Offensive Airport Ad Pulled in 2 Hours, Thanks to These Activists

Published by Zachary Toliver.

The Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport experienced the influential power of animal rights activists when, within hours, complaints led officials to take down an offensive ad that proclaimed, “You’re Precious Cargo, Not Cattle.”

There’s nothing funny about transporting cows. They’re crammed onto trucks, where they typically go without food, water, or rest for the duration of the journey, which can sometimes be days. Many cows collapse in hot weather, and in the cold, they sometimes freeze to the sides of the truck until workers pry them off with crowbars.

Activist Len Goldberg—who was contacted by a concerned airport employee who found the ad disturbing—mobilized the effort to remove it by posting about it on Facebook, encouraging others to write or call airport officials to let them know that “they were really saddened that animals were being called out in that way.”

In just two hours, after numerous people contacted officials, the ad was pulled.

A spokesperson from PortsToronto—the airport’s management agency—said that the ad was quickly taken down and its message won’t be a part of the ad campaign going forward.

“Our sincere apologies if the message on the terminal upgrade marketing campaign offended you or in any way implied a disrespect for animals,” she wrote in an e-mail to Len. “We agree animals should be treated humanely and with respect.”

The power of activism is truly remarkable.

Kudos to the indomitable Len and the other Toronto campaigners for swiftly securing this victory that promotes empathy for animals. For years, we’ve loved Len’s passionate activism, such as his work approaching fur-wearers for the #FurChallenge, which we included in a PETA video:

This recent victory at an airport in a major city shows just how far we’ve come in the animal rights movement. Respect for animals is being taken seriously in new, ever-growing corners of society, but we’re far from finished.

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind