[Dirty Sanchez star Matt Pritchard. Image credit: Viva!]
The UK’s leading vegan charity Viva! has today launched its biggest ever anti-dairy campaign to raise awareness of the hidden cruelty of the dairy industry.
Named Müller Killer, the campaign follows a recent exposé in the The Observer that revealed Müller sources dairy from a number of zero grazing farms that lock cows in barren sheds for their entire lives. As well as exposing the shocking reality of zero grazing, Viva!’s new campaign will shed light on the brutality of the dairy industry, with mothers having newborn babies taken and cows being killed once their milk production drops. Many male calves are killed shortly after birth as they cannot produce milk – a hidden secret of dairy.
While many people believe that dairy cows live a life of idyll, countless Viva! investigations have revealed abject suffering in the industry, with cows forcibly impregnated on an annual basis and subsequently having their calves taken away. According to industry, the average number of dairy cows who are lame is one in three (1) and around one third have mastitis (an infection of the udders) (2), which antibiotics have failed to control. In addition to this, one-fifth of UK dairy cows are never allowed to graze outdoors (3).
To kick off the campaign, Viva! held a controversial stunt in Leicester Square featuring Matt Pritchard: Dirty Sanchez prankster turned vegan celebrity chef. Matt dined on a mock Müller corner yoghurt, but the fruit was replaced with a gory concoction of replica blood and umbilical cords, specially designed by a prop team to look like the real deal. The stunt represents the blood and gore associated with the industry, which is hidden from the public eye. Members of the public looked on with a mix of shock and intrigue as the prankster ate the stomach-churning creation, while Viva! team members offered the crowd free samples of vegan yoghurts.
At the launch event, Viva! also premiered a parody of a Müller TV ad, which was created in collaboration with the award-winning media production company Skylark. The ad cleverly mocks the famous Müller adverts while highlighting the suffering that is present in each Müller product – and any food item that contains dairy. The umbilical cord represents the bond between mother and baby, which is ignored in the dairy industry.
Speaking of the launch of Müller Killer, Viva!’s managing director Laura Hellwig said: “Viva!’s powerful new anti-dairy campaign is causing a stir, and what better way to launch than with a gory stunt from a vegan celebrity chef! Our aim is to dismantle the narrative that dairy is a peaceful industry, when the reality is much more brutal. Our recent investigation revealed that leading dairy brands Müller and Arla get dairy from farms that lock cows in barren sheds their entire lives, causing unimaginable stress and boredom. The only way to ensure your diet is not complicit in cruelty is to go vegan now.”
Following the stunt, Viva! will be embarking on a tour to some of the biggest cities in the UK, stopping at Bristol, Nottingham, Birmingham, London, Oxford, Cardiff, Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool across June and July.
Find out more about Müller Killer here.
Watch the Müller corner parody New From Killer Yoghurts here.
Notes to Editor
- Griffiths BE et al. 2018. A cross-sectional study into the prevalence of dairy cattle lameness and associated herd-level risk factors in England and Wales. Frontiers in Veterinary Science. 5, 65.
- Cattle Health and Welfare Group. 2020. Fifth Report of the GB Cattle Health & Welfare Group [online]. Available from: ahdb.org.uk/knowledge-library/gb-cattle-health-welfare-group-fifth-report-2020 [Accessed 25 March 2022].