PETA Billboard Causing Controversy In Jackson

If you see the controversial billboard from a distance, you may not notice anything. But the message has people throughout the state stirred up.

Bishop William Houck of the Jackson Archdiocese is bothered by it.

"They have chosen a kind of an unfortunate method to get over their message."

The picture shows the Virgin Mary breast feeding baby Jesus. The slogan says "If it were good enough for Jesus... The breast is best."

"I think it's insensitive and lacking in reverence for something that so many people look to with reverence and love," Houck said.

PETA members say they're goal is to educate Mississippians about the abuses of dairy cattle. In a phone interview, a PETA spokesman said bottle feeding contributes to Mississippi high infant mortality rate.

"The dairy industry, a 70-billion-dollar per year industry is profiting off the suffering of mothers in Mississippi and others around the country who don't know that they're harming their babies and supporting animal cruelty," PETA spokesman Bruce Friedrich said.

The billboard towers over an office building parking lot in Jackson and is getting a lot of attention, most of it negative.

Even workers at the Mississippi animal rescue league say the sign is in poor taste.

"It's radical, especially for this part of the country, and I don't think they gained any support with the dairy industry," Deborah Boswell said.

The billboard will remain up for at least six weeks. PETA says if there's positive feedback, look for more Virgin Mary billboards to show up across the South.

PETA leased the billboard space from a Louisiana company. No Mississippi company would lease one of the billboards it owns for the controversial ad.