After Pak'nSave withdrew a meaty advert deemed offensive to vegetarians, animal rights group Peta sent the supermarket a bunch of flowers in gratitude. But now the advert is back, with a slight twist.

The original television commercial for Pak'nSave's "meat week" warned vegetarians to look away while meat travelled along a conveyor belt, then told them it was safe to look because it was a carrot. But it was actually a sausage.

Peta sent the managing director of Foodstuffs Auckland - which owns Pak'nSave - flowers to thank it for pulling the advert on Tuesday.

"With the growing number of vegetarians in New Zealand and around the world, companies can't afford to make people who follow a plant-based diet the butt of advertising jokes," said Jason Baker, campaigns director for Peta Australia.


"Foodstuffs did the right thing by showing respect for vegetarians. Going vegetarian is the best thing we can do for our own health, the environment, and the animals."

However, a modified version of the advert was back just a day after the other was cancelled.

The refreshed commercial begins with the same warning to vegetarians to look away while they show meat on a conveyor belt.

It then says: "Okay vegetarians, here is a carrot, which is a vegetable but that looks like a sausage, which must mean meat-lovers week now comes with vegetarian sausages."

The advertisements have been debated online by offended vegetarians, vegetarians embarrassed by the offended herbivores, and carnivores fed-up with "precious" leaf-eaters.

Others were frustrated that politically correct police correctness had gone too far.

But not all vegetarians were offended by the original commercial, including Joan Spiller, who said: "Ya know I have to say, it is (so often!) embarrassing being a vegetarian ... Bunch of tossers to even notice this ad let alone think it's offensive, far out."