Giving kids meat is child abuse, claims animal rights group

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Poster row: PETA has been criticised for trivialising child obesity

A CONTROVERSIAL billboard that suggests feeding kids meat is child abuse has been erected by an animal rights group.

The provocative advert funded by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has been put in place in Edinburgh in a bid to tackle the city’s childhood obesity problem.

The eye-catching advert reads ‘Feeding Kids Meat Is Child Abuse. Fight the Fat. Go Veg.’

It is located in Crewe Toll near the city’s Forthview primary School.

But the 20ft by 10ft ad has already provoked outrage from some who claim the message is inflammatory and trivialises the issue of child abuse.

Councillor Steve Cardownie said: “I have every sympathy for the plight of animals and recognise the impact of obesity in Edinburgh, but this is the wrong way to go about getting your point across.

“To imply that any parent who buys their child a McDonald’s or gives them a hamburger for their tea is a child abuser is just plain wrong and this will turn off the very people they are trying to influence.

“Child abuse is a very serious matter and this trivialises it. Any parent seeing this will not rally to them, but rather will be rebuffed by these sentiments.

“It’s offensive and I think it will backfire on them.”

But PETA officials claim obesity is far more prevalent in meat-eaters than in vegetarians.

They are hoping residents will take stock of the city’s ballooning childhood obesity problem.

“The potential for damage from a meat-heavy diet is like a ticking time bomb in kids”, says PETA special projects coordinator Abi Izzard. “In addition to causing immeasurable suffering to millions of animals, getting kids addicted to chicken,

beef and other types of meat condemns an entire generation to a future of health problems.”

The agency claim medical professionals are seeing evidence of atheroma, angina and even heart attacks in children, and in 2007, the World Cancer Research Fund recommended that children should not eat processed meat – including ham, sausage and bacon – for health reasons.