The UK dairy industry has released a new campaign to drive consumption of dairy and other cow’s milk products. As well as using advertising via social media, billboards near supermarkets, radio and television, the campaign is also asking people to share their special dairy-filled moments with the hashtag #milkyourmoments.
You’re paying for it
The campaign is costing £1million pound, half of which came from taxpayers’ money as a handout from the government in the form of a Defra grant. Other contributors including AHDB, the industry’s own levy body, are not paying this much.
On the AHDB website, the reason behind the #milkyourmoments campaign was:
Milk and dairy have always featured in situations we took for granted before the lockdown, such as catching up with a colleague over a coffee or sharing an ice-cream with friends, so the campaign celebrates those moments – hence ‘Milk Your Moments’.
But it’s the human connection that makes these moments special, not the dairy milk. Why not switch to soy or oat milk in your coffee, or a vegan ice cream* instead, and you can still enjoy this moment?
We can have human connection without the exploitation of animals.
For those who see through this marketing campaign, the animal activist, Earthling Ed, and the team at Surge have asked if we can share the ways we use plant-based milks using the same #milkyourmoments hashtag. Please have a look at their response campaign, called ‘Milk, this is your moment” with more information and resources.
A failing industry
They claim that the advertising campaign is addressing the fall in milk sales due to the closure of food services caused by the coronavirus outbreak. But dairy industries were failing long before the COVID-19 pandemic, likely due to the increasing number of people switching to veganism and instead opting for the vast array of plant-based milks. For instance, Dean Foods, America’s largest milk producer, filed for bankruptcy last year due to a drop in sales.
It is also ironic that they’re pushing an industry that breeds animals in a way that was likely the cause of the COVID-19 outbreak? Have we not learnt anything?
But the farmers need their incomes?
Of course, the vegan movement does care about the livelihoods of farmers. But financial need does not excuse immoral ways of earning money; there are many opportunities for farmers who rear animals to switch to plant-based agriculture.
If you are a farmer or know any farmers who rear animals, point them in the direction of Surge’s information pack for farmers which help support farmers through this transition.
Governments also need to stop subsidising these failing industries. Amidst a time where our government initially refused providing food vouchers for vulnerable children during the summer holidays, they happily spent £500,000 of your taxes on TV adverts and billboard campaigns encouraging you to buy more milk. What?
Governments also need to start subsiding plant-based agriculture, or helping farmers make the transition away from animal farming. Please sign this petition to ‘demand a reform of how our money is spent, and to help farmers either transition to plant-based agriculture, diversify to produce more crops for human consumption, or re-wild/reforest their land instead as part of ‘carbon farming’ initiatives that will help us meet our climate justice commitments’.
And please share your plant-based milk moments on social media with the hashtag #milkyourmoments.
*Some still think vegan ice cream is a rarity; it’s not. Here are some I eat regularly (we vegans don’t miss out!):
- two flavours of vegan Magnums (I’ve seen in almost all supermarkets)
- Swedish Glace vegan vanilla ice cream (seen in Tescos)
- an entire vegan range from Ben & Jerry’s
- Tesco/M&S vegan choc-ices
- or make your own, just search ‘vegan ice cream recipe’ in google – and why not make this with loved ones, for true human connection?
The Conscious Medic