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Ad Parody Criticizes Chipotle

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The video shown above is a parody of Chipotle’s ad for their new “Scarecrow” game. When I watched the original ad for the popular Mexican chain restaurant (featured at the end of the post) for the first time, I have to admit it hit me in the chest, for a moment… and then I shook my head and said, “What bull.”

This is why: The video begins with a Scarecrow, a cog in the corporate farming machine, going to work. During his day he catches sight of a chicken being injected with chemicals,  and a group of sad cows trapped in small metal boxes being milked. This all seems to, justifiably, depress him so he goes home after work, apparently wondering how this world of industrial animal use came to be… until he sees a beautiful red pepper (Chipotle’s logo).

He then decides to do something about corporate animal farming and is shown picking beautiful vegetables and transporting heaps of them into the city, where he cooks them up offering an alternative to the food next door, being pumped out of the factory he used to work for.

If I understand the message of this ad, the Scarecrow’s solution to factory farms is to grow, eat and serve delicious veggies to the public. Great message, right?

Noticeably absent from the Scarecrow’s “solution scenes” are meat,* eggs or dairy products. And that’s my problem with this ad: The message they are attempting to capitalize on is a plant-based one (vegan), but Chipotle is far from a vegan restaurant chain.

*Although some people say there might be a chicken in the kitchen scene, I can’t spot it. If there is one, he doesn’t touch or cut it up during the scene.

Salon’s David Sirota comments:

“So did Chipotle mean its ad to be such an explicitly pro-vegetarian [vegan] message, only to see that message ignored by media outlets and much of its audience? Or did company executives design the ad with a two-pronged calculation? Were they calculating that: 1) the controversial and explicit vegetarian message would be ignored, but 2) that the audience would nonetheless implicitly ascribe the kill-free merits of vegetarianism to the burrito vendor’s products? Put another way, in a self-serving bit of trickery, were they actually trying to subtly conflate opposition to factory farming with full-on opposition to eating meat, even though those two things are fundamentally different?”

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Alisa Rutherford-Fortunati

Gentle World is a vegan intentional community and non-profit organization, whose core purpose is to help build a more peaceful society, by educating the public about the reasons for being vegan, the benefits of vegan living, and how to go about making such a transition. For more information about vegan food and other aspects of a vegan lifestyle, visit the Gentle World website and subscribe to our monthly newsletter.


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8:04AM PDT on May 26, 2014

thanks for sharing :)

9:38PM PDT on Oct 9, 2013


8:56AM PDT on Oct 9, 2013

What is Chipotle?

1:54PM PDT on Oct 8, 2013


3:34PM PDT on Oct 6, 2013

Hmmm, I didn't see this as a "we're glossing over the fact we serve meat" video, more that the factory farm and chemical agriculture is polluting our bodies and our environment. I'm a very minimal meat eater and a fan of Chipotle because they do make a very conscious effort. There will always be meat eaters on this planet, go poop on Carl's Junior or Burger King if you're looking for an enemy.

9:32AM PDT on Oct 1, 2013


12:41AM PDT on Sep 30, 2013

Thanks for posting this.

1:38AM PDT on Sep 29, 2013

Perhaps you should at least research the farms they use a bit before stating that "must come from very large farms with thousands of animals."

11:49AM PDT on Sep 28, 2013


7:44AM PDT on Sep 28, 2013

Interesting... thanks!

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