Why love one, but eat the other?

“Why love one but eat the other?”. This was the theme of the poster campaign initiated by the Vegetarian Society of Singapore to promote vegetarianism. The posters featured a house pet and a farm animal to encourage the public to reflect on their meat consumption.

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The two-week poster campaign ended on April 9, 2014. The group chose the City Hall MRT station, which is one of the busiest train platforms in Singapore. The poster campaign was originally done in Toronto.

The group explains the rationale of the campaign:

Dogs and cats are loved and adored; we think of them as our companions, our friends. We feel outraged when we hear of their abuse and call for laws to protect them. Indeed, the idea of eating them would simply be unthinkable to most.

In contrast, farm animals – who are every bit as intelligent, sensitive and emotional as dogs and cats – are just regarded as food.

Each poster contains information about farming methods to highlight animal abuse:

The posters are meant to evoke the rationale consideration of what makes one sentient being a ‘friend’ while the other is ‘food’. There will be some basic information on factory farming methods and relevant statistics included on each poster.

Veron Lau, President of Cat Welfare Society, urges the public to rethink how we treat animals:

Loving our pets yet eating animals does often pose a dilemma for many animal lovers. We ask ourselves if we cared to save and prevent one from suffering, should we not do the same for the other. Whether we are animal lovers or not, we should make it a priority to live mindfully and that includes thinking about where our food or pets come from because we are part of a consuming chain and have the collective power to affect ethical change through our choices.

Habib Hassan, one of the train passengers interviewed by The Straits Times, does not support the campaign:

Vegetarians are only a small group in Singapore. They shouldn’t be allowed to use public space to promote their cause. This advertisement is clearly biased and makes people feel guilty. I should be able to eat whatever I want.

Posters used by the Vegetarian Society:

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Video by Vegetarian Society, used by the group to raise the funds needed to mount the campaign:

via Global Voices

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