Australian Lamb Industry Under Fire For Deity Commercial

Screen Shot 2017-09-12 at 2.18.46 PM.pngThe Meat & Livestock Australia organization is under fire for its advertising campaign, which includes a humorous dinner scene of deities, prophets, and religious figures enjoying a lamb dinner.  The gods including Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard , Jesus, God, Aphrodite, Zeus, Buddha, Ganesh and Moses as well as other Gods and one atheist.   at a long dining table to enjoy a spring barbecue of lamb.  A formal complaint has been lodged by the High Commission of India for the depiction of the Hindu god Ganesha.  The effort to have fun with the notion of the lamb of gods clearly did not resonate with some who declared the commercial as distasteful.

More than 30 complaints have been filed over the commercial.  This includes vegans who raised objections to the premise that lamb is accepted by all religions..

The High Commission complained that “In a video advertisement released by Meat and Livestock Australia recently, Lord Ganesha along with other religious figures is found to be ‘toasting lamb’, which the Indian community consider to be offensive and hurting their religious sentiments.”

Given the size of the audience, 30 complaints is far short of a ground swell.  There was however one notable exclusion: Muhammad who calls up the atheist hostess to excuse himself because he has to pick up a child from daycare.  Muslims around the world have rioted and killed Christians after Muhammad was depicted in cartoons and videos.  While media and governments denounced such violence and stood by the first amendment, there has been a notable drop in depictions of Muhammad.  It even led to a skit on Saturday Night Live:


The Australian commercial does challenge other religions to show a sense of humor in the depiction of the deities.  I have never understood why some religious people cannot distinguish between satire and blasphemy.  The strongest religion is the one that can laugh at itself while remaining faithful to its underlying values.  I think the commercial is pretty funny but you be the judge.



41 thoughts on “Australian Lamb Industry Under Fire For Deity Commercial”

  1. Can someone here identify all the deities at (and specifically not at) the dinner table?
    Some are obvious to me, but others are more obscure.

    1. GaryT – some are not deities. Moses is a prophet, Jesus is both God and man, Mohammed who begged off is also a prophet, plus you have one atheist. Ganesha is a god, but I am not sure how he is going to eat lamb with his elephant’s head. Maybe he will stick to the mint jelly and mashed potatoes.

        1. Louise – I have taught both classical and Greek mythology as well as world mythology and world religions. I know what a deity is. I also know what a prophet. Which raises an interesting point because in Islam Jesus is a prophet, not God. And ranks just below Mohammed.

          1. Everyone probably has his own definition of what a deity is, what a prophet is and whether anyone can be both. Is there any source that definitely says a prophet cannot be a deity and vice versa?

            1. Louise – prophets prophecy. God’s rule. Each of the heads of the Mormon church is a prophet, or at least claims to be, but is not God. Mohammed was a prophet who thought he was the last of the prophets and a greater prophet then Jesus, who he also thought was a prophet, but neither were God. For Christianity, Jesus is both God and man, but not a prophet. For the Greeks and Romans, there were a lot of gods with various assigned tasks. Their prophets were the oracles. A city or person would never do anything major without consulting an oracle.

              1. So, if you insult a orophet or a deity, which one amounts to blasphemy? Muslims who killed because someone insulted Mohammad were not insulting a deity. But they killed over it anyway. Should there be different rules regarding insulting a prophet or a deity? Should people get away with murder or mayhem if they insulted a prophet rather than a deity? Should there be a different punishment (or none at all) if it’s only a prophet who is bein insulted? Where would you draw the line? Should a,person who kills a Mormon prophet get away with murder because he wasn’t a deity? What should the law be regarding insulting a prophet rather than a deity?

                1. Louise – usually you can knock a prophet and nobody is going to care. Islam is a different matter. They are more tribal and take any alleged insult personally. Although the illiterate Mohammad wrote down the tenets of the religion, it was not organized until after his death, and then out of sequence. The same thing happened with the Book of Mormon, except it was kept sequential.

                  So, there is a rule of thumb, but Islam is a special case. Enter at you own risk. Prophets are revered, Gods are worshiped.

      1. “Maybe he will stick to the mint jelly and mashed potatoes.”

        Man, Paul, that killed me. You must be working on your standup today!

        1. slohrss29 – thank you it’s nice to have an audience of at least one. I was just trying to work through I thought problem. 🙂

  2. Someone who’s always looking for offense will invariably find it. Personally, I refuse to cater to them.

  3. One of the threads of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 was the coarsening of culture, manifest a number of ways but notably in using the image of Jesus to hawk antacids. I guess we’re there now.

    1. DSS – we used to have a business here that used Jesus to advertise his tire fixing service. I have no reason to believe that he is out of business.

  4. Very enjoyable. The next ad should feature a cameo by the Flying Spaghetti Monster and discussion about how spaghetti goes with lamb.

    1. But no Pasafarian would object except satirically. Pastafarians naturslly have a great sense of humor or they wouldn’t be Pastafarians. It’s a qualification for membership.

  5. That was really clever.and humorous. It never fails to provoke the vampires on this blog and that is humorous as well.

    1. It’s a well known fact–Vampires have no sense of humor. Has anyone ever seen one laughing?

      1. Louise – it is a well-known fact that vampires have a well-developed sense of humor and do a lot of laughing. It is just that they do it at night when nobody can see them. By the way vampires always laugh just before they bite their victim.

  6. People’s lives have become meaningless and purposeless in a world with 7.5 billion humans. These drones have to come up with things to do to satisfy their need for gratification and to counter the desolation of their existence. And the multimedia environment has given them far too many avenues for complaint. So they try to ruin a perfectly funny moment that the overwhelming majority enjoys just so they can feel good about themselves. This is life in America (and Down Under) today. We give far too much credence and attention to those with minor or hollow complaints.

  7. Religion is the opiate of the people. We are in an opiate addiction crisis. For every Muslim there are ten million pills. The best thing to do is kill off all the religious fanatics with unlimited pills. When they pass the plate at church throw in a hundred pills. Hope the Priest kills himself and quits being a pedophile to the alter boys.

  8. People are fools when it comes to their religion. They become primitive and irrational and sometimes extremely dangerous. Probably a good ides to stay as far away as possible from religious believers of any stripe.

  9. That it would be offensive should be a no-brainer! As long as it’s someone else’ god that gets blasphemed, hahaha and who cares? But to think that people would just laugh off mockery of what they hold dear is astounding.

  10. These days, someone somewhere is going to be offended and exercise their groundless outrage. It is pointless to please everyone and anger no one. So, just let the humor, pun, and parody roll ahead for the entertainment value alone. (With an added bonus of laughing at others making jackasses of themselves)

  11. Religious fanatics are so “sure” of their religion that they can’t even laugh. What was that saying: oh yee of little faith! The Lamd board should say baaaaaaa and move on.

  12. > Muhammad who calls up the atheist hostess to excuse himself because he has to pick up his wife from daycare

  13. Mohammed was only the prophet of Allah and so shouldn’t have been invited in the first place.

    But Alexander the Great was announced to be an avatar of Thoth-Ammon and so should have been there.

  14. The real insult to any religion is by those who complain about how their gods or whatever are represented, referenced, or believed in. If one truly believes in a fairy tale, then why would they care what those who don’t do or say? Wouldn’t the god or whatever be above what any mere mortal can do or say? As a follower of the cult of ‘What if there is a god?’ if there is a god, it would need a good laugh more often than not. Perhaps that’s why Trump is President. Now, c’mon RSA, how much did you win?

  15. Didn’t Obama tell the world that the ‘future shall not belong to those who slander the prophet Muhammed’? Yeah. Who cares what he said. I think this is clever and I would have loved to dine at that table for one evening. Ganesh is the remover of obstacles, so maybe that was the reason he was included in the ad?

  16. Oh, come on – both those videos were funny! That was worth the drain on the bandwidth restriction.

    Christians have been desensitized by jokes about their religion. Religious jokes can be funny, but it is easy to go into bad taste. A Hindu eating beef would be across the line. If Mohammad was picking up Aisha from daycare, that would perhaps not be so funny. I’m not quite sure what that line meant. But otherwise I thought both skits were funny.

  17. It’s funny but it’s also surprising – most advertisers try to avoid courting controversy. Especially when it comes to religion, an always touchy subject.

      1. Is he a deity?

        JT asks why religions can”t tell the difference between satire and blasphemy. To the true believer there is no difference at all.

  18. Evem when I was a practicing Catholic I would have found this funny. We had spring lamb for Easter every year.

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