This June you’ll be more likely to find us celebrating Pride month than Dairy Month, but the Dairy Alliance spends this month (and others) marketing milk to families as the beverage of choice. The dairy industry encourages consumers to continue buying milk, often citing health benefits–despite the large amount of studies to the contrary. In fact, consumers are increasingly ditching dairy milk in favor of healthier, and kinder, plant-based options.
Why Dairy is Scary
As COK investigations have revealed, the cruel dairy industry is nothing to celebrate. On dairy farms, female cows are artificially inseminated 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 of their female calves will be endure the same cruel cycle as dairy cows until slaughter, while some of the male calves are raised for beef, or confined to small pens and kept malnourished until they are slaughtered for veal.
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 confined spaces, this is impossible.
After just a few years in these abusive conditions, a dairy cow will be 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!
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.” Dairy milk sales are slumping now, too, as consumers pick plant-based, and in 2016 the dairy industry even dumped–yes, dumped–over 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 dairy farmers 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 dairy industry scrambles to sell its product, consumers are demanding the opposite and asking for non-dairy options. Companies like Dunkin’ Donuts 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?
This National Dairy Month, show companies like Kraft Heinz that you don’t want to celebrate cruelty. Join us today in telling Kraft Heinz to kraft an all-vegan BOCA brand by ditching dairy!