Recently I came across a thread on facebook discussing this summer’s news about the EU court of justice deciding to ban companies from using the word ‘milk’ in their marketing of plant-based alternatives to dairy. Somebody in the thread described this as a ‘big win for dairy’.
Yeah. So the dairy industry as a whole is understandably getting pretty salty about the global drop in dairy consumption, and the high number of people converting over to plantbased options instead. Some people for health reasons, some for ethical reasons after realising how cruel dairy is an an industry (don’t forget, dairy kills).
Even some (ex) dairy and beef farmers are seeing the light, check out this list of now-activists who have renounced the industry and gone down the sanctuary route for their once-farm animals.
It’s no surprise, then, that the dairy industry is running scared, and they’ll do whatever they can to hold onto their crumbling empire.
What does this mean, then, for plantbased options?
Well, wholly plantbased options are no longer allowed to use milk, cream, butter, cheese or yoghurt in their marketing. There are exceptions – such as coconut and almond milk, nut butters and icecream.
The reason for this ban? So consumers don’t get confused. Because clearly all of these people buying soy milk – I mean, juice – actually think they’re buying soya flavoured cows milk, and are just being widly mislead by the far left radical vegan movement.
The impact will be very little, actually
Though this may seem like a big ‘win’ for dairy. Really, it’s not. Plantbased milks are already careful in their marketing and labelling. Just check out Almond Dream, Alpro and (my fave) Oatly – no mention of the word ‘milk’ in their labelling, anyway.
In reality, this ruling is really going to have very little bearing on the marketing of these products. Nor on the sales. As consumers, we’re still going to call it milk, we’re still going to call it cheese, yogurt, whatever.
Why do we insist on calling our plantbased options after their animal counterparts
Why? Because why the hell would we make up entirely new, confusing words for each and every plantbased version of the foods many of us have grown up with? That’s just ridiculous.
One major question veggies get is: “why do you eat food that mimicks what you’ve chosen to give up?”. Well, I can’t answer for everybody, but – I have to have something to eat my porridge with… right? Do I choose water? Or, do I choose the tastier and more ethical alternative of oat, soy, almond, coconut, hemp, hazelnut, rice, cashew ‘milk’ instead? I’ll let you answer that for yourselves.
A big win for dairy?
Nah. We’re okay. The vegan movement is only growing. Demand for dairy is down, a major austrailian dairy brand annoncing a huge 22% drop in sales due to lower intake. Compartively, ‘plant-based food sales have experienced a growth increase of 8.1% since the previous year. Vegan alternatives to dairy products have seen a 20% sales rise.’
And, one more thing, most vegans aren’t sat here cackling at the demise of people’s livelihoods. We’re celebrating a decline in cruelty to animals. We’re celebrating the embracing of a more compassionate and environmentally friendly lifestyle.