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A leading dairy farmer has compared anti-dairy adverts by vegans to ‘hate crimes’.
Gary Mitchell, Vice-President of the National Farmers’ Union Scotland, says campaigns portraying the industry as cruel ‘are so far from the truth’.
Speaking to the The Herald, in an article titled Whiteout: The death of dairy, Mitchell said: “There’s an ideology that’s appeared, that’s very, very coordinated and targets especially the younger consumer.
“The advertising in the black cabs in London, accusing farmers of taking calves away from their mothers.
“It feels like a hate crime.”
Plant milks are becoming increasingly popular
Go Vegan World
Mitchell is alluding to the Go Vegan World campaign – which has seen pro-dairy adverts featured in national newspapers, as well as in phone boxes, and on cabs.
Last year, the Advertising Standards Agency ruled that it was fair for the adverts to describe dairy production as ‘inhumane’.
According to an ASA spokesperson the advert, which focused on the idea that it is cruel to separate cows from their babies, is ‘unlikely to materially mislead readers’.
They added: “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.”
More consumers are turning away from cow’s milk
Despite the ASA ruling, Mitchell feels the adverts are not truthful.
He said: “We’ve been doing this for generations and, for a UK or a Scottish farmer, our welfare standards are some of the highest in the world.
“The way they portray us being farmers – that we aren’t animal lovers, in some way we’re cruel, we treat animals cruelly – it’s so far from the truth.”