| Last updated
You'd think the purveyors of the much-loved interlocking plastic bricks would be pretty low down on the hit list of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), but the animal rights group has taken Lego to task over its farmyard sets.
The group is urging the Danish company to rebrand the sets as 'animal sanctuaries' to prevent children from being misled about the 'horror and cruelty' of the farming industry.
The beef comes after Guardian journalist and environmental campaigner, George Monbiot, criticised the 'cosy story' told to children about farms, according to the Daily Mail.
He wrote: "As young children, we are constantly exposed to benign visions of the livestock farm, which bear no relation to reality.
"The only farms most children are likely to visit are petting farms and play farms, which reinforce this cosy story."
In a letter to the chief executive of the Lego Group, Niels Christiansen, Mimi Bekhechi - vice president of PETA in UK, Europe and Australia - said 'pastoral scenes' misrepresented the living conditions of livestock.
She wrote: "Animal farming is a bloody, cruel business and, in 2022, no firm should be promoting it, especially to children."
Lego is yet to respond to the letter, but Neil Shand - chief executive of the National Beef Association - sees things very differently to PETA (unsurprisingly).
According to the Daily Mail, he said: "This is a misleading message from Peta. We have a responsibility to teach children where their food comes from through farm toys."
The paper reported that Frank Furedi, emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Kent, echoed Shand's view.
He said: "This letter is taking something natural and innocent, like children's interest in farm animals, and turning it into something malevolent."
The Lego website states that its 'fun' for children to play with farm animal toys and imagine 'being responsible for live animals'.
It reads: "What should you wear when you're riding a horse? Who feeds the rabbits and chickens
"Lego farm animals love when kids take them out to play! Put on your pretend overalls and rubber boots, roll up your sleeves, and fill your young farmer's stables with toy horses, cows, chickens and all the other farm animals. Find the perfect farm animal gift right here."
UNILAD has contacted Lego for comment.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read