PETA or People for Ethical Treatment of Animals has asked Amul, India’s largest co-operative milk producing industry to start producing vegan milk instead of animal milk, citing that Amul should change with time as plant-based milk is in high demand by the vegans (People who do not consume animal or animal products are known as vegans)
Amul published a myth buster against ‘plant-based milk’ and saying that plant-based milk should not be termed as milk because they do not fulfill the criterion to be termed as milk. Adding to it they said, that plant-based milk does not have any of the nutrients which are available in the milk of cows and buffaloes.
Even, FSSAI or Food Safety and Standard Authority India has set a regulation in 2017, preventing the use of the word milk in non-dairy or plant based products.
The milk industry is now around a controversial debate that techniques like artificial insemination, selective breeding and unnecessary lactating hormones are used upon the cows to get milk. Also, PETA stated how the dairy industry is the precursor for the beef industry.
Amul in return replied that their co-operative industry runs because farmers are the one who are providing milk to them and if they convert and start plant-based beverages then livelihoods of millions of farmers will end.
The fight between Amul and PETA, resulted in Amul writing a letter to the Prime Minister regarding banning of PETA in India.
Another fact to be noted is Indians are still reluctant to adopt veganism. The plant-based products are not really in demand in the Indian markets as they are in countries like United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand etc. Comparing animal milk and plant-based milk, Plant based beverages are double the price of the regular animal milk. Hence, most of the consumers choose animal milk over plant based milk because of the cheaper rate. Indian markets are not yet ready to change and adopt veganism as of right now.
We cannot take sides or decide who is right and who is wrong PETA or Amul.
But we do know as a matter of fact that, many companies have started selling plant-based beverages in Indian market example, Sofit, Epigamia, Urban Platter and GoodMylk but it would take some awareness and time to make Indians adopt veganism completely.