New PETA ad draws criticism from poultry farmers

A new advertisement issued by animal rights’ organisation People for Ethical Treatment of Animal (PETA) in India against consumption of meat has drawn criticism from poultry farmers in Karnataka, who have just begun recovering from the beating they suffered due to rumours linking COVID-19 to consumption of chicken.

“The wet market at Wuhan in China sold live and slaughtered species of snakes, bats, beavers, and other wild animals. But, in India, that’s not the case, where it is mostly poultry meat, sheep and fish. The two are not comparable,” said Karnataka’s Poultry Farmers and Breeders Association (KPFBA) responding to PETA India’s advertisement titled “India: It’s time to move away from meat”.

The advertisement claims that “India’s live animal meat markets, factory farms, and slaughterhouses are as filthy as China’s wet markets, where the pandemic likely started” before linking consumption of meat to a variety of ailments.

Accusing PETA India of spreading false information by attributing the probable spread of COVID-19 to the meat markets in India, KPFBA president Sushanth Rai, in a statement, said they will take up the “misleading ad campaign” with the Advertising Standards Council of India.

KPFBA has also sought to counter the advertisement’s efforts to correlate ailments like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, blood pressure etc. to consumption of non-vegetarian food by citing scientific studies recommending non-vegetarian diet. Referring to the dietary guidelines issued by National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, Mr. Rai said the institute recommends animal foods like milk, meat, fish, and eggs, besides plant foods such as pulses and legumes as they are rich sources of protein. “Animal proteins are of high quality as they provide essential amino acids in right proportions…”, the statement said.

Mr. Rai wondered how PETA India could arrive at a conclusion that non-vegetarian diet alone causes health problems, ignoring lifestyle issues including consumption of tobacco and alcohol.

He said the poultry industry not only provides quality nutrients, but also ensures large-scale employment and contributes ₹1.2 lakh crore to the country’s GDP. “PETA India should refrain from making dietary choice to the population of India, which is diverse socially, culturally and economically,” the statement added.

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Printable version | Aug 7, 2020 8:54:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/new-peta-ad-draws-criticism-from-poultry-farmers/article31741475.ece

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