Where’s the Beef? The Odd Feud Between LEGO and PETA

LEGO and their world-famous blocks are currently beefing with animal activists over their farmyard toy sets. The animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) are blaming LEGO for misleading children about the “horror and cruelty” of farmed food.

Mimi Bekhechi, vice president of PETA in the U.K., Europe and Australia, issued a letter to Niels Christiansen, chief executive of the LEGO Group that said: “Animal farming is a bloody, cruel business and, in 2022, no firm should be promoting it, especially to children.”

She also added that LEGO has been covering up the real truth about chickens, cows and pigs. They’re not allowed to roam free but are actually kept in cages and crowded pens awaiting their demise.

Neil Shand, chief executive of the National Beef Association, had a different point of view on the situation. He argued: “This is a misleading message from PETA. We have a responsibility to teach children where their food comes from through farm toys.”

Although the farmed food process is extremely harmful to animals, it’s become a harsh reality that little will change without a huge shift in the industry. By using these farm toys, parents can have an open conversation with their children about where their food comes from.

LEGO wrote in the description on their website: “Even though they only speak in pretend-oinks, baas, moos and cluck-clucks, LEGO farm animals can teach your baby, toddler, preschooler or older child a lot more than just animal sounds.

“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.”

It really seems like all LEGO is trying to do is teach children some valuable information about farm animals while also allowing kids to have fun. Is there any harm in that?