Meatless Monday: Provocative billboard campaign targets animal use for fun, food and fashion

Animal Justice Canada has launched an eye-opening billboard campaign aimed at making people think twice about what they eat, wear and see.

The national non-profit has unveiled 68 billboards in the country’s two largest cities — Toronto and Vancouver. The media buy expects to capture 52 million views in the next month. And, all of it is aimed at raising awareness about animal welfare and protection.

One set of ads targets the fur trim on the ubiquitous winter parka and just what it takes to make the fashion statement.

AnimalJusticefurtrim
Another takes on the country’s bacon obsession.

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Another ad focuses on cosmetics testing, which happens to be part of a new bill currently making its way through the Senate.

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And finally, another billboard zeros in on a childhood rite of passage: going to the zoo.

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The goal is not only to change individual behaviours, the Toronto-based group says, but to see Canada bring in an Animal Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which will give critters legal rights as well as standing in court.

More than 6,500 people have signed the petition and others have shared photos of the billboards on social media.

Still, some have questioned the tactics: “Is there anyway you can get your point across without the disturbing imagery??” wrote Austin Van Budden on Facebook, comparing the images to those employed by anti-abortion protesters.

But Animal Justice stands by its approach.

“The response from the public has been overwhelming,” Camille Labchuk, executive director of the Animal Justice Canada Legislative Fund, said in a statement. “It’s 2016, and the time is right for a legal revolution in the way Canada treats animals. Canadians care about animals and want them to be protected from suffering, abuse, and neglect; it’s time for our legal system to catch up to our values.”

Photos Animal Justice/Facebook

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Recovering newspaper reporter.

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