Vegans may now brand cows’ milk inhumane following a recent ruling. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled in favour of an activist group’s anti-dairy campaign.
The ruling came after the National Farmer’s Union complained to the watchdog about Go Vegan World’s campaign ‘Humane milk is a myth’.
The campaign appeared across newspapers, billboards, train stations, buses and taxis in February, challenging many people’s beliefs.
Farmers branded the advert ‘misleading’. As expected, the ruling’s outcome has enraged many farmers.
Vegan campaigners have said the ruling now proves that milk production involves cruelty and that it solely belongs to a young cow.
The ASA said: “Although the language used to express the claims was emotional and hard-hitting, we understood it was the case that calves were generally separated from their mothers very soon after birth, and we therefore concluded that the ad was unlikely to materially mislead readers.”
But the NFU, which intends to appeal, disagreed.
Michael Oakes, NFU dairy board chairman, said: “The vegan advert was misleading and our members, who are constantly looking to improve welfare standards, found it upsetting and demoralising.”
The disputed advert claimed “Humane milk is a myth. Don’t buy it.” and that calves “trembled and cried piteously” after being separated “fresh from their mother’s wombs”.
Go Vegan World, branded the ruling as a ‘landmark’.
Sandra Higgins, the group’s Director, said: “The aim of the ad is to let people know that no matter where the milk and dairy products they purchase have come from, whether an industrial-scale dairy farm or a smallholding, for each cow, legal, standard practice necessitates her pregnancy, the removal of her calf, and her slaughter, so that we can drink the milk that she produced to feed her infant.
“The ad highlights that the problem faced by animals in the dairy industry is not how they are treated, but that they are used at all.
“The ad pertains to animal rights: the right of other feeling beings not to be our property and not to be used by us for our ends.”