Viva! is exposing the reality of dairy farming like never before. We need your help! Join the biggest Day of Action Against Dairy in history and help us make 2024 the year where compassion triumphs over cruelty.
For a remarkable three decades, Viva! has been relentlessly exposing the brutal and harrowing realities of the dairy industry. In the past year, we’ve made the sad plight of dairy cows a spotlight of our campaigns more than ever. Why? Because, astonishingly, many people still cling to the idealised image that dairy farming is a picture-perfect scene of cows happily grazing in meadows alongside their playful calves.
Over the last 18 months alone, we have exposed five dairy farms in national media with our undercover investigations. They all supplied major industry players such as Müller, Arla and Freshways. These big dairy corporations all claim they have a commitment to animal welfare, but we have pulled back the curtain on their assurances to reveal a stark truth: it’s all a facade.
Viva! Campaigns filmed cows who are never allowed to go outside; others were kicked, some beaten with rods and others left without the necessary veterinary care; calves taken from their mothers, babies isolated in hutches. Does that sound like good animal welfare to you? These companies make huge profits. Müller UK & Ireland reported an annual gross profit of over £516 million in their last annual report. It is an industry worth £6.7 billion and fuelled by greed and tradition, where cows pay the ultimate price. Dairy is corporate cruelty. Everyday brands we all know are involved – Costa Coffee, Caffè Nero, Cravendale and Iceland – and these are just a few of the outlets where milk from the farms we investigated ends up. Despite its huge corporate wealth, we have fearlessly exposed dairy farming and will continue to do so.
Our groundbreaking investigations had a reach of tens of millions with ‘splash’ coverage across the pages of influential national publications such as the Metro, The Sun, The Observer, The Independent and the Daily Mirror. We are driving the vegan revolution ever forwards.
We’ve been out on the streets more than ever, touring the UK with our impactful Müller Killer campaign, organising Days of Action with hundreds of events across the country. Our Müller Corner yoghurt parody garnered the attention of millions before the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned it. That decision triggered major national publications to make our video centre stage, including a video link in the biggest online paper in the world so all its millions of readers could view it. Even the infamous Piers Morgan couldn’t resist it and interviewed me on his TV show. Of course, I challenged him!
The response to our campaigns has been nothing short of extraordinary, with innumerable messages pouring in from people genuinely moved by our message.
Why do we continue to challenge opponents who are so much bigger and more powerful than us? I’ll tell you why. Every time I investigate a dairy farm or review the footage brought back by investigators, I know it’s a battle worth fighting. The haunting images of beatings, emaciated mothers, lonely calves in hutches and male calves discarded like trash are seared into my memory. These are the scenes that stay with me, replaying in my mind when I’m out walking my dogs or settling down in the evening on the sofa to watch a film.
Dead calves discarded and left to rot
One memory in particular haunts me and it is from Tafarn y Bugail, the Welsh dairy farm we recently exposed with a media exclusive in the Metro. I looked into the eyes of a mother cow who had just given birth and who was fearfully watching my every move. She knew her baby would be stolen from her as soon as the farm workers started their morning shift. Other images etched into my mind are the emaciated bodies of mother cows, every rib visible, their once glossy black and white coats now covered in faeces. I remember the heartbreaking beatings these innocent animals endured as they desperately tried to escape the violence, not knowing what was required of them.
The fate of the calves is equally heart-wrenching. My mind keeps returning to the tiny huts where day-old calves are left all alone in the bitter cold, desperate for affection and nurturing. One girl I named Kiki. Her eyes were bright and beautiful, her coat soft and fluffy like a teddy bear. She desperately suckled my fingers, jumping around her pen. All she wanted was the nurturing love of her mum, to suckle her milk. And dead calves were left to rot in the courtyard, their bodies scavenged by wildlife. This cannot be right and together, we must end this suffering!
Our research has revealed a compelling statistic: one in five Brits is willing to embrace a more compassionate, vegan lifestyle because of the dairy industry’s practices. The general public are ready for change and we stand at a crucial crossroads – a unique opportunity to inspire this compassionate momentum. Together, we can reach out, educate and nudge millions towards a vegan lifestyle.
Join in with our Day of Action on 27 January and mark a powerful start to the new year. With your support, we can make 2024 the year of change.
Your donations are crucial in helping to fund our nationwide campaigns so that even more people can discover the realities of the dairy industry.
As we welcome the new year, we are determined to make it a monumental one for our anti-dairy campaign. Our aspirations are bold and our commitment to creating a better world for all animals is tireless. We have already had a remarkable impact but it is only the start and with your invaluable support, we can do so much more.
We have dared to fight and expose the corporate cruelty behind dairy. It’s a fight we can only win together. Can we count on you?
Founder & Director