This Mother’s Day, March 30, Viva! and Viva!Health are launching a brand new campaign called White Lies. It combines and updates all our work on the dairy industry and offers many important new resources.
By Veronika Powell, Viva! campaigner
White Lies brings together ALL the issues surrounding the dairy industry: animal welfare combined with the latest science on the many links between dairy consumption and human diseases. And to make life easier for the many who are deciding to go dairy-free, this campaign also offers an abundance of practical help – shopping lists, recipes and tasty substitutions for dairy products.
In the past, we have produced numerous reports, guides and feature articles reporting on and documenting the many links between the consumption of dairy products and human illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, asthma, osteoporosis, heart disease and inflammatory bowel disease. Ever-more scientific data are being published confirming these links and ever-more people are going dairy-free so the time is right to update our popular White Lies report. It is a compelling story and the science so convincing that the dairy industry’s welter of advertising claims simply fall apart.
The Dark Side of Dairy
Also, over the years, we have conducted numerous undercover investigations into the reality of British dairy farming and the results have been consistently depressing.
We filmed 15 zero grazing farms supplying the confectionary giant Cadbury and documented excruciating birth complications, the appalling stress of mother and calf being forcibly separated after birth and the desperate calling of one to the other. We saw cows with distended udders producing 39 litres of milk a day, who never go out to pasture and repeatedly suffer from painful and debilitating illnesses such as the udder infection mastitis, lameness and milk fever.
We also filmed the shocking fate of Cadbury’s male calves. Useless to the dairy industry, many of these confused little ‘byproducts’ are simply disposed of. We filmed a baby male calf being callously shot in the head before being hauled away by the hunt, with a trailer load of other dairy corpses, to become food for their dogs. Those who aren’t shot fare little better, being sold into the cruel veal industry or slaughtered for pet food.
Biosecurity is essential to stop the spread of TB and we showed how non-existent it is – certainly at the cattle markets where we filmed. Antiseptic footbaths were barely used and at one market were not even present until we raised the issue. We exposed modern dairy goat farming and shattered the image of small-scale, artisan businesses. Our investigation showed huge, intensive farms where the goats never go outside and have their kids taken from them after birth in the same manner as dairy cows. Our exposé of this industry was a first and these practices, along with our filming of the horrific mutilations inflicted on young kids, shocked many people.
We have to keep our evidence and statistics up to date or the dairy industry will immediately claim that everything has changed. For that reason, The Dark Side of Dairy report provides accurate and up-todate information on British dairy farming – we have included all the latest facts and figures so what you see is a realistic picture of how the industry works and how British dairy cows live in 2014.
Everyone’s Going Dairy-Free
Consumers are becoming more informed about their health, animal welfare and how their food is produced and as a result, dairy-free living is at an all-time high.
In 2014 we introduced two brand new, superbly-detailed guides to help you with the transition. Everyone’s Going Dairy-Free is bursting with practical information and advice whilst Why You Don’t Need Dairy is all about the health and animal welfare reasons for living a dairy-free life, empowering you to be confident about your decisions. It draws its authority from the 238-page, White Lies report.
We also overhauled the former MilkMyths website and turned it into WhiteLies.org.uk, full of useful resources and new materials! Check it out!
Britain’s Hardest Working Mothers
We launched the campaign on Mother’s Day because dairy cows truly are the hardest-working mothers. Every year they produce so much milk it could feed eight calves. At the same time, a calf is growing inside them. We are striving to break this cycle of suffering but we need your support.
Help us spread the message by joining our door-dropping team! We’ll send you a pack of leaflets for distributing in your neighbourhood.
If you don’t have internet access, let us know by post and address your letter to: Viva! Dairy-Free Pledge, 8 York Court, Wilder Street, Bristol BS2 8QH.
It’s time to wean ourselves off cows’ milk! Make 2014 the start of your dairy-free life!