A dairy industry giant in India is urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ban the leading animal rights charity, PETA, over disagreements about cow’s milk.
It comes as the country is in the midst of a legal battle over the labeling of plant-based dairy products.
India dairy industry
The calls come from the Vice-Chairman of Amul, which is the largest food and beverage company in the country.
Disagreements surfaced after PETA India urged Amul to start producing plant-based milk in order to give consumers ‘what they want’.
Moreover, the charity said most Indians would be ‘astonished’ to learn the extent to which the dairy sector supplies the beef industry.
But Amul insists that dairy is good for the economy and that plant-based products are too expensive for many members of the public.
According to Indian Cooperative, Vice-Chairman Valamji Humbal says dairy is an ‘important contributor’ for India’s gross domestic product (GDP). Being ‘cruel’ to livestock is unimaginable, he added – and accused PETA of being inspired by business interests overseas.
The war is sweeping across India’s news outlets. And, PETA India is being accused of attacking Hinduism and Indian traditions.
This is because dairy products such as butter, milk, ghee have long been a part of diets there.
Moreover, India is the largest producer of cow’s milk in the world.
However, reports indicate that people in India are making moves towards plant-based diets.
PETA India argues Amul could benefit from the vegan market – a move that would be beneficial for the environment as well.
Milk reputation ‘shaken’
In a letter to Amul, the charity said: “Animal milk’s reputation as a healthy food has been shaken.
“And, consumers today worry about its link to climate change, the use of antibiotics and hormones, and of course, cruelty to animals.
“Teenagers in the UK now consider cow’s milk less healthy than plant-derived milks. And, thanks to social media, Indian teenagers won’t be far behind.”
Senior figures at Amul have posted a slew of Tweets advocating milk. This included branding it a ‘whole-food’, to claims it is good for the skin.
Currently, the National Cooperative Dairy Federation of India is trying to keep the ‘milk’ label for animal milk only.
This was raised in the Delhi High Court, where a decision will be made later this year.
But is dairy good for you?
A host of studies have spotlighted the truth about dairy. And, they have unearthed the dairy industry’s use of propaganda in the past.
For example, Switch4Good‘s Executive Director, Dotsie Bausch, accused the wider industry of using questionable slogans ‘like a play out of Big Tobacco’s marketing playbook’.
It comes after she, and a host of other athletes, discovered ditching dairy improved their performance and overall health.
You can find out more about PETA India here