The second annual World Plant ‘Milk’ Day is underway and dairy farmers are not on board.
Celebrating plant-based alternatives to cow’s milk, World Plant ‘Milk’ Day is taking place today, angering dairy farmers on a global scale. International organizations including Animal Equality, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Mercy for Animals, Veganuary, Animal Aid and the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine are supporting this initiative, claiming plant-based diets can improve one’s health, the environment and encourages animal welfare.
Not only does this day take a stab at the dairy industry by pushing consumers to make the switch to milk alternative products, but it also encourages these consumers to sign up for their 7-day dairy-free challenge.
Taking place on June 1, World Milk Day was initiated in 2001 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States providing an opportunity to focus attention on milk and to publicize activities connected with milk and the milk industry. The day has been celebrated by farmers and agricultural organizations for the past 18 years, but plant-based enthusiasts have created their own spin off.
World Plant ‘Milk’ Day was first launched last year by Plant Based New’s Co-founder Robbie Lockie in conjunction with the international food awareness group ProVeg.
"I thought to myself 'why isn’t there a plant-milk day to counter this campaign?’” Lockie said.
Launching on August 22, 2017, the first World Plant ‘Milk’ Day hit social media hard with the hashtag #worldplantmilkday trending on twitter.
"Never before have we seen people across the world transition so quickly from one foodstuff to its alternatives in this way,” according to ProVeg UK. “People are fast realizing that plant milks outweigh dairy in terms of benefits for personal health, animal welfare and the environment."
With World Plant ‘Milk’ Day taking over social media, some farmers are coming up with ways to combat this issue. Dairy Farmers like Ryan Bright from Tennessee are sharing photos of their operation in protest.
This campaign comes during a time when consumers are more confused than ever as laws controlling dairy labeling for plant-based ‘milk’ have not yet been enforced by Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
According to a statement made by FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, “Food labels – including the name of food – inform consumers about what they’re buying, and standards of identity are used to ensure that foods have the characteristics expected by consumers. The information provided through food labeling must be truthful and not misleading. The consumer choices made based on this information can have important impacts on health.”
If these labeling laws are set in place, is it possible that World Plant ‘Milk’ Day may soon have to change its name? Dairy farmers are hoping so.