Campaigners collaborate to take on the dairy industry
For the first time, plant-based milk is to be celebrated with its own international awareness day.
World Plant Milk Day, August 22nd, sees leading UK vegan and animal organisations ProVeg UK, Plant Based News, Animal Aid, Veganuary and Viva! come together for the first time to promote delicious and healthy plant-based alternatives to dairy, and raise awareness of the realities of dairy production.
“The first ever World Plant Milk Day ushers in the start of a new post-milk era in which everyone makes healthier, more compassionate food choices. Whether it’s oat, almond, soya or coconut, there are plant milks for every taste, for every cup of tea and every bowl of cereal. World Plant Milk Day aims to widen their availability and further accelerate their popularity,” said Jimmy Pierson, Director of ProVeg UK.
The boom in plant-based alternatives shows no signs of slowing down, with the global industry set to top $16 billion next year. The dairy industry, meanwhile, is in crisis: there are now fewer than 9,500 dairy farms in the UK compared with 13,000 a decade ago, and it has been predicted there will be fewer than 5,000 by 2025.
“All the signs indicate that dairy is in terminal decline and it’s no surprise that consumption is dropping year by year. After all, why would anyone want to buy a product that has such a detrimental impact on animals, the environment and their health when there are far superior plant-based alternatives available?” said Jane Land, Co-Founder of Veganuary, who, for World Plant Milk Day, will be relaunching their own undercover investigation into a UK dairy farm.
As the realities of its standard practices keep coming to light, dairy is increasingly seen as cruel, outdated and unnecessary. Just last month, the Advertising Standards Authority ruled against the dairy industry, finding that it is not misleading to label cows’ milk production as “inhumane”.
“The dairy cow must be one of the most exploited and abused animals in the modern farming system. Before being slaughtered, like every other farmed animal, they must first endure years of repeated forced impregnation and distressing separation from their newborn calves, all so that milk for their young can be bottled for human consumption. Abused, tormented, betrayed and killed – that is the life of a dairy cow in modern Britain,” said Ben Martin, Campaign Manager, Animal Aid.
Animal Aid’s supporters will be offering free samples of different plant milks for people to try, as well as providing information about the dairy industry and cruelty-free alternatives.
The negative impact of dairy products on human health is also becoming increasingly accepted. There is extensive evidence to suggest that consuming milk may increase the risk of several chronic health conditions. Conversely, research now points to whole food, plant-based diets, including plant milks, as being effective in preventing and even reversing disease.
“Cows’ milk consumption has been linked to health issues ranging from acne to cancer and diabetes. Switching to plant milks and other dairy alternatives is one of the best things you can do for your health,” said Veronika Powell, campaigner for Viva!, whose local groups will be door-dropping, holding information stalls with free materials and leafletting outside coffee shops across the UK to encourage dairy-free choices.
Co-Founders of World Plant Milk Day, and the sector’s leading news outlet, Plant Based News, have drummed up support in the US. They will be posting video content from vegan celebrities and well-known activists from the other side of the Atlantic in support of the day.
In addition, ProVeg has been working with restaurants across the country to offer deals and events to make plant milks more accessible for the week of August 21st-28th. The Green Kitchen in St Albans, for example, is offering dairy-free milk and cheese tasters, and The Spotless Leopard in Bristol is offering a free meal on the next visit when customers photograph their meal and share it online, tagging ProVeg UK and The Spotless Leopard with the hashtag #WorldPlantMilkDay.
Want to celebrate World Plant Milk Day too?
- Post on social media with the following hashtags: #WorldPlantMilkDay #PostMilkEra
- Encourage restaurants to take part
For more information and for a full list of participating restaurants visit www.worldplantmilkday.com