Ahead of Independence Day BBQs, vegan activists launch billboard campaign

Vegan Friendly in Israel’s message is independence for everyone, even animals.

A billboard from the NGO Vegan Friendly says, "Please don't eat us" (photo credit: COURTESY VEGAN FRIENDLY)
A billboard from the NGO Vegan Friendly says, "Please don't eat us"
The advocacy group Vegan Friendly has been running a nationwide billboard campaign in the lead-up to Independence Day, when Israelis traditionally join friends and family at barbecues and consume large quantities of meat.
Under the slogan “Independence for all,” the campaign urges the public to refrain from meat consumption. Billboards have appeared at 200 bus stops in Tel Aviv and on 50 Dan buses which travel across central Israel.
Various posters and signs depict live animals packed into trays with the caption “Please do not eat me.” One 54-meter long banner was hung from the Geha Bridge near Bnei Brak.
The entire campaign is funded by donations estimated at some quarter-of-amillion shekels. It’s the largest project to date by Vegan Friendly, through its activist body, Vegan Active.
Last year, the organization put up a huge billboard on Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv that called on the public to refrain from consuming milk on Shavuot, a holiday on which it is traditional to consume dairy products.
The organization believes the latest campaign has exposed more than four million people to its message within a few days.
The association also recruited activists, celebrities and public figures to express solidarity with the campaign on social media.
A spokesman for Vegan Friendly told The Jerusalem Post that the NGO has received hundreds of messages from people who said they stopped consuming meat because of the campaign.
Omri Paz, the founder of Vegan Friendly and Vegan Active, said: “We decided to run with the ‘Independence for all’ campaign to remind the citizens of Israel that their steak and hamburger are actually breathing, thinking and loving animals that have never done anything wrong to us. It’s possible to celebrate independence, especially after 70 years, without taking independence from other animals, especially when there are so many other healthy and nutritious options. I hope the public will make the right choice and celebrate a truly happy holiday for everyone.”