A powerful new animated short film from Ed Winters (also known as Earthling Ed) shows the reality of the dairy industry from a mother’s perspective.
MILK, which Surge Activism made in collaboration with British-Swedish animation studio Smash, documents the life of a typical “dairy cow.”
It begins with a person pouring milk over their cereal, before going on to show a mother cow nuzzling her calf on a British farm. After a few moments, a farmer arrives and drags the calf away, prompting the cow to bellow out in distress. The calf is then seen in a small cage being fed on milk replacer, surrounded by many others.
After being hooked up to a milk machine in the farm, the mother cow is then sent to the slaughterhouse. Before she is stunned with a captive bolt pistol, she is shown remembering nuzzling her baby at the farm.
At the end of the video, the person who poured milk on their cereal is horrified to notice that the milk is in fact blood. Words on the screen read: “If the colour of milk reflected the dairy industry, it would run red, not white.”
A cruel industry
“This film was made for every individual animal who had their life, autonomy and dignity taken from them by the dairy industry,” Winters wrote on Instagram.
He added that they made MILK to show the “reality of the dairy industry from the perspective of those trapped within it.”
Winters went on to say that the short film shows “literally the best when it comes to dairy farming.” He is referring to the fact that the cows shown are in what many would deem a “high-welfare” farm.
“Organic, free-range, high-welfare, humanely raised. It doesn’t matter what label we put on dairy products, all dairy cows are victims of an industry that forcibly impregnates them, takes their babies from them, exploits their bodies and then sends them to a slaughterhouse to cut their throats,” he said. “It’s time to end the dairy industry.”
Plant Based News co-founder Robbie Lockie described the film as an “honest, powerful, and deeply moving story that should be on the educational program of all schools.”
“Adults and children must know the truth,” they added.
The cruelty of dairy production
Dairy cows in the UK are typically forced to give birth once a year. Each time, they have their calf taken from them so humans can take their milk. Mother cows form powerful attachments to their babies, just like humans do. Being separated from their young is therefore hugely traumatic. They will often cry out and bellow for days after they’re gone.
The calves are often kept in small, barren crates on their own for around two months and fed a milk replacer. The female calves will then suffer the same fate as their mothers, and males will either enter the veal market or the beef industry.
Dairy cows have been selectively bred to produce around 2.5x the amount of milk they usually would. This takes a huge toll on their bodies, and they will often suffer from a painful udder inflammation called mastitis. When their bodies are worn out (usually when they are around five years old), dairy cows will be sent to the slaughterhouse.
For more information, visit therealcolourofmilk.com
MILK is available to watch on Earthling Ed’s YouTube channel. It’s the first in a series of short films that expose what is happening to animals.