COW Vs SOY; National Farmers Union Launches Offensive in Response to World Plant Milk Day!
This week marks the beginning of an anti-dairy campaign pioneered by a number of vegan activist groups as well the instigation of the ‘Proud of Dairy Movement’ coordinated by the National Farmers Union.
With World Plant Milk Day falling on the 22nd of August, a number of vegan groups, including Veganuary and Pro Veg UK, are using this opportunity to expose the dark side of the dairy industry and advocate for ethical milk alternatives.
The ‘Dairy Week of Action’ as it’s referred to by Animal Aid, has sparked outrage among the National Farmers Union (NFU). Certain facets within the union have launched a counter offensive aimed at promoting what they believe to be, the health benefits of dairy.
The NFU claims that their ‘Proud of Dairy’ crusade will provide consumers with an inside, access all areas view of the industry and aims to place the spotlight on the work of their farmers.
The hashtag #proudofdairy is doing the rounds on twitter in an effort to canvas support for the dairy industry and give its backers a chance to air their voice.
Many pictures shared under the ‘#proudofdairy’ umbrella are from local dairy farmers and depict happy cows, grazing in lush pastures. Some of the accompanying tweets read;
“I am privileged to have shared so much of my life with the cows that enrich so many lives with their healthy, nutritious milk #ProudofDairy” @freerangedairy
“Can I be #ProudOfDairy too? Of the dedication, early rising, top welfare standards but most of all I’m proud to share this industry with you” @redshepherdess
The British Veterinary Association has also tweeted support for the campaign;
“Proud to help young vets improve cattle health and welfare #proudtoworkindairy”
Cleverly, the hashtag is also being used by vegans and animal activists, who see it as an opportunity to portray the harsh realities of dairy farming;
“Q: Why are farmers proud of taking babies from their mothers?
A: Because they're proud of their profits. #proundofdairy”
“Are you #proudofdairy?
I'm not. I'll never go back to support the inhumane, exploitive dairy industry”
The ongoing feud between dairy farmers and vegan communities came to an inevitable head in February this year, when a vegan advert displaying a caged cow was published in The Sunday Telegraph, a national newspaper in Britain, with the headline;
‘Humane milk is a myth. Don’t buy it.’
The NFU responded in an open letter, calling the ad misleading and declaring;
“British dairy farmers take the health and wellbeing of their cows and calves very seriously.”
On the surface, it may seem that the NFU’s ‘proud of dairy’ campaign demonstrates the resilience and strength still inherent in the dairy industry today.
More likely however, the ‘proud of dairy’ initiative represents a decline in support for the industry. This once impenetrable, highly lucrative sector of UK agricultural trade is finally beginning to show cracks.
If vegan campaigns and adverts can elicit a response from the big wigs within the dairy industry, we know something is working!
Euromonitor, who conduct independent market research, reported that non-dairy milk sales have more than doubled in the last 8 years and this trend is set to continue!
Veganism is gaining momentum worldwide and with non-dairy milks like almond and soy soaring in popularity ahead of World Plant Milk Day, it’s no wonder the dairy industry is quaking in their boots!
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