Krishnas have beef with meat ad

New Zealand Hare Krishna devotees are demanding a television advertisement for meat be taken off the air because they say it ridicules their religion.

They have made a formal complaint over the NZ Beef and Lamb Marketing Bureau advertisement, which features a group of butchers dancing, singing and chanting along a street.

The Hare Krishnas argue it is a clear imitation of their chants.

"Chanting is traditionally taken to public on the street and it is a serious activity not to be ridiculed," says Hare Krishna spokesperson Jaya Shila.

As vegetarians, the association with meat has angered them even more.

"The unnecessary killing of animals is against our basic belief," Shila says.

But NZ Beef and Lamb says the Krishnas will just have to get used to the campaign.

"The concept is butchers are jolly, happy characters, they're extroverted and here's a shot of them dancing down the street singing the benefits of red meat," says spokesman Rod Slater.

"It's as simple as that.

"We're not pulling the ads, they're not meant to be offensive... there's more in the series to come and we can't wait for that