A PETA ad which recently turned heads at a busy Los Angeles intersection has been deemed too controversial for an Australian debut in Armidale, New South Wales.
The billboard, featuring Joaquin Phoenix and a flock of rescued sheep, was rejected by an ad company on the grounds that it’s likely to offend residents of Armidale – home of the “big lamb”.
In the ad, the actor wears a vegan wool suit and proclaims, “Cruelty Doesn’t Suit Me. Please Leave Wool Out of Your Wardrobe”. He teamed up with PETA US after watching shocking footage revealing that sheep are abused in Australian shearing sheds.
“What’s offensive is kicking and punching gentle sheep and standing on their necks in order to produce woollen sweaters and suits”, says PETA Associate Director of Campaigns Ashley Fruno.” There’s simply no humane way to obtain wool, and PETA is calling on caring people everywhere to ditch cruelly produced garments in favour of stylish vegan clothing.”
In a landmark case in 2016, a shearer pleaded guilty to four counts of cruelty to animals. The man was charged followed the release of an international exposé which documented that Australian wool workers beat scared sheep in the face with electric clippers and punched and stamped on their heads and necks. Five other shearers have also been charged and are scheduled to face court this year.