What is #Februdairy, and Why is It an Issue?

Over the years, the malpractices of the dairy industry have been uncovered by journalists and activists, and as a result, more people than ever before are turning to veganism. In response to #Veganuary, the dairy industry in Britain launched #Februdairy, a campaign created in an attempt to save their industry from fading from public life. Veganism is an exceptionally healthy lifestyle choice over traditional meat and dairy-eating ones for a couple reasons. Going vegan can halve your carbon footprint, prevent animal suffering, lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, and reduce your risk of contracting diabetes and heart disease. Love of animals is the common catalyst for most vegans. After seeing numerous animal abuses at the hands of the dairy industry, I’m considering going vegan myself.

Most people are somewhat aware that mass-produced animals suffer, but it’s more than just living in dirty production facilities and having their ears tagged. When heifers are misbehaving, it’s common practice for farmers to shove a hose in the cow’s anus in order to blow water into them to “calm them down”. Males calves born to female dairy cows are often shot up to two days after being born because they will never produce milk – this is done in pens with many calves present. They are forced to watch in terror as the others are slaughtered. The calves not killed immediately are sent to semi-intensive beef farms, where their life span is typically one to two years, and early mortality rates are extremely high because of poor conditions.

Even if going completely vegan isn’t in the cards for you, there’s one product that’s easily avoidable this Easter season: Cadbury eggs (and other milk chocolate products). A recent filmed investigation into the farming practices of the dairy farms that supply Cadbury revealed disgusting results. Female cows, like female humans, must have a baby to produce milk. After nine months of carrying a baby, the female gives birth, and after one or two days the calf is taken from her, a traumatic experience for both parties. Then the mother is able to be milked for the next seven months by machines. The Cadbury video shows a baby cow being slaughtered in the bed of a truck filled with other cow and calf carcasses. Also shown in the exposee is the brutal reality of cow sheds, six-month life spans, and Mastitis, the infection caused by contaminated milking machinery that causes cows to produce pus-ridden milk. (For more information visit www.milkmyths.org.uk/cadbury)