It’s no secret that the family-run farm is mostly a fairy tale used for deceptive marketing. In this video, I satirically deconstruct a pro-dairy industry marketing video. No one likes being lied to. You deserve the truth. And the animals—and we as a society—deserve better.
It’s no secret that the family-run farm is mostly a fairy tale used for deceptive marketing. In the video above, I satirically deconstruct a pro-dairy industry marketing video. I relay my commentary as if I’m giving dairy industry insiders instructional guidance on how to counter anti-dairy vegan propaganda.
While my language and approach are admittedly snarky, I’m purposefully employing sarcasm to highlight the absurdity of what these industries are trying to sell the public.
No one likes being lied to. You deserve the truth, and we as a society deserve the opportunity to move away from eating animals—for the good of our planet, our collective health, and for the animals themselves.
Technical Note: Below is a transcript of the above video. Please note that the transcript does not adequately convey the tone and delivery, and may come across as far more biting and harsh than satirical. Additionally, the video rapidly cuts back and forth from the marketing video to my commentary, which is also challenging to reflect in a written transcript.
Video transcript: There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding dairy farming. Now this isn’t about pointing fingers but certain groups of certain people (cough and very obviously say “vegans”) have made it their mission to spread harmful lies about dairy, threatening the livelihood of hardworking farmers.
So if you want to survive in today’s kill-or-be-subjected-to-the-aggressive-sanctimonious-whinging-of-animal-activists-surpassed-in-grating-annoyance-only-by-utter-inaccuracy-to-the-point-where-you-pray-they-renounce-veganism-just-so-you-can-be-killed world—listen up!
Hey there, modern Dairy Queen! You work long, hard hours to feed your family—and families all across this great nation—with wholesome, quality nutrition pumped fresh from the nipples of a 1,300-pound mammal by sterilized machinery, into a metal storage vat, transferred to a tanker truck, driven to a factory, tested for all sorts of strange, pasteurized, homogenized, separated, processed, packaged, shelved, purchased, and drunk up by kids everywhere—just like nature intended!
So you don’t have time for any anti-dairy propaganda-wielding wingnuts trying to give honest, hardworking people like you a bad name! That’s why today we’re going to learn how to answer these ungrounded activist accusations head on—show them you’ve got nothing to hide by telling the truth, the whole truth and something but the truth. [wink]
Let’s jump right in and start with the most controversial dairy industry practice: the removal of dairy calves from their mothers. This thoughtful and loving act is unjustly warped into emotionally-manipulative rhetoric of the mother cows grieving their “babies” who are “kidnapped” in order to “steal” their milk.
That’s where the brilliance of this approach shines—who better to put these concerns to rest than actual mothers!
(Note: the quotes below are clips from the video, with my interjectory commentary woven in between)
To dispel any talk of industry insider propaganda bring in an outsider to ask the really tough questions
Liz: My name is Liz Fourez and I blog at LoveGrowsWild.com
Now throw in some inspiring music and sweeping visual shots.
That’s just @#$%& beautiful. Now it’s time to get serious and tackle these absurd lies head-on.
Liz: I noticed that I don’t see any babies around here. Where are the calves—
Laurie: Yeah, yeah
That’s right—show how eager you are to share the truth by not even letting that @$^& finish her thought.
Laurie: That’s a good question. All of the cows in this barn are girls, and only girls can make milk, so girls are what keep our business rolling.
Some constructive criticism: maybe try to sound less like you’re running a house of ill-repute. And it’s quite a bold move bringing up the whole male/female thing—best to gloss-over any questions about how an all-girl herd keeps gettin’ knocked up. Don’t want to open the door for ridiculous “rape” accusations from activists taking forced vaginal and anal penetration out of context! And any troubling questions about where the baby boys go…
Laurie: And people always ask, “Well, where are your babies?”
Quick tip: If you have any inkling of maternal instincts, be sure to put those on hold for the time being. And if you’re nervous, just remember—you’re telling people to do something they already want to do: eat ice cream, cheese, milk, and yogurt.
It’s not about convincing them, it’s about giving them the peace of mind to keep doing what they want to do anyways! Honestly, it doesn’t even have to make sense! You can even try tossing out completely irrelevant statement like they’re commendable acts:
Laurie: We do birth our own babies here so that the calves are delivered on site.
And now for the true brilliance—not only own up to removing calves, but show how this so-called “kidnapping” is really an act of compassion from a caring mother. I’m mean, you’re pretty much a god-d^&n bovine Mother Theresa!
Laurie: Then it’s actually safer to move them to a different facility so that they don’t get stepped on, they don’t get sat on—‘cause these are large animals and sometimes when they plop down, sometimes they’re not really looking where they’re gonna sit.
Brilliant! See, you’re not tearing apart families—No!—you’re saving lives! Never mind that you’re the one actually confining these cows in an unnaturally crowded environment and then using that to justify taking their babies away. Most people won’t take the time to think that through. They just want to be able to down a pint of Häagen Dazs in peace.
Now you’re getting crap for keeping your cows inside, just offer another straightforward response:
Liz: Do the cows have a chance to go out to pasture at all? Or you said they’re all—
Laurie: What happens is, just like the human cycle when a woman is nursing, they dry ‘em up, which means they just stop milking them.
That’s exactly like how humans nurse!
Laurie: And then they have a little vacation and they do hang out in the pasture. And they sort of just, um, take some time off…
See, dairy farms aren’t slave labor camps like those activists would have you think. They’re f&*$% 5-star spa resorts!
Now illustrate how your iron-clad logic has the skeptical outsider.
Liz: So it’s for their own benefit—
Laurie: It really is
Liz: —to take them and put them in their own separate area.
Now, even though you’ve already won, why not go the extra mile and finish strong:
Laurie: We can keep them in an environment that’s very clean and make sure they’re being cared for the way they should be.
Then before anyone has a chance to question why taking a baby away from their mother is the way it should be, just shut that &$*^ down. Like before she’s even done getting that final word out.
Now that you have mothers endorsing this whole practice, feel free to bring in the big guns for reinforcement: Straight Talk With A Dairy Vet.
Make sure to toss in how dangerous mothers and babies are to one another!
Fred (the “Dairy Vet): The biggest advantage to individual rooms and hutches for calves is it prevents disease transmission. We have known for a long time that calves and heifers that are raised separately from the adult herd have less disease.
It’s a wonder how any animal reproduced before you intervened! And if anyone tries to point out that issues of cleanliness could arise from the conditions and stressors on the cows, just nip that $%^# in the bud.
Feel free to go bold, like this dairy blogger’s expert answer to a beef farmer’s wife, whose “instincts told her that it was cruel to separate a mother cow and her calf.” Oh, what you poor dairy farmers have to deal with! Even other people in the industry think you’re @#& monsters!
From blog: Cows are all too well-known for their willingness to lay in manure, even when clean bedding is available. Any manure or bacteria on a cow’s udder would be ingested by the calf when it tried to drink.
What #$@&* filthy animals. Don’t forget to still assure any skeptical mothers out there by identifying with their experience:
Fred: Just like baby infants are removed and put in a nursery, we kind of do the same thing with baby calves for their health.
Of course human mothers get their babies back, but don’t get lost in the minutia. Instead, show how good these calves have it!
Fred: In the summer time, when it’s really warm out, a hutch is really nice because they have a little outside area in front of the hutch, kind of like a patio where they can go out and they have fresh air and sunlight.
See, I’d take a luxury condo over maternal bond any day!
Fred: In the wintertime, they’re protected from the wind in that hutch—deep straw bedding, and we also put what’s called a “calf coat” on them or a calf blanket to keep ‘em warm.
Who needs the warmth of a mother’s embrace when you’ve got some straw and a blanket.
Fred: And then at a certain age they’re grouped according to age—much like schoolchildren are. We’re grouped according to age and with our pen-mates
Y’know how it was in school. Hanging out with your peers, eating lunch through metal bars, going through the right of passage into womanhood of losing your virginity to a gloved appendage. Brings me back.
Before we close out, let’s go over a few Don’t’s to keep in mind.
- Never show calves actually being taken from their mothers, or the mother’s reaction. [footage above shows calf “removal” and a mother crying for her baby, who answers with his/her own cry]
- If you’ve leaned heavily on the whole “cows make horrible mothers” approach, do not show them defending their young. [footage above shows calf being roped and mother defending him. Then a clip from news coverage about Clarabell, a rescued dairy cow who gave birth at the sanctuary and hid her new calf every day because every calf before was taken by the dairy farmers.]
- Definitely don’t mention how dairy cows bodies give out almost two decades prior to their natural lifespan. (That doesn’t go over well.)[Footage shows a dairy cow struggling to walk and then laying on the ground in pain.]
- And whatever you do, never EVER say anything about where the male calves go. [Footage shows veal calves tied in their stalls]
I hope you enjoyed this instructional video. Don’t let manipulative vegan propaganda soil your good name!
Give the video a thumbs-up and SHARE it around to spread the truth about the wonders of dairy.
If you want to support future myth-busting videos, see the support links in the description below or the link in the sidebar. Now go fly your dairy flag with pride! Go. Just go eat your ice cream. The mothers said it was okay!
NOTE: This is the *smallest* sampling of dairy propaganda—and even the smallest sampling from the Ohio dairy website from which these originated! Amazingly enough, Ohio dairy claims to be sustainable (I ran out of time to fit that whole ridiculousness into this video!)
Diary is one of the main contributors to the annual algae bloom in Lake Erie, which has poisoned the drinking water for more than 400,000 people in & around Toledo, Ohio, causing a shutdown of the water system for three days in 2014, as well as hospitalized fisherman Todd Steele who was was sick for three months after getting the algae on his skin.
Learn more about this mounting global crisis in my video and article “The Public Health Crisis of Animal Waste – Our Global Poo Problem.”
The Sierra Club has issued a detailed report on the matter and created the interactive maps below. Please not they are not all-inclusive of all farms nor updated.
Interactive Map – CAFOs of the Western Lake Erie Basin
Interactive Map – Governmental Actions & U.S. Congressional Districts of the CAFOs within the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB)
— Emily Moran Barwick