Try Vegan

If you are here because you have seen our new ad, you were probably shocked to learn the truth about the dairy industry and want to find out more. The only way to ensure you are not complicit in the cruelty is to try vegan, but let us reassure you, it’s easier than ever!

The secret to going vegan is that you see animals in a different light. You see them for who they truly are – sentient beings with the capacity to feel pleasure, love, pain and fear. Just like we do.

But where do you start?

Try Vegan for a Week

Simple Swaps

Vegan yogurt

Our aim is to help you enjoy vegan food! We know that eating more vegan meals, or taking the plunge and deciding to go fully vegan, can seem a little daunting when starting out.

We’ve found that one simple approach to make your journey easier is to think of all the things you currently eat and swap them for the vegan versions.

There is no easier time to try vegan with a huge range of products available in all major supermarkets. So read on for inspiration on how to create vegan versions of classic and well-loved dishes alike!

(swipe to see a range of easy swaps below)


This is by no means a definitive list of all the great vegan products available. For more info, take a look at our ‘Vegan’s Guide to’ pages below. Or you can simply search for vegan products on your chosen supermarket’s website – you’ll be surprised at how much they have available!

Easy Vegan Swaps

From butter to cheese and pork to beef— our handy guides tell you everything you need to know. So whether you’re a new vegan or just looking to try some new delicious delights, we’re here to help.

Read more

Still not convinced?

Take a look at the full investigation below. Or find out more about how dairy cows are treated within the industry.

Müller Killer

Zero grazing is taking over the UK – and the change is spearheaded by the dairy giant Müller.

Investigation: Zero Grazing

Callous conditions documented at three of the largest zero grazing dairy farms in the UK expose the reality of intensive mega-farms.

How Dairy Cows Are Farmed and Killed

Cows are highly social and intelligent animals. Find out about their nature, how they are farmed and how they are killed.

Don't cows need to be milked?

Cows only produce milk when they have given birth to a calf and, in nature, they would only produce as much as the calf needs and when the calf is weaned, milk production stops. Even when they are milked at a farm every day, the amount of milk they produce gradually decreases so they are impregnated every year to keep the milk flowing.

For more information, click here.

The UK has high welfare standards doesn't it?

Although the UK has welfare standards prohibiting some cruel practices – eg veal crates or calf mutilations beyond a certain age – it doesn’t mean dairy cows live a happy life. Far from it!

Cows would naturally form herds with complex social structures, where daughters stay in the herd and bulls migrate. None of this is possible on a dairy farm and cows are permanently stressed by the unnatural conditions enforced on them.

Most dairy cows have their newborns taken away from them within a few hours or days and spend seven months of each year both pregnant and producing enough milk to feed eight calves. They have been genetically selected to produce huge volumes of milk and this takes a massive toll on their health. That’s why so many of them suffer from serious deficiencies, exhaustion and lameness. And because their udders work so hard, sooner or later most dairy cows develop mastitis – a painful udder infection.

The very basis of animal farming is about minimising costs and maximising profit. Minimising costs comes with minimising movement which means limited or zero grazing where cows spend most or all of their lives indoors. It also means minimising costs when it comes to treatment so as long as cows produce enough milk, they won’t necessarily get the veterinary treatment they need.

Cows simply can’t endure such high physical demands on their bodies for too long and most of them are slaughtered at just over five years of age because they stop being profitable due to infertility, low milk yield or disease.

For more information click here or take a look at what our investigations into the UK dairy industry revealed.

What happens to dairy calves?

A cow would naturally suckle her calf for nine months to a year, but calves born on dairy farms are taken away from their mothers within a few days of birth – often after just a few hours. A strong mother-infant bond is formed between a cow and her calf immediately after birth and the separation is extremely traumatic for both.

The calves are then placed in individual pens or hutches and fed a commercial milk replacer, either from an artificial teat or a bucket. Occasionally, they get surplus milk or milk that would be refused from milk processing due to hygiene reasons.

Young calves are very susceptible to disease. Diarrhoea (known as scours in the farming sector), often caused by low-quality or incorrectly prepared milk replacer and subsequent malnutrition and dehydration, is the main cause of calf death. To reduce the risks, dairy calves are weaned on to solid food by five weeks of age – much sooner than is natural for them.

Under welfare regulations, calves may be housed in individual stalls or hutches (indoors or outdoors) until they are eight weeks old. Legally, calves must be removed from the hutches and group-housed by no later than eight weeks of age. Viva! have filmed calves up to 12 weeks old still isolated in violation of the law.

Individual housing denies calves vital exercise and social contact. Group housing allows more natural social behaviour but also increases the risk of airborne diseases such as pneumonia – the most common disease of weaned calves. Essentially, it is impossible to artificially rear calves, away from their mothers, in a way which fulfils their natural needs and behaviours without compromising their health.

Female calves will eventually enter the dairy herd, replacing worn-out cows, being forcibly impregnated for the first time when they’re only 13-20 months old.

Male calves are of little use to a dairy farmer. Like female calves, bull calves are removed from their mothers shortly after birth, housed in stalls or hutches and fed milk replacer. It used to be common practice for farmers to shoot bull calves at birth, but due to bad publicity major supermarkets and dairy processors have banned it. The use of sexed-semen is on the rise to reduce the number of male calves born, but others are sold on to beef farms through livestock markets or raised for veal. They spend most of their short lives – usually between six months and one year – confined in buildings and yards. High mortality rates in these systems are common as it is not financially worthwhile for farmers to treat illnesses.

In 2015, industry figures stated 95,000 newborn male calves were shot on-farm and was later deemed ‘dairy’s dirty secret’. More recently, in 2020, an AHDB report estimated around 60,000 male calves were killed on-farm every year – which is about 15 per cent of all bull calves born on dairy farms. Viva! filmed the shocking fate of the male calves at farms supplying milk for the confectionery giant Cadbury. For more information and footage, click here.

According to Red Tractor, by 2023 95 per cent of milk produced in the UK will come from dairies no longer shooting male calves. However, the ban doesn’t extend to onward trade and calves sold to dealers can find themselves at the slaughterhouse at less than one-month-old. A 2021 Freedom of Information request confirmed a staggering 65,000 calves were killed in this way during 2020.

For more information on the dairy industry, click here.

Cows just produce milk, it’s natural, what’s wrong with that?

As stated above, cows only produce milk when they have given birth to a calf. In order for humans to have cow’s milk, her calf has to be taken from her shortly after birth so they don’t drink the milk the farmer can sell. Calves are placed in individual stalls or pens (hutches) at just a few hours old and fed an artificial milk replacer or surplus milk. Both mother and calf suffer immense stress as a result and call for each other for days. This is a far cry from what happens in nature.

For more information, click here.

V7 – Try Vegan For One Week

We have a super practical seven-day vegan meal plan, V7, if you’re interested in exploring the joys of vegan food.

7 Day Vegan

Packed with delicious recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, V7 contains all the inspiration you need to eat vegan for a week, including a helpful shopping list as well as health and lifestyle information too. It provides inspiration to create vegan versions of classic dishes like spaghetti bolognese, mac’n’cheese and pad Thai, as well as more luxurious recipes for special occasions.

Visit the website or sign up to receive daily emails and we’ll send each day’s meal plan straight to your inbox.

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I want more!

If you want to explore further – download our free app, Vegan Recipe Club or visit our amazing site with over 1,000 recipes – from the dead simple to the decadent!

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