New Delhi, November 13, 2017: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has written to the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) urging it to label dairy products as ‘non-vegetarian’.
The Times of India reports that the animal welfare organisation requested the FSSAI to amend Regulation 126.96.36.199 of the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011, by removing the exemption for dairy products from the definition of “non-vegetarian food.”
It also urged the FSSAI to make a brown dot symbol mandatory for milk, milk products, and products containing milk solids so that it would distinguish them from true vegetarian options, which are marked with a green dot symbol and contain no animal ingredients or suffering according to thedairysite.com.
“In the dairy industry, cows and buffaloes are used and abused as milk-making machines until their bodies give out, at which point they’re often hacked apart for beef in legal or illegal slaughterhouses or upon being smuggled into Bangladesh. Meanwhile, male calves usually are abandoned and left to starve or are killed not long after birth, since they can’t produce milk,” said Dr Manilal Valliyate, chief executive officer, PETA.
In the letter, PETA points out that not only is dairy milk not derived from plants, its production also commonly involves violence such as repeated artificial insemination, the removal of calves from their mothers and eventual slaughter, as the dairy industry is the primary supplier of cattle to the beef industry.
According to the reports published in thedairysite.com the letter also points out the importance of differentiating plant-based foods from those derived from animals because about 75 per cent of people, including three out of four Indians, cannot properly digest milk as they lose their enzymes for doing so after weaning.
PETA’s eyewitness investigation of India’s dairy industry also documented that animals are routinely kicked and struck, denied veterinary care and forced to stand on piles of their own waste.