Care for a glass of “almond juice”? How about some “cashew spread”? It may sound ridiculous, but that’s what consumers could be saying if some federal lawmakers get their way.
Last week, Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin introduced the “Dairy Pride Act,” a bizarre law designed to shield the dairy industry from plant-based competition. The bill would stop the wide array of dairy alternatives now available in supermarkets across the country from being called things like almond “milk,” coconut “yogurt,” or cashew “cheese.” Baldwin claims that consumers are currently being “misled” into choosing these popular vegan options.
Other lawmakers made a similar demand in a letter to the Food and Drug Administration last month. Unsurprisingly, representatives of major dairy-producing states are leading these efforts.
What they’re doing is an obvious – and desperate – strategy to delegitimize the boom in plant-based dairy alternatives. Sales of almond milk alone have more than doubled in the last five years, while dairy sales have shrunk by nearly $1 billion over the same time. As people learn about the incredible suffering – not to mention pollution and health problems – that come with eating dairy products, more and more are seeking out alternatives, not being “misled” as Senator Baldwin claims.
The fact is, if it looks like milk, smells like milk, and tastes like milk, consumers are going to call it milk. Lawmakers should stop protecting the dairy industry from innovation and let these industries compete fairly.
You can send an important message to the dairy industry and their friends in government by dropping dairy from your diet. Get started by checking out some of our favorite plant-based cheeses at ChooseVeg.com.