As consumers become more and more aware of the consequences of their purchases, it is becoming increasingly fashionable for corporations to associate “ethical consumerism” with their brand name. This is especially prevalent amongst energy companies, car manufacturers and political parties who boast of their green credentials in an uncannily Orwellian fashon. This is often referred to as “green-washing.”
A similar process is happening with companies who deal in animal produce, who will often advertise themselves with studio images of of happy, healthy cows who are simply delighted to provide the company with their nutritious milk. We at Ahimsa, however, know that these images come straight from the idealistic image of farming that we all retain in our minds but which has been a rarity for a long time.
Take the example of the recent Muller campaign called “Thank you cows” which consists of nothing more than literally saying “thank you” and representing their “compassion” with images of one cow enjoying its freedom in various beautiful locations. This leaves the average consumer with a groundless feeling of satisfaction, knowing that at least on cow is roaming free and not penned in, hooked up to milking machines. But this has no relevance to the reality of the animals’ lives. It is no more than an advertising campaign which lies for the sake of profit.
Beware the Greenwash, and beware the Milkwash. Companies are all too keen to tell us exactly what we want to hear, but have no intention of acually making the changes that would mean better welfare for animals and consumers, but perhaps dent their profit margin.
We need to challenge this propoganda wherever we see it and investigate the facts for ourselves. Ahimsa is the only organisation in Britain to actively campaign for the rights of cattle with no agenda apart from the ethical responsibility that we all have towards those who provide us with our sustenance.
Blind consumerism is the cornerstone of unethical supply-and-demand based capitalism. Stand up to show that you are not blind; drink your milk with your eyes wide open.