Amul vs PETA India: Crossed swords on equating ‘vegan milk’ to dairy milk

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RS Sodhi, Amul’s managing director crossed swords with PETA India for its demand to switch to ‘vegan milk’ from dairy milk products. Amul is an Indian dairy cooperative society located at Anand in Gujarat which initiated the white revolution in India and made our country, the largest producer of milk in 1998. PETA India is an animal rights organization founded in the year 2000 in Mumbai.

The ongoing Twitter war started when PETA India advised in a letter to RS Sodhi to take advantage of the vegan milk and its products to meet the market demand instead of wasting resources. PETA stated the dairy society can make a profit out of the increased demand for plant-based products by citing examples of entry of companies such as Danone, Nestle, and General Mills, etc. into vegan products through investments and new product launches.  PETA said that some of the best substitutes for dairy milk products are oat milk, almond milk, soya milk, and coconut milk, etc.

However, RS Sodhi asked whether PETA would be able to give livelihood to 100 million dairy farmers who are landless and whether the organization can make fess payment of their school children. Sodhi also questioned that how many of the consumers are willing to consume or able to afford the expensive synthetic food made out of the chemical processes and synthetic vitamins. Sodhi said that PETA intends to take away the livelihood of 100 million dairy farmers and wants to pass the resources built over 75 years using farmer’s money to genetically modified market products of MNCs at a high price that economically backward people cannot afford. He stated that plant-based food corporations also emphasize the importance of dairy milk products. He said the foreign-funded NGOs are defaming the Indian dairy industry where cattle are part of the farmer’s family and nobody tortures them.

Sodhi also retweeted a tweet by Ashwini Mahajan (national co-convener of Swadeshi Jagran Manch) where he said that milk is the tradition, taste, and food habit of Indians. It is an easily available source of nutrition.

PETA replied in a tweet that animals produce milk for their babies. Cows/buffaloes in the dairy farm sector are tortured to produce more milk which results in mastitis, lameness, and other ailments. Later, these animals will be abandoned and sold to slaughter.

The apex body of the cooperative dairy sector, NCDFI has raised a plea before the Delhi High Court that plant-based products cannot be considered as milk products. The Delhi High court justice, Rekha Pali issued a notice last week to the central government, the Delhi government, FSSAI, and other companies, such as Hershey, which sells vegan products, to express their viewpoint on the plea.

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