This campaign for Red’s True BBQ, a carnivorous join in Leeds and Manchester, UK, is trying to be funny. I get that.
Oppositional meat-loving is well known, from the classic "Plenty of room for all God's creatures" ad for the Saskatoon steakhouse, to passive-aggressive notes on campus billboards.
But it's not vegetarians who are outraged at this one. It's mental health advocates.
From the Leeds Student Newspaper:
Responding to the outcry on social media, the restaurant has posted a blog apologising for mocking vegetarianism, stating that they are “currently liaising with media owners to update the billboard”. However, there is no apology for mocking mental illness or domestic abuse charities.
According to Mind, one in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. The most common form of mental illness is mixed anxiety and depression, which affects about one in ten. Refuge, a charity that deals with domestic abuse, says that two women each week are killed from domestic violence.
But these facts probably never occurred to Red’s True BBQ.Probably not. Brands as big as McDonald's have made similar mistakes, assuming that it was OK to lampoon mental health PSA clichés to sell stuff.
It's not. At least, not anymore.
It should be noted that Red's BBQ has offered the standard non-apology — but only to "offended" vegetarians.
Making fun of people's life choices seems like fair game to me. It should be noted that Red's BBQ has offered the standard non-apology — but only to "offended" vegetarians.
Making fun of people's life choices seems like fair game to me. Mocking who they are, however, in my opinion is not.