The Dark Side of the Dairy Industry


Photo is of Ben and Jerry (of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream) sitting down next to each other; image used under a Creative Commons license.

Direct Action Everywhere activist Aidan Cook recently posed some uncomfortable questions to Ben and Jerry (yes, the founders of the ice cream brand) at an event in Boulder, Colorado, regarding the treatment of dairy cows and egg laying hens. The video is hard to hear, but the gist of it is that Aidan is asking Ben and Jerry to comment on the cruelty of the egg and dairy industries. Ben’s comment on cage-free eggs was almost inaudible to me, but then, remarkably, Ben says “In terms of dairy, yeah I think the dark side of the dairy industry is that it’s based on taking calves away from their mothers.

A dark side indeed — the dairy industry is absolutely horrific. Regardless of whether or not the farm is small, large, local, “humane,” whatever, dairying exploits all mother cows and destroys families. Getting Ben Cohen of Ben and Jerry’s to admit that the dairy industry has a “dark side” is a huge victory. I applaud Ben and Jerry’s for acknowledging the inherent cruelty of the dairy industry and also for the vegan ice creams they will soon be offering.

Also, I encourage any vegans to get out there and participate in activism, if they are able to.  The industry is not going to change unless we demand it to, so speak out- whether it’s online, or in person. Change will come if we take a stand.

For a short video about the reality of dairy farms, please watch the blow vide. (Content Warning: Graphic content.) If you are disturbed by how dairy cows are treated, please reflect on your feelings and choose dairy-free products. And before you say, “But I don’t drink milk,” remember that milk and its byproducts are found in an unbelievable amount of food products. It’s not just glasses of milk, it’s also cheese, ice cream, butter, cream, and so on, and anything, for example, with whey or casein. If you need advice with choosing dairy-free products, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

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