Miniatur Wunderland shocks with animal cruelty campaign

Miniatur Wunderland shocks with animal cruelty campaign

They may be tiny, but they can still pack a ferocious punch. Miniatur Wunderland - the world’s largest model railway maker - may seem like an unlikely candidate for the cause of a controversy, but over the years the Hamburg-based model makers have never shied away from making a political statement. And their latest controversial exhibit - focused on the plight of animals in the farming industry - has unleashed something of a storm. 

Miniatur Wunderland launches ethical farming campaign

Naked women being milked by a machine. Newborn baby boys fed via a conveyor-belt directly into a shredder. Naked men and women in cages being force-fed through tubes. Last week, an animal welfare campaign began in the fictional Miniatur Wunderland village of Knuffingen, with these images pasted on billboards across the village, accompanied by captions such as, “Stop mass milk production!” and “Stop the male infant shredding!” 

Close-up images of the tiny credit-card sized billboards were also posted on Miniatur Wunderland’s Facebook page, with a request to hear their followers’ reactions. They explained that they wanted to shock consumers and highlight the double standards of many consumers, who expect meat to be cheap but also want “animals to be stroked to death after a long, fulfilled life before they land on our plates.” 

The campaign received generally positive feedback from the public, who shared and commented on the Facebook post thousands of times within the first 72 hours. The tiny size of the billboards meant that many visitors actually missed them on their way round the attraction, but those who did notice them felt that the provocative action was to be welcomed.

Farmers brand model railway campaign “disgusting”

The campaign did not, however, receive such a warm response from the Schleswig-Holstein Farmers’ Association, who branded the images “disgusting” and were quick to accuse Miniatur Wunderland of double moral standards - pointing out that their in-house restaurant serves Currywurst and Schnitzel sourced from conventional livestock. 

The Managing Director of Miniatur Wunderland, Frederik Braun, responded that the campaign was not targeting farmers themselves, but instead trying to raise awareness among consumers. He contended that Miniatur Wunderland and the farmers are batting from the same corner - to encourage consumers to spend more on meat and thus better-fund farmers - and refused to apologise for the campaign. He did, however, announce that they are looking into the possibility of serving organic meat in the Miniatur Wunderland restaurant. 



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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