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This recent ad for veganism is dividing Australians.

The Vegan Society of NSW has released a particularly striking ad, and it’s starting complex discussions all over Sydney.

The ad, plastered across buses throughout Sydney’s CBD, has divided pedestrians and motorists alike.

Veganism is a strict school of vegetarianism in which no animal food or dairy products are consumed, and animal products (such as leather) are abstained from.

The images depicted in the controversial ad, which aims to promote the ethics of veganism, are of a piglet and a puppy. Of course, people regularly eat pig, in the form of bacon, ham, prosciutto and pancetta, but the idea of eating a dog makes most Australians viscerally uncomfortable.

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The intentionally cute images of the animals force viewers to question their dietary habits, and ask: ‘Why is it socially acceptable to eat one, but not the other?’

A spokesperson for The Vegan Society of NSW, Katrina Fox, said “We want people to stop and think about the ‘ham’ or ‘beef’ or ‘turkey’ they put on their plates and realise that these farmed animals are no different to the dogs and cats they share their lives with.”

But the confronting way in which the question is posed is, inarguably, very divisive. Essentially, the image draws on extreme emotion and guilt to help peddle the vegan message.

People aligned with veganism have created the hashtag #sydneyveganbus to show their full support for the ad, while others have been quick to criticise the approach.

One Facebook user left a comment on the announcement about the campaign, writing “Eewwww. Fun fact: it is possible to be vegan and not carry on about it.”

Another simply said “I love pork,” before being told by another commenter that it’s “outragous” to suggest “fleeting pleasure justifies taking an animal’s life.”

It’s a highly contentious issue, and no doubt, the philosophy behind this particular campaign will continue to cause a stir well beyond its end date on December 19.

Are you vegan? Do you find the ad offensive? Let us know…

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