Known for hit songs like “Ocean Eyes" and “Bellyache,” 17-year-old singer-songwriter Billie Eilish spoke out against animal cruelty to her 26 million Instagram fans last week after watching undercover footage from Fair Oaks Farms, one of the largest dairies in the United States.
The chilling undercover footage, recorded by an investigator from the animal rights group Animal Recovery Mission (ARM), reveals dairy farm workers abusing young calves. The investigator spent three months between August and November 2018 at Fair Oaks Farms. Using surveillance equipment to capture the daily routine of workers and managers, the investigator assisted in bottle-feeding newborn calves, loading transport trucks, and disposing of the dead.
The investigator witnessed what he described as “by far the worst abuse to baby animals” that he had seen “in any investigation in the world.”
Billie, who went vegan in 2014, was clearly outraged by the investigation. In her Instagram story, she linked to the footage and stated that while she usually kept her “mouth shut,” because she believed everyone should “do, eat, and say whatever they want,” she could not condone supporting this suffering.
Workers are seen on video slapping, kicking, punching, stabbing, hitting, and burning calves, as well as subjecting them to extreme temperatures and poor nutrition. ARM described the rampant abuse as not “one or two bad apples” but “everyone at Fair Oaks Farms” that they “came into contact with.” They also reported that the devastated mother cows whose babies were stolen away called out so intensely that many were losing their voices.
In her Instagram story, Billie continued: “I know you think you’re just one person and it ‘won’t change anything if you stop.’” But she encouraged her followers to realize the massive impact of their choices.
Like Billie says, we can all make a difference in the world through our actions. One of the best ways to show corporations and the dairy industry that this kind of abuse is unacceptable is to vote with your money.
With so many delicious plant-based milks and other products to choose from, there’s never been a better time to move away from dairy foods. Learn more about plant-based living and receive easy vegan meal ideas and recipes by ordering a FREE Vegetarian Starter Guide today.