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‘End Big Dairy protest greets Dairy Industry Awards again’

Community groups from the End Big Dairy campaign protested the Dairy Industry Awards event again, in Te Hawera on Saturday, with banners, placards and air horns, to critique the industry’s exploitation of animals, the environment and workers.

“We are outraged that industrial dairy is once again awarding themselves accolades while they remain the country’s biggest climate polluter, rely totally on exploiting helpless animals, are wrecking our waterways and reefs, and have the second highest rate of worker suicide for any industry in this country. Two million calves are slaughtered for this industry every year. Like what is there to celebrate?” said Animal Save Aotearoa New Zealand spokesperson Elin Arbez.

Climate Justice Taranaki spokesperson Emily Bailey says “we are in a poly-crisis of rapidly increasing climate disruption, biodiversity loss and social upheaval, with farms wrecked from extreme weather such as cyclones last year and now wildfires and drought this year. We have penguin and seal colonies collapsing due to warming seas shrinking the sea ice and overfishing reducing food in the sea. Farm workers are stressed, in debt, struggling with new technology and barely any young farmers coming through. Meanwhile the well-paid corporate advisors steer farmers deeper into profit-focussed commodity export markets based on impossible perpetual growth.”

“When fossil fuels become unaffordable, industrial scale milk processing and exporting will become impossible,” says NZ Rivers spokesperson Matt Coffey. “Despite its industrial-scale greenwashing, the much hailed techno-fixes like hydrogen energy and genetic engineering, are not going to save this industry. Under current conditions, experts say Christchurch’s water will be undrinkable by 2050 due to nitrate poisoning of water aquifers. The dairy industry needs an urgent overhaul with a major reduction in herd size to reduce their environmental impact and diversification into native reforestation and plant based foods and fibre for local, healthy communities.”

The End Big Dairy campaign is a growing coalition of environmental, animal and human rights groups all working for change in Aotearoa. They come together to campaign for an end to industrial farming which causes untold harm to animals, soils, waterways, wild ecosystems, communities, workers and the planet. They are united by the need to end big dairy and create a rapid, just transition to a regenerative, plant-based, carbon-negative economy that honours Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Other groups in the coalition include Aotearoa Liberation League, Extinction Rebellion Aotearoa NZ, School Strike 4 Climate NZ and more.


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