dairy industry

Dairy Is Scary–Ditch Cruelty in June

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Dairy: It’s not natural for humans to drink cow’s milk

This June you’ll be more likely to find us celebrating Pride month than Dairy Month. The Dairy Alliance spends this month (and others) marketing milk to families as the beverage of choice. The industry encourages consumers to buy milk, citing health benefits despite the large amount of studies to the contrary. In fact, consumers are increasingly giving up cow’s milk in favor of healthier, kinder plant-based options.

As our investigations reveal, the cruel dairy industry is nothing to celebrate. Workers artificially inseminate female cows in an invasive manual procedure, and each time they give birth, their calf is taken from them–some so young their umbilical cords are still attached. Many female calves will endure the same cruel cycle as their mothers until slaughter, while some of the male calves are raised for beef, confined to small pens and kept malnourished until they are slaughtered for veal, or simply left to die.

As you can imagine, life as a dairy cow is a cruel existence. Cows, just like dogs, thrive in social environments where they can build relationships, play and exercise. On many factory farms where cows are kept in filthy, confined spaces, this is impossible.

After just a few years in these abusive conditions, a dairy cow is considered “spent” and shipped to slaughter. The average dairy cow will be killed at six years old, despite her natural lifespan being around 20 years.

Why “Celebrate?”

According to the Dairy Alliance, June was originally named National Dairy Month “as a way to distribute extra milk during the warm months of summer.” Milk sales are slumping now, too, as consumers pick plant-based, and in 2016 the industry even dumped–yes, dumped–more than 43 million gallons of excess milk. Meanwhile, the industry fights to stop popular plant-based milks from being labeled as milk, and marketing firms paid by the industry have appealed to fast-food restaurants to try to convince them to use more dairy products and save the dying industry.

What Consumers Really Want

While the industry scrambles to sell its product, consumers are demanding the opposite and asking for plant-based options. Companies like Dunkin’ and Starbucks have responded by adding non-dairy milks to their menu, and Starbucks is even launching a line of vegan foods.

There are always opportunities for companies to capture the growing plant-based market. Kraft Heinz is rolling out vegan options, but they continue to use milk in many of their vegetarian BOCA products–an ingredient easily replaceable with more ethical and healthy plant-based alternatives. Why keep using milk when you can cut out the cruelty to cows by ditching dairy?

Take Action

This National Dairy Month, show companies like Kraft Heinz that you don’t want to celebrate cruelty. Join us today in asking Kraft Heinz to make its BOCA brand 100 percent vegan.

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