In a follow-up to its recently published initial investigation footage, animal rights group Animal Recovery Mission (ARM) has released further proof of extreme animal cruelty at Fair Oaks Farms. One of the largest dairies in the United States, Fair Oaks makes products for the Fairlife milk brand, which is marketed and distributed by The Coca-Cola Company.
Using surveillance equipment to capture the normal daily routine of workers and managers, the investigator spent three months between August and November 2018 at Fair Oaks Farms. The investigator described what he saw as “by far the worst abuse to baby animals” that he had seen “in any investigation in the world.”
Fair Oaks Farms tries to present a flattering view of its operations, even inviting visitors to its Dairy Adventure theme park. But the truth behind the company’s image is grim.
At Fair Oaks Farms and other dairies, cows are forcefully impregnated every year and spend their lives on filthy cement floors. Soon after the cows give birth, their calves are ripped away and the mothers are hooked up to milking machines. The investigator witnessed cows being milked with afterbirth still protruding from their backsides, some of it even getting into the milk.
The investigator also found that, to get frightened cows onto the milking carousel, workers punched, kicked, and slapped the animals, even hitting them with steel bars and snapping their tails. Many cows were too weak to stand and were held up with straps. Some cows fell through the bars of the milking carousel and onto the floor below.
Sick or injured cows were given no proper medical treatment, and many of them were left to suffer and die on feces-covered floors.
While Fair Oaks has issued an accountability pledge in the wake of the investigation, ARM states it isn’t enough:
One or two different arrests from law enforcement is not going to cure the issue in the dairy industry, it is not going to stop the animal cruelty. The only thing that’s going to stop the animal cruelty is literally ending the industry.
The Coca-Cola Company claims to have a progressive stance on animal welfare, but its relationship with Fairlife runs counter to that point. 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.