The UK supermarket giant Sainsbury’s has received complaints about one of their Christmas cards for being offensive to vegans, vegetarians, and animal lovers. The cards feature an image of snow-covered pigs and above them, the message reads: “Don’t worry, I hear we’re getting some blankets!” This distasteful joke refers to the popular Christmas snack “pigs in blankets”, consisting of small sausages made from pig’s flesh covered by pieces of bacon (as if it were blankets).  

The offensive card was spotted by one customer at the Charlton store in London on 4th November 2023, who was immediately taken aback and ended up posting a tweet with this text: “Hello Sainsbury’s, I know everyone’s sense of humour is different but I think this is the saddest, unkindest Xmas card I’ve ever seen. I wonder if you’ll sell lots of them. I saw the card in Sainsbury’s and thought it was unkind, sad and not really very funny. I’m not trying to get it banned. Just wanted to point out that it’s not a funny or seasonal card.”

After that, other customers posted their messages and comments. One user wrote: “That’s awful. Shame on you, Sainsbury’s. That is very offensive to vegetarians, vegans and basically animal lovers.” Another commented: “Sainsbury’s, this is offensive.” A third wrote: “I eat pork, but yeah. That’s incredibly bleak and sad.” 

Adjectives used to describe the card were “grim”, “sick”, “disgusting”, “terrible” and “horrible”. However, these adjectives fit much better the actual life animal agriculture gives to these sensitive and intelligent mammals, who will eventually be killed and converted into sausages, burgers, and other “blood” dishes. The fact that the supermarket has not even realised how offensive the card is to decent people shows how deep carnism runs in people’s minds (no matter how many plant-based products they may sell).  

After all the complaints, the supermarket has now removed the offensive card

Jordi Casamitjana
“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.