Diabetes, heart disease, polycystic ovaries, hypertension, hypothyroid, osteoporosis and even cancer- these are some of the diseases consumers are at risk of developing by repeated intake of dairy products says FIAPO’s Don’t Get Milked campaign which is urging consumers to rethink their dietary habits and go vegan. The focus here is on dairy products and on weaning consumers off them. The campaigners say that they want to protect the rights of dairy animals, and also highlight the adverse implications of ‘using’ mammals as milk machines.
By combating mainstream digital and outdoor advertising about pro-dairy messaging with its own, the campaign reveals serious flaws in the dairy sector—both backyard and commercial. Forceful artificial insemination for repeated breeding, use of illegal drugs such as Oxytocin to stimulate the milk let-down, separation of calves from their mothers, use of ‘Khal Bachcha’, tail docking, holding animals captive, discarding used up and useless animals, zero medical care- are common practices in the dairy sector which need to be addressed urgently.
Dr Nandita Shah, an expert in diabetes reversal on a plant-based diet in Auroville, says, “Sugar is not the CAUSE of diabetes. High blood sugar is the RESULT of diabetes. In order to get rid of diabetes, we need to get rid of the CAUSE which is insulin resistance. The cause of insulin resistance is what we have to work on, and this is caused by FAT in the muscle cells. Therefore we must minimise the fats, and increase fibre. All animal products including milk, contain large amounts of fats and no fibre. Refined fats like oil, ghee, butter and vanaspati are also the problem. These must be avoided in order to reverse diabetes.”
The world’s first vegan to climb Mount Everest, Kuntal Joshier, who has also joined the campaign, shares his thoughts, “I am a mountaineer by passion and a vegan by compassion. I decided to climb the Mt. Everest on a vegan diet or not at all. I wanted to raise awareness on the cruelty to animals in the dairy sector and thus climbed world’s highest mountain on 19th May 2016 as a vegan. That’s proof enough, that physical strength and stamina have nothing to do with the consumption of milk.”
Humans need cow milk as much as cows need human milk- which is not at all. No species other than human beings consume the secretions of another being. Varda Mehrotra, Director, FIAPO, on the motto of the campaign says, “The solution lies with us—with the humankind. We need to realise the power we hold individually as consumers. The decision to consume animal products is subjective and impacts millions of animals. Animals require protection because we repeatedly fail to acknowledge the fact that all sentient beings are equals and continue to subjugate animals to fulfil our ‘needs’. Consuming dairy, or any other animal product, is not a necessity but a choice.”
Most Indian dishes are already vegan or can be easily veganised as most Indian food is already vegetarian. Dishes usually contain grains and vegetables with the exception of paneer-based dishes; or Ghee, which most definitely a luxury and not a necessity and can be easily substituted with cooking oil.
According to the campaigners, milk does not contribute to human health positively. Mehrotra says, “Intensive studies have proven that humans who thrive on dairy products often face health complications. While dairy is prevalent in substantial commercially packaged food, consumer demand and apathy towards the truth are major contributors to this trend. Reduction in demand can surely lead to a decrease in supply. The reality of the dairy industry is not happy cows ruminating in green fields, the reality is—subjugation of innocent sentient beings who are exploited their whole life for human greed.”