No better time for Canadian government to stop supporting dairy than Mother’s Day, says Animal Protection Party

VICTORIA, British Columbia, May 10, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For Mother’s Day, the Animal Protection Party of Canada is calling on the federal government to stop subsidizing the dairy industry, which it says causes tremendous animal suffering, contributes to the climate crisis, and is unnecessary for the health of humans.

The Government of Canada, through the Ministry of Agriculture and Agri-Food, is currently providing dairy farmers with $1.75 billion in direct payments between 2019 and 2023 in response to concessions made in the Canadian-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).

In 2019, the federal government updated the Canada Food Guide based on the best modern science and without industry lobbying. For the first time, the glass of milk was removed from beside the plate on the Food Guide and replaced with a glass of water.

Jordan Reichert, deputy leader of the Animal Protection Party, applauds the Food Guide Changes, but says the government’s spending priorities don’t match up.

“The government of Canada needs to be consistent in its spending and what it is telling Canadians is healthy for them.  That means ditching subsidies to the dairy industry and ensuring people have access to affordable healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits and grains.”

According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, dairy is the leading source of saturated fat in American diets, and can increase the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, as well as various cancers. The bottom line is that dairy milk is for baby cows, not for humans, and consuming it can have negative health consequences for people.

Dairy is also far more resource intensive and damaging to the environment than plant-based alternatives such as soy, oat, or almond. Dairy production requires far more land and fresh water, and emits far more greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2022, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada reported approximately 1.4 million cows were used in the dairy industry, with 419,000 of those being under three years old who had not yet had a calf. The Animal Protection Party is raising awareness of the dairy industry around Mother’s Day. Many people forget that cows, like all mammals, must be impregnated repeatedly to keep them producing milk. The milk from the mother cow is actually meant for her calf. However, in order to ensure that all the milk goes for human consumption, the calves are taken away from their mothers as early as possible and many are slaughtered when they are very little.

“Dairy is an incredibly cruel and traumatic industry for the female cows exploited in it. No mother should be made to suffer for a product so wasteful and unnecessary as dairy.”

The Animal Protection Party of Canada encourages Canadians to learn more about the benefits of a plant-based diet for our health, the health of other animals, and the environment. 

Jordan Reichert, Deputy Leader
Animal Protection Party of Canada