Tone-Deaf: Dairy Industry Creates Pink Calf Hutches for Breast Cancer Awareness

In an absolutely absurd move, Agri-Plastics, an equipment manufacturer for the dairy industry, planned to give away a pink calf hutch as part of a contest in support of the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The program, called “Hutches for Hope, promised the foundation a portion of the proceeds from every calf hutch sold.

Let’s get real here. As a woman, I find breast cancer an incredibly scary thought. My mother, former coworkers, and friends have either had a scare or been diagnosed. And we’re told that one in eight women in the United States will get breast cancer in their lifetime.

Equally terrifying is that dairy consumption can increase your risk of cancer. According to a 2006 Harvard study, women who had diets high in meat and dairy increased their risk of cancer by 33 percent. For men, dairy consumption has been linked to prostate cancer in more than 20 studies.

Shockingly, women who consume dairy products such as yogurt, ice cream, and cheese could increase their risk of mortality from breast cancer by 50 percent, according to an extensive 2013 study. The same study notes that because milk products consumed by the public come from cows who are pregnant, they are particularly high in estrogen.

Because cows need to be pregnant to produce milk, they are forcibly impregnated every year and have their babies stolen from them. The milk, naturally meant for their calves, is then sold for human consumption while the female babies are put into hutches like those that Agri-Plastics sells.

The dairy industry is notorious for ripping families apart. Heartbreaking footage obtained by Mercy For Animals shows baby calves being stolen from their mothers.

This completely tone-deaf move by the dairy industry is something you’d expect to read in The Onion. Instead of promoting pink hutches, dairy farmers should help stop the proliferation of cancer by closing their doors and doing what Elmhurst Dairy did in New York: switching to the production of plant-based milk.

Within a day, the website was pulled and redirected to an FAQ on Agri-Plastics’ main page, though it remains unclear whether the contest will continue at the annual industry expo this year.

Ditching dairy is an easy way to be healthier and take a strong stance against cruelty to animals. For delicious vegan versions of dairy foods, click here.