Yes, we just put ‘religion’ and ‘facts’ in the same sentence
Okay, so you might have heard of the #UnitedWeLamb Australia Day TV ad from one of your ‘hurt’ friends.
But in case your Facebook feed has somehow managed to stay immune to intolerance, an Australian commercial has decided to promote lamb meat using a fictional dining table filled by prophets, deities and gods, including Jesus, Buddha, Moses and even Zeus.
In case that hasn’t taken the weak-hearted by surprise, the idea plays on the fact that lamb can be enjoyed by everyone, irrespective of their religious background, beliefs and dietary requirements.
But one major discrepancy lies with the presence of Hindu god Ganesha, who is introduced when Buddha jokingly proposes to address the ‘elephant in the room.’
By the end of the video, all occupants of the table even agree that the buck stops with lamb meat — the point of intersection of all religious beliefs.
We might not have been alive in the times of Ganesha (in case he wasn’t only a mythological figure), but what we know for sure is that elephants are herbivores, barring an isolated incident or two of some going rogue.
On the other hand, we don’t endorse the idea of taking offense over something that has the right intention either. It’s a widely accepted fact that Ganesha’s father Shiva used to indulge in various habits, lamb meat being the pettiest of them all. Even classifying all present-day Hindu followers of Ganesha as vegetarians would be ignorant of us. So people might calm their tits on this one.
— Balesh Singh Dhankar (@balesh) September 5, 2017
Where the offense could really stem from, and dangerously so, is the tongue-in-cheek dig that the ad takes on the Muslim prophet Mohammed. When asked why he could not make it to the table, the representative of ‘no religions’ says that he had to go to ‘day care.’
Detractors of Islam have widely criticised the ‘pedophile’ prophet for ‘consummating’ his marriage with the nine-year-old Aisha when he was 53. Not that there isn’t any dirt on other religions, but when you’re not throwing it on the others, may as well avoid it with the face of the most sensitive faith in the world.
The ad has done well to avoid putting a face on Mohammed, which partly led to the terrorist attack on the office of French magazine Charlie Hebdo, but it might have stayed away from this controversy as well.
Followers of both the aforementioned legions have already expressed rage on social media and elsewhere. Lord Ganesha was “meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not to be used in selling lamb meat for mercantile greed,” said Rajan Zed of the Universal Society of Hinduism.
Even the Anglican Church has complained about Jesus performing the ‘reverse miracle’ of turning wine to water; and not to forget the founder of Scientology L Ron Hubbard being seated ‘on the same table’ as him.
While that might be complete bullshit, we do agree that the well-intended video could have been researched better. In the end, all it turned out to be was a lame attempt to promote eating lamb by Meat & Livestock Australia. But hey, why is that even surprising?