Tomorrow (August 4) in Canberra, senior executives of Australian Pork Ltd are meeting to draft a media battle plan in response to a sad-sounding little girl they had hoped would go away, but now threatens the pig industry.
What’s got pig farmers squealing is a radio ad campaign by Animals Australia. It features a young child voicing the purportedly miserable life of a pregnant sow kept in confined quarters.
In one ad, with the sound of babies crying in the background, the girl says: “Everybody’s crying today. It’s the same every day. It never stops I wish I could close my eyes and not wake up and then I wouldn’t hear it any more.”
QCA note: there are two other ads, one where Lucy complains about being in pain from having babies and having fly-infested sores and a third, where she can’t turn to find out what is happening behind her and is biting the bars of her crate in a vain attempt to escape.
Disturbing enough, but what’s got talkback radio listeners complaining is the campaign’s punchline, voiced by a deep-voiced man: “It is commonly accepted that a pig has the intelligence of a three-year-old child.”
In fact, outrage is such that donations from horrified listeners are keeping the campaign running. “We only had enough money to pay for a week’s worth of air time in the capital cities,” says Glenys Oogjes, Animals Australia’s executive director. “But the overwhelming public support means we are now in our fourth week ”
The campaign, “Lucy speaks”, was designed by Sydney creative director Josh Moore three years ago when he was working in New Zealand. Asked to tackle controversial pig-farming practices, such as the use of sow stalls, he came up with Lucy Speaks.
The Kiwi version of the campaign died because of a lack of money. But this time, as cash pours in, it is bringing home the bacon.
~ With acknowledgments to John Elder, The Sunday Age.
For more information on this excellent organisation, see http://www.animalsaustralia.org
Very much a free-range pig – Priscilla, from Edgar’s Mission in Australia.