Hillshire Farms says advert not offensive

Letter: by Dao Chuan, Tucson, AZ USA

I sent an email to Hillshire Farms and got the following reply. It is disappointing that a Tibetan Lama has decided to be used in a commercial of any kind, much less for promoting the consumption of meat. Monks in Tibet ate meat as there were not many vegetables. Here, in the US there are many options and there is no reason for the monk to justify eating meat.

Please read also: A Buddhist Perspective on Vegetarianism

[Response from Hillshire Farm]

Thank you for visiting the Hillshire Farm web site.  We appreciate your interest in our products and are happy to assist you with your questions and/or concerns.

Thank you for your feedback.  We never intended for our commercial to offend you, or to be derogatory towards Buddhists.  We are sorry you feel that way. Our decision to use a Monk in the commercial was done with the utmost sensitivity.  The person we used is a real-life Lama.

He was not pretending to be something that he wasn't, and he only acted in ways which fit with his actual beliefs.  We understand that some Buddhists do not eat meat.  However, our Monk was a Tibetan Monk who will eat meat if the animal was not killed specifically for his benefit.

Shawntel Kolb
Consumer Response Department

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