A national vegetarian organisation has slammed self-proclaimed "lamb-assador" Sam Kekovitch for promoting meat at the expense of vegans in the lead-up to Australia Day.
In the television commercial, Kekovitch marches through a childcare centre, encourages parents to "educate the new generation about the perils of a lambless life", and while there warns "teaching a tot to love lamb is the pressing duty of every parent".
The campaign is built on the success of previous Australia Day lamb campaigns, making it clear lamb "is the patriotic food choice for the national day and beyond".
But Vegan Australia director Greg McFarlane said the Australian meat industry felt so threatened by growing vegetarian awareness it targeted vegans directly in the TV ad campaign.
"Vegan ethics and practice is entering the mainstream at an accelerating rate," Mr McFarlane said.
"Vegan Australia is calling for Generation Peace.
"We all want a better world for our children, so at every meal let's teach them that violence is just not okay, it's un-Australian.
"Don't serve them up the results of raising, feeding and slaughtering baby animals, but give them plenty of delicious vegan food, like legumes, grains, fruits and vegeta- bles.
"You will then be putting an end to the cycle of violence, the idea that since we have power over other animals, then we have the right to exploit and use them.
"None of us need parts of other animals to thrive and be healthy. Instead of following Sam Kekovitch, think for yourself and give the lambs (and other animals) some peace."