Hollywood actor and PETA supporter Joaquin Phoenix made a moving speech as he accepted the Oscar for Best Actor for Joker, highlighting the importance of animal rights and denouncing dairy-industry cruelty. But, desperate to promote its products, dairy giant Amul evidently failed to do its research before using a tribute to the award winner as a dairy ad.
In his speech, the vegan actor denounced cruelty to animals and environmental destruction:
I think we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world. Many of us are guilty of an egocentric world view, and we believe that we’re the centre of the universe. We go into the natural world and we plunder it for its resources. We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakeable. Then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal. We fear the idea of personal change, because we think we need to sacrifice something; to give something up. But human beings at our best are so creative and inventive, and we can create, develop and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and the environment.
Now, PETA India has slammed Amul by taking to Twitter:
The joke’s on you @Amul_Coop
Do the cows a favour and switch to making soya, almond, oat or other plant milk. https://t.co/vdjqXk9hxl
— PETA India (@PetaIndia) February 11, 2020
PETA India’s director of celebrity and public relations, Sachin Bangera, also tweeted:
It’s nonsensical @Amul_Coop! Wish you had done a little more research, or just heard #JoaquinPhoenix‘s Oscar speech. He’s VEGAN! He DOES NOT consume dairy. His speech was about ditching dairy. #NotCoolAmul https://t.co/LT5aTZ8oA7
— Sachin Bangera (@Sachbang) February 11, 2020
In India, the dairy sector is the primary supplier of cattle to the beef industry for slaughter. Male calves – who are considered useless, since they can’t produce milk – are commonly abandoned, left to starve, or sold to be killed. When their milk production wanes, mother cows and buffaloes also often end up at the slaughterhouse. Until then, they spend most of their days confined to cramped stalls. Many farmers illegally inject them with the drug oxytocin – which can cause severe stomach cramps that are similar to labour pains – to increase the amount of milk they let down. PETA India’s investigation of dairy farms across India also documented that animals are routinely kicked and struck, denied veterinary care, and forced to stand and lie amid their own excrement.