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A PETA campaign promoting veganism has sparked online outrage after viewers said it "promoted abuse".

The new Internet advert that was released on Tuesday shows a young woman in a neckbrace – purported to be the result of a rigourous sex session with her now vegan and virile boyfriend.

An accompanying website - BWVAKTBOOM.com ("Boyfriend Went Vegan and Knocked the Bottom Out of Me") was also launched with the advert and has been copping it since.

The commercial opens with "Jessica", a bruised woman who is stumbling home with a grocery bag in her hand, dressed only in a shirt over her underwear.

The narrator explains that Jessica is suffering from BWVAKTBOOM: "Boyfriend Went Vegan and Knocked the Bottom out of Me - a painful condition that occurs when boyfriends go Vegan and can suddenly bring it like a tantric porn star."

She manages to make her way up the stairs into the bedroom where her shirtless, spectacled boyfriend is mending a hole in wall.

She then throws a bag of celery to him with a half- mischievous, half-painful smile and he asks, "You’re back, what you're feeling better?"

Women's rights groups and viewers have been quick to pan the advert, calling it a campaign that glorifies abuse against women.

"It's kind of...like what PETA takes a stand against. Unless their concern doesn't extend to the human race, or females in particular," Laura Weisman of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote.

Yahoo! News spoke with Lindsay Rajt, PETA's associate director of campaigns and outreach, about the ad, the campaign and the subsequent backlash.

Rajt defended the campaign, saying it was a tongue-in-cheek attempt at getting people to understand the "side-effects of turning vegan".

"It's taking a playful approach to warning people about one side effect of the cholesterol and fat in animal products, and heart disease, is impotence," Rajt said.

She denied the ad portrayed violence against women. “The woman in our spot is still smiling from a romp with her boyfriend. She had vigorous sex. She enjoyed his energy so much she went out to buy him more vegetables. It is a humorous spot and men and women are getting that”.

This is not the first PETA commercial to have incited outrage.

Previous ads have shown naked women in shackles, copulating with vegetables and other similar instances of violence against women including one that showed a girl getting severely beaten for her fur coat.