Ulster Farmers’ Union attempts to have Go Vegan World ads removed from Belfast Buses

The Ulster Farmers Union has attempted to get Go Vegan World ads removed from buses in Belfast. They issued this press release today:

Ulster Farmers’ Union Press Release

17 January 2020

UFU disappointed by Translink advertising

The Ulster Farmers’ Union (UFU) has been contacted by a number of members expressing concern regarding vegan advertisements on their buses. The adverts which are also printed on the side of school buses, wrongly demonises the livestock industry to promote the vegan lifestyle.

UFU president Ivor Ferguson said, “Our members, many of whom rely on the transportation service of Translink in rural areas and whose children take their buses to school, are outraged by the vegan adverts and contacted us to express their concerns. A public service should be impartial on all matters but the vegan adverts on the Translink buses uses emotive language that singles out our local farmers and has the potential to do serious damage to our agriculture industry and the livelihood of our farming families. Our produce is farmed to some of the highest environmental and animal welfare standards in the world so that consumers can enjoy quality food without worrying about what it contains or where it came from but Translink’s adverts dismisses the facts helping to perpetuate a negative narrative about eating meat and consuming dairy products.”

The UFU wrote to Translink regarding the vegan adverts and were unsatisfied by their response which reflected an inability to remove them. The advert on the Translink Foyle Ulsterbus reads, ‘It’s not a personal choice when someone is killed, use plants not animals’.

“We respect all personal decisions when it comes to diets but to demonise the livestock industry to promote another industry is wrong. Translink’s vegan adverts wrongly links agriculture to plant-based diets and the language is attempting to influence the general public to isolate the farming community through misinformation. NI is the envy of the world when it comes to high-quality food production and animal welfare standards, the agri-food industry turns over £4.5 billion annually supporting the NI economy and one in every eight jobs in the UK, our farmers care for the environment and many have diversified their businesses helping to boost tourism in local areas, all of which benefits Translink.

“We want to work with Translink and hope they will review their vegan advertisements. Bus Éireann removed vegan advertisements from their buses in the Republic of Ireland after receiving a high volume of concerns and we would like to see Translink do the same,” said the UFU president.


Go Vegan World Response to UFU

Go Vegan World runs educational campaigns that provide members of the public with information on the rights of other animals not to be owned, used as resources or killed. Our campaigns have nothing to do with animal welfare which is an industry term that regulates how other animals are treated while they are being exploited and killed. Go Vegan World has a legal right to freedom of expression and the information we provide in our ads is something that the public has a right to know and a responsibility to act on.

Our ads merely quote facts about animal use. Commenting on the NFU Press Release, Go Vegan World Director Sandra Higgins states

“We see this objection to our ads as an indication that people are uncomfortable about earning a living from exploiting defenceless animals and consumers are uncomfortable about creating a demand for the violence of animal agriculture or any other form of animal exploitation.”

Go Vegan World has always stated that it is not opposed to farmers: it is opposed to their use of other animals as commodities for profit. In fact, Go Vegan World works with farmers to help them transition to a more ethical way of earning a living that is also more sustainable and more environmentally friendly.

The ads running in Belfast this year state Dairy Takes Babies from their Mothers and It’s Not A Personal Choice When Someone is Killed. At the end of 2019, Bus Eireann ran the Dairy Takes Babies ad. In the past it has refused to accept this ad. It is inaccurate to state that it has ever taken down a Go Vegan World ad.