SANTA MONICA, CA, June 26, 2019 Hollywood actors, authors, social media influencers, nutritionists and everyday consumers converged on the Santa Monica Promenade to send a dramatic message to Coca-Cola’ s CEO James Quincey: kick dairy to the curb. The explosive undercover investigation by Animal Recovery Mission shows horrific, sadistic abuse of calves and cows – all caught on video – at Coca-Cola/Fairlife’s longtime “humane” supplier Fair Oaks Farms.
Demonstrators, wearing cow masks, symbolically spoke up for these voiceless, helpless animals by holding up a dozen plant-based milk cartons and begging CEO Quincey to do the right thing: switch to plant-based milk! Among those speaking: actresses Fia Perera and Simone Reyes, nutritionist Lisa Karlan and New York Times bestselling author/journalist Jane Velez-Mitchell, founder of JaneUnChained.com. In Defense of Animals’ President Dr Marilyn Kroplick also spoke, while holding up one of the several lawsuits filed against the companies. Author/activist Brittany Michelson, social media influencers Those Annoying Vegans, 369vegan and longtime activists Patty Shenker, Eder Lopez, Paige Parsons Roache, Kim Delgado-King, Vanessa Marsot, Lindsey Baker, Sarah Segal, Adam Leo and Renee Marinkovich also gave speeches directed at Coke CEO Quincey. Actor Kenziah Rubens mentioned that “Ocean Eyes” singer Billie Eilish was so revolted by the Fair Oaks videos, she urged her 26 million Instagram followers to go vegan, noting the animals are being “fully tortured.” Ilana Bollag, John Hays and others, provided support by holding signs.
As Fairlife and Coca-Cola are hit with another wave of lawsuits over these gut wrenching videos, grassroots protests are spreading across America and even to the United Kingdom! See the events pages below for protests in London, Houston, Connecticut, Portland and New York City! Still more demonstrations are in the planning stages. A wide array of animal welfare and environmental groups, under the banner Coalition Against Cruelty, are demanding Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey immediately take steps to cut his beverage company’s ties with the cruel and environmentally unsustainable dairy industry.
The Coalition Against Cruelty urges Coca-Cola to switch to healthier, more environmentally friendly and cruelty-free plant-based milks. Coca-Cola’s own website states, “Fairlife is a partnership between The Coca-Cola Company and Select Milk Producers Inc. Coca-Cola distributes Fairlife products.” Fairlife has become embroiled in scandal in the wake of Animal Recovery Mission’s explosive undercover investigation of Fairlife Milk’s longtime supplier Fair Oaks Farms. The video shows calves being hit, dragged, shot, sat on, left on dead piles and, in other ways, subjected to nightmarish abuse. All this while Coca-Cola insists, in its written material, its partnership with Fairlife is based on “…exceptional cow care, smart and responsible farming, and sustainable agriculture.”
Demonstrators implore CEO Quincey to consider the reality: the dairy industry is inherently cruel. For humans to drink cow’s milk, cows must be impregnated and – after giving birth – separated from their babies, who would otherwise drink the mother’s milk nature intended for them. This is why the Animal Recovery Mission’s video shows rows upon rows of calves in hutches, alone, away from their mothers. Protesters point out the obvious. The calves become despondent and don’t want to drink the replacement fluid from the rubber nipples. Workers are tasked with getting them to drink it. Frustration ensues, creating an environment ripe for abuse. This is why undercover investigations at dairy farms routinely undercover abuse. No “review” will change the fundamental cruelty of the dairy industry. No arrest of low level workers will get to the heart of the malignancy at the core of this process.
No desperate attempts to blame the messenger will mask the industry’s harsh realities. Indeed, that will only confirm the moral bankruptcy of the industry’s doublespeak, where shock is expressed over dead piles brazenly left out in the open, where people who systematically exploit animals feign heartbreak and blame underlings when exposed. The playbook has become worn and the world is getting wise to it.
Demonstrators performed street theater and displayed the readily-available alternatives to cruelty-filled cow’s milk. Holding cartons of almond, soy, cashew, oat, rice and hemp milk, demonstrators in cow masks respectfully begged CEO Quincey, Coca-Cola North America President Jim Dinkins and Fairlife COO Tim Doelman to discard their willful ignorance and admit the obvious: their stated values of integrity and high animal welfare standards are inherently incompatible with dairy. Simply put, there is no nice way to rip a baby away from his or her mother, much less do that to tens of thousands of calves.
Coca-Cola executives have publicly revealed their strategy to premium-ize milk and, thereby, be able to charge a premium. The Coalition Against Cruelty suggests the wiser strategy would be to pivot to the products being increasingly embraced by millennials and Gen Z’ers: plant-based milks. Coca-Cola’s stated corporate vision includes the following: “Be a responsible citizen that makes a difference by helping build and support sustainable communities.” Animal agriculture, which includes dairy, is a leading cause of climate change, responsible for more greenhouses gases than all transportation combined.
In crisis there is opportunity. A pivot to genuine compassion and genuine sustainability would be applauded globally by animal lovers, environmentalists and consumers in general, all of whom were revolted by the video evidence of barbarism and hypocrisy. Climate change is getting worse and will soon create an economic catastrophe that will devastate all businesses including Coca-Cola. We know this switch can be done because one google search shows it is being done. Coalition Against Cruelty’s protests against Coca-Cola will not end until a real change occurs. The time is now.
Any and all of the companies mentioned above are invited on JaneUnChained.com any time. We have reached out to Coca-Cola repeatedly without success. Contributing to this report: Paige Parsons Roach on video, still photos by Lisa Karlan and additional research by Meira Geyser.
COCA-COLA PROTEST SCHEDULE:
London, England Protest:
Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 5 PM – 7 PM UTC+01
The London Eye, DA14 4
Houston, Texas Protest:
Thursday, June 27th, noon-1:30pm
Coca-cola Bissonnet Bottling Facility
2800 Bissonnet St, Houston, TX 77005
Hartford, Connecticut Protest:
Friday, June 28th, 1:30pm-3:30pm
471 Main Street, East Hartford 06118
Portland, Oregon Protest:
Saturday, June 29th, 2-4pm
Portland Protests Fairlife
Times Square, at the base of the red steps
Dump Coca Cola!