Recent high profile vegan campaigns, including those by Go Vegan World, seem to have left some dairy farmers fearing for their future.
The National Farmer’s Union [NFU] chairman has issued a war cry to his members, saying: “High profile vegan campaigns against the dairy industry need to be a wake-up call.”
This follows anger from farmers prompted by an advert featured in The Sunday Telegraph by Go Vegan World. The adverts says “humane milk is a myth” and highlights the dairy industry’s practice of taking calves from their mothers.
Oakes has not denied these allegations, but did say he was “appalled” at the newspaper, and that it was “demoralising” for farmers. He said: “It makes you really angry. We are really conscious of welfare. The way we look after them is key. The last thing we want is any animal suffering. It portrays us in a really poor way which does not reflect our membership.”
Recent years have seen a boom in the number of people following the vegan lifestyle, with over half a million Brits now choosing to eschew all animal-based products. The resulting vast increase in plant milk sales, among other factors, has seen UK dairy farmers face a steep decline.
However, it is important to note that the Go Vegan World campaign is not about ruining livelihoods. According to campaign director Sandra Higgins, farmers should not to feel threatened as we would need them “more than ever” in a vegan world.