Tesco’s ‘brave’ advert wins praise from vegans
Whenever we switch on the television, we are bombarded with food and drink adverts, a large per cent of which, try to sell us meat and dairy products.
Finally, veganism is being advertised by a supermarket giant such as Tesco, who in recent months, have massively expanded their plant-based offerings.
In the advert, entitled Carl’s ‘All-Change’ Casserole, we see a father called Carl reworking his usual sausage casserole recipe, after his young daughter comes home from school and says: ‘I don’t want to eat animals anymore’.
The commercial seeks to promote the new Tesco Plant Chef Meat-Free Cumberland-style Bangers.
The supermarket says: “Carl never thought it would come to this. But his little girl always comes first.”
“Find out how he switched up daddy-daughter dinner time with our new Tesco Plant Chef Meat-Free Cumberland style Bangers in his Food Love Story.”
‘Farmers disappointed with Tesco’
As expected, the advert has already sparked anger amongst the farming community, as well as with some members of the public. In particular, the National Farmers Union (NFU) has objected against Tesco for creating and broadcasting the advert.
The NFU have issued a statement in response to the commercial, saying that its message ‘demonised meat as a food group’ which will adversely affect farmers, and portray unhealthy eating habits to young and naïve children.
According to the NFU and its president, Minette Batters, there are: “Significant concerns with the language used within the advert and how it has caused significant distress for British Farmers.
“The NFU believes that messaging such as this is demonising meat as a food group, which not only has negative connotations for farmers but also for the avocation of customers eating a healthy balanced diet.
“The NFU is clear that food and nutrition must be looked at as a whole, rather than food groups in isolation. Meat as a food group provides naturally rich in protein and are a good source of iron, zinc and essential vitamins.
“There are certain parts of the population, especially teenage girls, who are currently not eating sufficient quantities of these micro-nutrients to fulfil their dietary requirement.
“We believe it is vital that children do not establish misleading views of food groups, which may later affect their health and diets.”
Talk host criticism
Likewise, television host Janet Street-Porter, spoke on Loose Women to air her own concerns over the ad.
Street-Porter and her co-hosts were asked whether they think that the new Tesco advert ‘demonises’ meat-eaters.
She said: “I looked at this advert, and I wonder what has happened, what world am I living in now that a child can come into the kitchen and instead of the dad saying ‘let’s talk about it darling’, he says ‘alright, let’s change it and have vegan sausages’,” said Street-Porter.
“Tesco, most of Britain still eats meat. Farmers produce meat. Now Tesco has got a head of plant-based innovation who’s obviously in charge of pursuing the vegan pound and pursuing products they can flog to people who don’t eat meat.”
Not all of the shows presenters were so strong in their critiques, co-host Ruth Langford explained that she ‘could understand being pressurised by your kids’ into feeding them vegetarian food.
Brenda Edwards agreed, going on to say that: “That’s actually happened [to me], Jamal [her son] came in and said ‘Mummy I don’t want to eat meat anymore, I want to try doing the whole vegetarian thing’.”
Edwards went on to say that she thinks that the girl in the advert as a ‘child of the future’, however, Street-Porter laughed, and described the girl as a ‘militant vegan’.
‘We’ll be able to save our planet’
He said he’s proud of Tesco “for being brave and bringing up the conversation every family should have.
“There are [television] ads on every day about meat products. I’m not seeing glass walls on the factory farms.
“Just because we as adults have been desensitised to it does not mean it’s not happening.
“As far as depriving of key nutrients — gimme a break — didn’t mom always tell us to eat our veggies growing up?
“Get with the times and adjust accordingly – there is plenty of science proving plant-based is much better for our health and the health of the planet.
“The whole team wanted a food love story focusing on plant-based [food] and the new launch of Plant Chef and Wicked.
“We just recipe approved and encouraged them to be brave and keep the part when the girl says she doesn’t want to eat animals. It’s the best part.
“The sooner these guys realise we don’t ‘need’ or ‘have to’ have animal products in our food system the faster we’ll be able to save our planet!”
Watch the advert here.