Times Square, New York City, July 10, 2019
Protesters flooded Times Square on Wednesday, July 10th, to send Coca-Cola a message: get out of the dying dairy industry now and live up to your professed values by switching to plant-based milks. The demonstrators, in cow masks, dropped to the ground underneath the giant Coca-Cola billboard, simulating one of the calf dead piles discovered at Fair Oaks Farms during an undercover investigation by Animal Recovery Mission! That investigation documented, on video, horrific, nightmarish animal abuse at this “humane” dairy farm! The visually riveting protest, organized by Donny Moss of TheirTurn.net, was designed to make the case for voiceless, abused animals who are victims of the inherently cruel dairy industry! Edita Birnkrant reports in the compelling video below!
As Fairlife and Coca-Cola are hit with lawsuits over video showing horrific animal abuse, a new round of grassroots protests will also occur in upcoming days in Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles and other cities. The protest, just below, was happening in Houston, Texas at the very same time as demonstrators were protesting in New York!
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 in cow masks will respectfully beg 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. Compassion Over Cruelty’s protests against Coca-Cola will not end until a real change occurs. The time is now. Attempts to reach Coca-Cola reps have been unsuccessful. Coca-Cola, Fairlife Milk statements linked here. They and/or any other industry rep is invited on to respond at any time.
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