The National Farmers' Union has criticised a recent vegan campaign - because it uncovers the truth about the dairy industry. What are they trying to hide?
The dairy industry is struggling. Prices of milk are falling, farms are closing down because of debts, and now animal advocates are questioning animal welfare.
A recent high profile vegan advertising campaign targeted, among others, the dairy industry with messages such as ‘humane milk is a lie – don’t buy it’ and ‘dairy industry takes babies from their mothers’.
The National Farmers’ Union has called the campaign ‘a wakeup call’ not because it misrepresents the dairy industry as they say but precisely otherwise – because it tells people exactly what happens on British dairy farms.
A simple Google search for ‘life of a dairy cow’ can verify the claims made in the adverts. It will show information about how cows are artificially inseminated, have their calves taken away so they don’t drink the milk that is meant to be sold, and kept indoors for vast majority of their life.
It will show that male calves have no value to the dairy industry and are killed for veal at a young age. It will show that female calves will face the same fate as their mothers, treated as mere milk-making machines.
There can be no refutation of the fact that calves are taken away from their mother, a truly distressing ordeal that goes against her natural instincts to care for her young. She would naturally live up to 25 years but on a dairy farm, she will be slaughtered at 4 or 5 when her milk production drops.
These practices happen on all farms, regardless of any high welfare labels or how long the cows get to spend outside. Dairy farms exist solely for profit, and animal welfare is greatly compromised.
It is jarring to hear about farmers ‘caring’ for dairy cows, and then going on to say that the animals will either end up in the dairy herd or slaughtered for their flesh; it would be troubling if this was the usual usage of the word ‘care’.
Go Vegan World’s campaign may be a shock to many people because of the years of dairy industry propaganda that we are used to.
Many people remember the ‘Got milk?’ adverts or the ones that say ‘happy cows give better milk’? It’s ironic that cows are assigned human characteristics when it suits the industry, while at the same time animal advocates are told that animals do not have emotional lives akin to humans.
Now that someone is directly calling out the dairy industry on their lies, they feel obliged to act. And they should, because more and more people are learning the truth about dairy and picking up almond, soya or oat milk instead.
We encourage those interested in learning more about veganism to take our 30-day Vegan Pledge at www.vegansociety.com/veganpledge.