A big protest was held Monday outside the headquarters of Fairlife dairy in Chicago’s West Loop.
That is the company that bought milk from Fair Oaks Farms in northwest Indiana where an animal rights group secretly recorded employees abusing cows and calves.
The protesters are demanding big changes in the dairy industry.
About 50 animal rights activists marched outside the Fairlife dairy’s headquarters, holding signs, sticking post it notes with messages to the window and dumping gallons of milk down the sewer.
“The whole industry’s the problem. It’s Fairlife today but it might be someone else tomorrow,” said activist Joshua Joseph.
They are enraged after a Florida animal rights group posted undercover video shot at Fair Oaks Farms in Newton County, Indiana showing employees kicking, beating and even throwing newborn calves.
Fair Oaks responded by firing the employees — three of whom were later charged with animal cruelty and announcing a series of steps to assure it will not happen again, including new surveillance cameras.
Fairlife says it will no longer buy milk from the Indiana dairy farm, but the activists are calling that humane fraud.
“This is the corporate playbook, to fire a few low level workers, using them as scapegoats without really addressing the real problem,” said founder of “Free From Harm” Robert Grillo.
The real problem, they say, is the dairy industry itself.
“It isn’t ethical to expect milk from a cow any more than we can expect milk from a chimpanzee, a donkey, mice, bats, other mammals. We’re not babies anymore. We don’t need milk,” said activist Alicia Madden.
Fairlife did not respond to the protest, referring FOX 32 to a video posted on its website last week.
“This is something that never should have happened. It is wrong. Animal care is foundational to Fairlife,” said Fairlife Chief Operating Officer Tim Doelman.
But the protesters say they will keep turning up the heat.