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Here’s Why #Februdairy is Already Totally Failing

Animal Justice February 2, 2018

Nice try, Big Dairy.

The dairy industry recently launched #Februdairy, a social media campaign aiming to promote dairy milk during the month of February. But before the campaign could even officially start, it quickly became a marketing failure.

When public caught wind, the Twitter hashtag exploded with the shocking truth about the dairy industry—focusing on the immense animal suffering that goes into all dairy milk products:

 

Februdairy tweetFebrudairy tweet
Februdairy tweet

In the Canadian dairy industry, cows are forcefully impregnated, and and their calves are taken away shortly after birth so the milk can be sold. Male calves typically become veal, and female calves suffer the same fate as their mothers. When their bodies wear out and they cease to be profitable, dairy cows are sent to slaughter and become hamburger meat.

Dairy milk is isn’t just bad for animals. It’s linked to multiple diseases in humans, and takes a toll on the environment. Additionally, up to 90% of people of some non-European ethnicities can’t even digest the lactose found in dairy milk.

As plant milk sales continue to soar and dairy sales plummet, it’s easy to see why the dairy industry is desperate to convince people that its products are worth consuming.

According to Statistics Canada, milk consumption has fallen by 21.5% per-capita since 2009. Meanwhile almond milk consumption has tripled in just two years, according to Nielson.

Many milk companies see the writing on the wall, and are choosing to move into the plant-based milk market. Last year, Danone bought WhiteWave Foods, a plant-based milk company, for $10 billion USD. In 2017, Ben and Jerry’s started to roll out its impressive line of vegan ice cream.

Hello, plants—goodbye, dairy!

Meanwhile, Canadian health and food policy also appears to be shifting away from dairy. Health Canada recently released the draft for the new Canada Food Guide. Unlike previous versions, there is no dairy category in sight.

At a recent conference in Scotland, a livestock sustainability consultant stated, “There is a need in the dairy sector for some myth-busting. If consumers don’t buy our products – milk, cream, butter, cheese etc – we will not have a dairy industry in five to 10 years.”

But the real myths are the ones being told by the dairy industry. With the dairy-free movement continuing to grow, this spells good news for people, the planet and the cows.

 

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Animal Justice

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Animals Are Freezing To Death on Canadian Slaughter Trucks Right Now

Animal Justice January 5, 2018

Canada is experiencing an especially frigid winter, with temperatures feeling as low as -40° C even in southern parts of the country like Toronto.

Many people will ride out this cold snap in the comfort of their homes, or bundle up if they must face the frosty outdoors. Environment Canada issues extreme cold weather alerts to protect people from frostbite, cities open up warming centres for homeless individuals, and schools even cancel outdoor recess periods when the temperature plummets.

But for the millions of chickens, pigs, and cows trucked to slaughterhouses everyday in Canada, it’s business as usual—even in frigid extremes.

Canadian animal transport slaughter truck slaughterhouse livestock

Animals are routinely transported to slaughter in open-sided vehicles, with no heating systems to protect them from the dangerous cold.

Canada’s animal transport laws are among the weakest in the western world, and there are no restrictions that lay out minimum or maximum temperatures in which animals can be transported. In brutally cold weather, animals routinely arrive at slaughter frostbitten or even dead from weather exposure. Workers at Canada’s largest slaughterhouse, Maple Lodge Farms, which kills half a million chickens every day, have described chickens arriving to slaughter, frozen solid like “hockey pucks” and “popsicles”. Government statistics show at least 1.59 million animals arriving dead at slaughterhouses every year.

Canada’s outdated transport laws haven’t been revised since the 1970s, and a recent proposal by the federal government to update the rules still fails to restrict animal transport during extreme weather, or require climate control for trucks.

Existing transport laws are ineffectively enforced by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and even when investigations and prosecutions do take place, penalties are not strong enough to motivate industry to protect animals from the cold. Maple Lodge Farms, for example, has been repeatedly convicted and fined for allowing animals to freeze to death, yet still operates using the same inadequate trucks.

In 2018, Animal Justice will continue to fight archaic transport laws, and to protect millions of animals from the extreme suffering they endure on Canadian farms.

To help, please sign up to our mailing list and stay tuned for ways to get involved.

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Yes, I want to stay in touch! 

Animal Justice

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Lead Researcher in Dairy-Height Study Concealed Dairy Industry Connections

Animal Justice June 13, 2017

Animal Justice Demands St. Michael’s Hospital Stop Industry-Funded Research

TORONTO—Last week, St. Michael’s Hospital announced a study claiming that children who drink non-cow’s milk are shorter than children who drink cow’s milk, generating international headlines. Now, concerns are being raised about the integrity of the study and the honesty of its lead researcher.

When asked by science reporter Beth Mole about dairy industry funding, lead researcher Jonathon Maguire claimed to only have received “about $10,000 from the dairy farmers about ten years ago—and that’s it.”

In reality, in recent years, Maguire has received $90,000 from the Dairy Farmers of Canada and an undisclosed amount from the Dairy Farmers of Ontario, among other documented financial ties. The milk-height study itself was a project of TARGet Kids, which lists Dairy Farmers of Ontario and the Danone Institute as funders.

Maguire also denied having been involved with any dairy industry advisory committees. In reality, in 2016 he sat on the Dairy Farmers of Canada Expert Scientific Advisory Committee.

Maguire also apparently concealed his dairy industry ties in the conflict of interest declaration that authors sign before publishing research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The form requires that funding sources and potential conflicts be listed, yet a footnote to the study states, “None of the authors reported a conflict of interest related to this study.”

Now, Animal Justice is calling on St. Michael’s Hospital to stop accepting funding from industry lobbyists to maintain integrity in scientific research.

Dietitian Pamela Fergusson, who also holds a PhD in nutrition, said: “Researchers pointed to dietary protein and fat as a likely culprit, but this is an unsubstantiated hypothesis. A more concerning possibility is that if children drinking cow’s milk grow taller, this is a result of IGF-1, an insulin-like growth hormone naturally occurring in cow’s milk that has been linked to an increased risk of cancer. I’m troubled that researchers would omit this possibility from their press release, though they did mention it in their published paper.”

Lawyer Anna Pippus, director of farmed animal advocacy for Animal Justice, said: “Science should not be for sale to those with the deepest pockets. The public relies on unbiased research from honest researchers to know how to make healthy and sustainable food choices. It’s clear that Dr. Maguire’s research and conclusions have been tainted by the dairy industry’s long and insidious reach.”

Previously, Maguire published dairy-industry-sponsored research concluding that children should drink two cups of milk each day to obtain adequate vitamin D. But vitamin D is not even naturally occurring in milk and is added as a supplement.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario states that “Physicians must not knowingly be involved in concealing research results or presenting them in a misleading fashion.” As a research institution, St. Michael’s must take this obligation seriously.

Previously, Animal Justice has filed complaints with federal regulators over Dairy Farmers of Canada advertisements disguised to look like public health announcements. Animal Justice has also exposed the federal government for funding research to actively seek out health benefits of dairy.

 

-30-

 

The study can be found here.

For a detailed scientific critique of the study, please see here.

For more information, contact:

Anna Pippus
Director of Farmed Animal Advocacy
apippus@animaljustice.ca

Animal Justice

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