toronto Animal Rights Examiner – January 30, 2010

St. Catharines Transit recently banned three bus ads purchased by the animal advocacy group Niagara Action for Animals (NAfA).

The 'offensive' materials, designed by Mercy for Animals, show a puppy paired with a piglet, a kitten next to a baby chick, and another puppy with a calf. The ads simply ask, "Why love one but eat the other?" and encourage people to "choose compassion" for all creatures by going vegan.

Dave Sherlock, the transit commission's general manager, told the St. Catharines Standard the ads were banned to prevent "controversy." "We don't want anything on them that is going to create a public outcry. ... controversy is not good for business," he said.

Based on a similar campaign that ran in Toronto in June 2009, NAfA member Kimberly Costello told the Standard the ads were meant to challenge people to "think about the similarities between the animals we call companion animals, or pets, and those we use for food." She said people choose to eat animals "out of habit or preference, but we don't need [to eat] them to live a long, healthy life."

You wouldn't think the mere suggestion of showing compassion for other sentient creatures could ruffle so many feathers. But the truth is, it does.

The hateful comments left in response to virtually every media report involving animal rights give credence to Sherlock's fear of a "public outcry."

Additionally, with one of the highest obesity rates in Canada, the portly citizens of St. Kitts wouldn't want anyone messing with their love of meat and poultry.

Not to mention their enjoyment of hurling chicken carcasses for sport.

According to Port Dalhousie.com, the International Chicken Chucking Championships is a "popular poultry pitching event" and "a perennial favorite with locals." This "sporting spectacular," is described as "an amalgamation of curling and shuffleboard" where teams of four hurl frozen fowl along the frozen surfaces of Martindale Pond, competing for the title of "Chicken Chucking Champions."

Clearly, not the sort of folk who'd take kindly to ads promoting compassion for baby chicks... that would just spoil their fun. 

Update: See below; ads are running!


Meanwhile, in Vancouver, advertisements for the "Fur is Green" campaign have been spotted recently on a Vancouver skytrain just in time for the Olympics.  Visit www.furisgreen.com. There you will find statements like:

- “Fur is a natural, renewable and sustainable resource”.

- "Without human intervention, wildlife can be subjected to wildly swinging “boom and bust” cycles of overpopulation followed by disease and starvation."

- ''If we don't use part of what nature produces, we will use petroleum-based synthetics or other materials that may damage the environment.''

Please call the transit advertising representative and complain about these offensive ads!  Let us know if you receive a response.  We did.  See update below.

Lamar Transit Advertising 604.444.4900
Dan Maure

All of TransLink’s advertising is in the control of VANOC for the duration of the “Olympic Blackout Period – January 12 to March 23, 2010.  This is a media blackout period where VANOC has control over every ad run on a bus, skytrain and train.
Let VANOC know what you think about the Fur Council of Canada's obscene and shameful ads.  
Please direct your concerns to Scott Corbett and/or Bill Cooper of VANOC.
Bill Cooper

February 2, 2010

VANOC and Lamar respond

Vancouver 2010 responded to our concerns and request for action on this matter.  In part, the reply stated that the issue was outside their area of responsibility.  While they communicated that RAG BC's position on the “Fur is Green” advertising campaign was appreciated and they understood the sensitivities in this matter, they noted that the Fur Council is a legitimate Canadian advertiser and their creative is within advertising standards. We were encouraged to provide feedback on the "Fur is Green" website.  This is a standardized brush-off.  Likewise, we received similar correspondence from Lamar, saying they've been instructed to refer all comments and concerns to VANOC's communications department and that the information naming Lamar as a contact for complaints be rectified.  No acknowledgement yet from the several media outlets contacted.

July 10, 2009 Supreme Court rules Translink subject to Canada's Charter

2010 Fur flying new green flag while trapping bans on rise; a cruel & unnecessary industry; greed & greenwashing

February 20, 2012 Time to end fur trapping in Nevada?

May 13, 2013 "Choose vegetarian” transit ads compare eating cows to eating dogs; ads generating awareness

Comment: This is not a new message. The British Vegetarian Society ran these ads decades ago and MFA pro-vegetarian billboard and transit ad campaigns have been a common sight in recent years across the United States. It’s common sense (which is lacking among most of us) to choose a healthy plant-based diet for ourselves, the planet, and the animals. Rabbit Advocacy has contributed to this worthy campaign.    

Check out Vancouver Humane Society's new Go Veg ads