Fairlife milk has become a horror story for the dairy industry. I have been critical for a while and now it is being pulled off the shelves in the Midwest.
Fairlife is distributed by Coca-Cola and is ultra-filtered to have less lactose and more protein. You used to be able to find it in stores around the nation.
In my 2015 post - Fairlife Milk Is So Deceitful That I Can’t Stand It - I brought up what I believed to be a misleading marketing campaign.
My initial problem was “Grass to Glass” as I knew that one of their farms (Fair Oaks Farm) with 30,000 cows was not pasturing their animals. I have been on dairy farms with 2,000 animals and they can’t efficiently pasture them and milk them three times per day.
Look at the logo on the front of the packaging! None of those cows are reaching down like that.
Photos on the Fairlife website included beautiful grassy fields (before the scandal).
The image in a consumer’s mind of a cow eating grass is below.
This beautiful dairy cow is near my house. You can see the family farmhouse behind her. She is chewing on grass. Fairlife cows did eat alfalfa - a kind of grass - but not on a pasture. I did not think that (unless you knew a lot about the dairy industry) consumers would understand that the cows were not happily chewing and traipsing about a field like the cow above.
But, that point about “grass to glass” turns out to be minor in comparison to the blatant falsehood of the first claim on the container - “Extraordinary care for our cows.”
This is what extraordinary care looks like. Look closely at this photo.
Her name is Giselle. Anyone want to try to name 30,000 cows?
Given the scale of the operation, extraordinary care would have been incredible. But, not only was the care NOT extraordinary but the cows were mistreated - from the Today Show article - Fairlife Animal Cruelty Controversy:
Employees were observed slapping, kicking, punching, pushing, throwing and slamming calves. Calves were stabbed and beaten with steel rebars, hit in the mouth and face with hard plastic milking bottles, kneed in the spine, burned in the face with hot branding irons, subjected to extreme temperatures, provided with improper nutrition, and denied medical attention,” ARM (Animal Recovery Mission) said in a statement accompanying the video that was posted on Facebook and Vimeo.
I’m not going to link to the video because it is truly awful. You can find it easily if you want to watch it.
Fairlife milk is now facing two federal lawsuits for (wait for it) FRAUD.
It took a group of activists that worked on Fair Oaks farm and documented abuses for Fairlife to face the music.
I know it isn’t possible for everyone to visit the farm that they buy milk from BUT don’t believe the hype of a company like Coca Cola when it comes to something as important as animal care.
I try to buy my milk from local family farms because I can visit and see happy cows like Giselle. Isn't she adorable?
Have you heard about the Fairlife milk scandal? What do you think?
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